Paseo del Mar road work. Homeless encampment clean-up.

Work is beginning on Paseo del Mar today from Shepard to Cabrillo. The entire project is expected to take four weeks.

Also, Sr. Lead Officer Eve Wight brought out a caravan of L.A. County workers this morning to clean up the bluff where the homeless man was living.

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Important meetings this week

A Point Fermin Residents Association will be meeting this Saturday, May 31 at 9 a.m. at the Redman’s lodge at 543 Shepard Street.

The Lower Palisades West Neighborhood Watch (Paseo del Mar to 37th Street and Weymouth to Leland) will be holding their meeting this Saturday, May 31 at 4:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Marine Exchange building at 3601 S. Gaffey St.

The Bureau of Engineering will be holding a public hearing regarding the proposed widening of Hamilton Avenue between Patton and Barbara will be held on Wednesday, June 3 at 12:30 p.m. at the San Pedro Public Library, 931 S. Gaffey St.  If you cannot attend the meeting, written comments can be submitted by June 4 at 4:00 pm to james.tebbetts@lacity.org. Download the Hamilton-Notice of Public Hearing Signed.

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Neighborhood Council candidate positions on Paseo del Mar

The elections for the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council (CSPNC) will be held this Saturday, May 10 from 11am to 3pm at Crafted at the Port of LA, 112 E 22nd St, Warehouse 10, San Pedro. Any stakeholder (lives, works, owns property in or is a frequent visitor to) coastal San Pedro can exercise their right to vote.

 

Have you read the candidate statements released by the CSPNC?

 

In addition to these statements, we have additional statements on a local hot topic. Local resident and stakeholder Rebecca Rannells contacted candidates to ask their position on spending $30+ million in tax dollars to reopen Paseo del Mar where the White Point Landslide occurred in November 2011.

 

Many candidates declined to respond (Dave Behar, Cari Lynn Burich, James Dimon, Chuck Hawley, Dan Malstrom, Chris Nagle, Ted Shirley, Sonya Tsujimura, John Vidovich, and Rachel Waugh) and a handful could not be reached (Mike Cammareri, Denise Marovich-Sampson, and Matt Matich). However, the following five statements are from the candidates that took time to respond to Ms. Rannells inquiry:

 

UPDATE: The CSPNC did not approve term length changes to the bylaws. All candidates elected will serve a one-year term. Voting must be done in person at Crafted on Saturday (no absentee or online voting available).

CANDIDATE STATEMENTS ON THE WHITE POINT LANDSLIDE

Peter M. Warren
My passion is preserving the lifestyle we enjoy in Coastal San Pedro. We are lucky to live in this beautiful, unique neighborhood.

I have been on the council for 10 years. As its Port & Environment chair, I helped keep cruise ships out of the Outer Harbor and participated in the creation of the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation. The foundation has put more than $6 million (and still going) in air filter and air conditioning equipment in area elementary schools.

Consistent with my commitment to the neighborhood, I signed the petition opposing reconstructing Paseo del Mar as a through street. I have on several occasions asked the neighborhood council to request pre- and post-collapse data from the city on traffic, accidents, crime and emergency vehicle runs in the area south of 25th Street. The local council office and the majority on the neighborhood council have not supported these requests.

In the same spirit, we need fact-based public planning for improvements to Paseo del Mar and its feeder streets for work being discussed or done now. These decisions also must be done in consultation with residents. All construction decisions must be based on before-and-after data on traffic, crime statistics, accident and emergency response times, not on emotion or anecdotes. That is not case, now.

Officials tell us the new road would cost about $30 million in 2012-13 dollars. Is that the best use of public funds? Do we need a through street along Paseo, which – with less traffic — has become more pedestrian friendly, more park-like and safer for bicycling?

About 1000 cars a day used that stretch of road before the collapse. If the road is built, that translates to a $10 subsidy every year, for every car trip for the next 10 years.

I am not a one-issue candidate. I support an active Neighborhood Council Port Advisory Committee to watchdog the Port, providing local, citizen participation in Port decisions.

Most immediately, we need input on the Ports Of Call project BEFORE an agreement is signed with the developer. The new waterfront project must protect the successful businesses and workers at Port of Call.

To sustain growth and jobs in San Pedro, the Port must remain competitive while committing to clean goods movement and reduced pollution.

I support improved youth and adult recreation projects, including funding public access to the beautiful pool at the new high school and opening the Boy Scout Camp and pool at Cabrillo Beach to public use.

June Burlingame Smith
Until such time as the White Point landslide area is sufficiently stabilized and the houses next to it assured of safety, it is premature to even suggest putting the road back into the slide area. The City has completely refused to address the issue, publicly, as to exactly what caused the landslide, and until further information and scientific studies are completed so that we understand the true nature of this area, we should not be planning to put a road back through this area.

I also really question spending the amount of money that will be needed for a road unless it is absolutely necessary for public safety, and as of right now, that does not appear to be the case.

Ana R. Ortiz
After carefully reviewing the “Final Geotechnical Report of the White Point Landslide” provided by Shannon & Wilson, Inc., a geotechnical and environmental consulting firm, to the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, I believe that further geotechnical and environmental studies need to be conducted prior to appropriating City funds for restoration of Paseo del Mar.

My concerns are based on 2 facts: 1) the geological nature of the area and 2) the failure of the report to determine the exact source of excessive ground water pressure. Throughout the Palos Verdes Peninsula, including the White Point Landslide of 2011 area, geologic conditions exist that make the area conducive to slope instability. As indicated in the final report by Shannon & Wilson, aerial photographs of the area dating back to 1928 ,”indicate that local slope instability along the coastal bluffs may have been present in the area of the current day White Point Landslide.” The report states that, “bentonite clay beds were observed in the borings near the depth of the landslide failure surface” and that “nearby landslides are known to occur along the beds of bentonite clay.” The combination of weak bentonite clay and excessive ground water pressure, “acting on the failure surface had the strongest influence on the stability of the slope.” Possible sources contributing to elevation of groundwater suggested by the report were precipitation, irrigation, coastal bluff erosion and residential development. Other factors contributing to the activation of the 2011 Landslide as delineated in the report were road construction and underground utilities.

Although, de-watering measures have been put in place, I feel that determination of the primary source of ground water pressure needs to be clarified before spending taxpayer money on restoration. The five alternative long-term mitigation options provided by Shannon & Wilson were: 1) re-routing the road around a landslide buffer zone, 2) partially re-grading the landslide debris and adjacent area to restore the road to its previous alignment across the existing landslide, 3) supporting the road at its previous alignment with a soil buttress, 4) supporting the road with a retaining wall or 5) spanning the landslide with a bridge. My opinion would be to re-route the road around a landslide buffer zone since the report suggests that “road construction” may have contributed to activation of the landslide but only if the primary source of excessive groundwater pressure can be identified, controlled and/or stabilized and at a time that the City of Los Angeles has adequate funds available without increasing burden on taxpayers. I see no urgency in restoring of Paseo del Mar because it is not a major thoroughfare and there are alternative routes to reach the bluffs. Lastly, restoration of Paseo del Mar does not support the six goals of Mayor Garcetti’s Great Streets Initiative: 1) increased economic activity (primarily residential) , 2) improved access and mobility (there are alternate routes), 3) enhanced neighborhood character (preservation of the natural integrity provides character), 4) greater community engagement (residential and preservation of nature has same results) , 5) improved environmental resilience (restoration could contribute to landslide in future if not properly planned) and 6) safer more secure communities (same as number 5).

Gary W. Bettis
While I cannot disagree that the spending of $30 million dollars to repair this roadway is a lot of money and there may be other alternatives, I cannot support this petition simply because it addresses ONLY the issue of spending tax dollars. There is no mention of alternative solutions, or even that alternatives should be sought out, that may be more cost effective than the full restoration of the road yet will mitigate traffic issues on the multitude of streets in the Palisades that have been SEVERLY impacted by the Paseo Del Mar closure.

I will go out on a limb and guess that the list of signers of the petition does not include many residents of Patton Avenue, Walker Avenue, Leland Street, Alma Street (also dealing with the School Bus issue) or Almeria as compared to those signers from other parts of the state and country that are not Stakeholders in our area. If what is visible on the web page is indicative of the signers of the petition many are not even from the Los Angeles metro area. The area between 25th Street and Paseo del Mar the residents of the above named streets make up a substantial portion of the 1,800 residences that this petition statement claims to represent, one of which is my family, and I would be interested to find out how many of those directly impacted signed the petition.

If the group has any interest in attacking this issue in a comprehensive way with the goal of finding a viable options/solutions that address the cost of the road repair vs. the cost of mitigation of traffic impacts of the streets mentioned above and beyond the use of “traffic studies” and un-enforced stop signs, I will jump in with both feet. As mentioned above, I do not support the petition in its current state as it does not represent the other impacts of the Paseo del Mar closure within the Palisades along with ways to correct and pay for the mitigation, the issue goes well beyond the spending of tax dollars.

I hope this statement will be looked at as objectively as it is intended.

Louis Dominguez
While I am not totally against reopening Paseo I feel that it would need to be done at a nominal cost. $30 million is too much when we need so many other infrastructure fixes in our area.

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CSPNC to vote on Paseo del Mar and Alma St changes

The Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council will be discussing coastal streets at their monthly stakeholder’s meeting, Monday March 17, 2014 at 6:30 pm.

How do you feel about added roundabouts on Paseo del Mar at Barbara and Roxbury Streets? Or the re-routing of SPHS Olguin Campus busses? To see other changes the CSPNC Transportation and Public Safety Committees are recommending to the CSPNC board, see below.

12. PASEO TRAFFIC CALMING MOTION | CSPNC Transportation Committee

Whereas it has been over two years since the landslide closed Paseo Del Mar

Whereas the City has indicated it would be a minimum of five years before the road could be rebuilt depending on the stability of the impacted land and City funding

Whereas the traffic issues triggered by the landslide and the opening of South Region High School 15 (SPHS John M and Muriel Olguin Campus) combined with the traffic issues in existence prior to the landslide have created an unsafe environment for the impacted stakeholders

Whereas there continues to be significant non-resident traffic driving to the dead end of Paseo Del Mar and then either making u-turn on Paseo Del Mar back to Gaffey Street or driving through adjacent streets to gain access to 25th

Therefore, be it resolved, the CSPNC requests the City of Los Angeles Council District 15, Bureau of Engineering, and Department of Transportation to 1) proceed urgently, but no later than September 30th 2014 with traffic plan to install roundabouts on Paseo Del Mar at Roxbury and Barbara – with raised medians and a “Road Closed” signs on the median and illuminated crosswalks, 2) proceed with the approved and promised cul de sac with raised median at Paseo Del Mar and Weymouth, 3) request Mapquest, Google and Yahoo Maps to change the status of Paseo Del Mar at Weymouth as “closed” in their map system, and 4) require the City funding for the rebuilding of Paseo Del Mar to be used for any cost of traffic mitigation to make the impacted neighborhoods safe.

13. SOUTH ALMA STREET MOTION – ENSURE PROPER SAFETY AND TRAFFIC CONTROL TO ENSURE ROADWAY INTEGRITY ONCE RE-PAVED | CSPNC Transportation Committee

Whereas, City of Los Angeles, Public Works, has notified residents that South Alma Street will be undergoing a substantial re-pavement project beginning in March 2014 from 25th Street to 37th Street

Whereas, Alma Street has seen substantial traffic increases by both vehicular and pedestrian users over the past few years due to the White Point Landslide and the opening of the San Pedro High Olguin Campus…

Whereas, the LA City has announced plans to create a “sharrow” lane on South Alma Street between 37th Street and 25th Street (Northbound)

Whereas, South Alma Street is not rated to withstand the stress of overweight vehicles (i.e., busses, commercial trucks, etc.) due to fill settling, the presence of water flow under the street and street engineering considerations all of which is evident by the rapid rise of manholes to several inches above street level and the rapid degradation of the street over a very short period of time (past couple years)…

The Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council is insisting that the following safety and traffic control measures are taken to preserve the integrity and safety of the newly paved street:

• Overweight vehicles must be advised to use alternate routes appropriate for their weight (i.e., Gaffey Street, etc.) via signage located at 25th Street and 37th Street on Alma Street and enhanced traffic enforcement by LAPD.

• LAUSD must re-route school busses, and other overweight LAUSD vehicles, to utilize entrance and exit opportunities located on Gaffey Street (i.e., buses enter at Leavenworth Street and exit via Barlow Saxton Road at the Gaffey Street signal making a smooth one-way loop that minimizes traffic impacts on the community and other vehicles using the roadway around the school).

• LAUSD, in conjunction with neighboring residents, develop a traffic plan that encourages parents and students using vehicles to access the school in such a way to minimize impact on the local community and foster a stronger relationship with its neighbors.

• Additionally, the installation of speed humps must be strongly considered to help reduce the excessive speed of traffic using Alma Street and improve the safety for children, families, pedestrians and vehicles using the street.

14. SOUTH ALMA RE-PAVE SAFETY MOTION | Public Safety Committee

Whereas, City of Los Angeles, Public Works, has notified residents that South Alma Street will be undergoing a substantial re-pavement project beginning in March 2014 from 25th Street to 37th Street…

Whereas, Alma Street has seen substantial traffic increases by both vehicular and pedestrian users over the past few years due to the Paseo Del Mar Landslide and the opening of the San Pedro High Olguin Campus…

Whereas, the LA City has announced plans to create a ‘sharrow’ lane on South Alma Street between 37th Street and 25th Street (Northbound)…

The Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council is insisting that the following safety measures are taken on the newly paved street:

  • Stop signs must be marked on the pavement with corresponding stopping lines appropriate for the direction of traffic. In regards to the stop sign at Alma Street and 37th Street (the site of numerous accidents) road markings are to include advanced ‘stop ahead’ markings and reflective materials. The inclusion of reflective bumps must be strongly considered.
  • Intersections along the East side of Alma Street (the side of the San Pedro High School Olguin Campus) must all be painted with double parallel line crosswalks to ensure the safety of pedestrians and students using the sidewalk.
  • The sidewalk on the East side North of 37th Street on Alma Street must be completed from the LAUSD property line to 37th Street to ensure a continuous safe path for pedestrians walking South towards the coast.
  • Speed limits (and related postings) must be made 25mph from 25th Street to 37th Street to ensure continuity between each block and a safe rate of speed in a residential community (currently, speed limits alternate between 25mph and 35mph causing confusion for drivers and increased, unnecessary, safety risk for many residents, particularly those with small children).

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PRA to voice opinion on Paseo del Mar this Thursday

The Palisades Residents’ Association announced on short notice that they will be holding a meeting this Thursday to take a position on the future of Paseo del Mar at the White Point Landslide. If you would like your voice to be heard, please attend the meeting.

What: Palisades Residents’ Association Board Meeting
When: Thursday, November 14, 2013, 6 – 8:30 pm
Where: Marine Exchange Conference Room, 3601 S Gaffey St, San Pedro, CA 90731

Agenda
0. Introductions
1. PRA Board Seat availability and Membership (10 min)
2. Upcoming Neighborhood Watch / Public Safety initiatives (10 min)
3. White Point Landslide update and position (30 min)
4. Palisades Area Street Solutions (30 min)
5. PRA Annual Meeting Planning and 2014 Schedule (20 min)
6. Adjournment

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Councilman Buscaino takes a stand on landslide.

Today, Councilman Buscaino’s office issued a statement on their website regarding the newly discovered crack at the White Point landslide.

“Last week, work crews under the supervision of the Bureau of Engineering uncovered a crack eight feet below the surface while performing excavation work at the White Point Landslide in San Pedro. While we do not know how long the crack has been there, the preliminary investigation determined that there has been no additional earth movement since the landslide in November of 2011.

A more detailed geotechnical analysis is being conducted and should be complete in about a week. The current work to drain and stabilize the hillside is unaffected and remains on schedule.

The safety of the hillside continues to be my top priority. That’s why I support the recommendation from the White Point Landslide Advisory Committee to restore the roadway with a retaining wall that will maximize the safety and stability of the entire area,” said Councilman Joe Buscaino who represents the Los Angeles’ 15th Council District.

Update: there is a new petition out to reconstruct Paseo del Mar.
Update: The Daily Breeze has a new article about the landslide debate: New fissure in San Pedro landslide area sparks more debate about Paseo del Mar road repair

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New cracks in landslide area. Abandon Paseo del Mar petition circulating.

Area east of landslide with new crack. (click image to view larger)

Several new cracks have appeared in the White Point Landslide area. The latest crack was discovered today resulting in a work shut down. A bowl-shaped crack, about 3″ in width appeared on the east side of the slide, approximately halfway between the landslide edge and the nearest house.

A closer view of the crack that appeared on Monday, November 4. (click image to view larger)

Members of the Landslide Committee of the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council (CSPNC) met tonight and discussed the new crack. Their representative will be contacting the Bureau of Engineering immediately to inquire about the situation and the safety of residents in nearby homes.

At the upcoming November 13th CSPNC Agenda Meeting, the Landslide Committee will be requesting that a motion be added to the November 18 general meeting. The motion is to “recommend that the section of Paseo del Mar closed by the White Point Landslide be abandoned in a manner that comprehensively addresses the traffic and public safety issues heightened by the landslide and the opening of South Region High School 15.”

In support of not reopening Paseo del Mar is an online petition at Deny Funding for Road to Nowhere. The petition asks how, in this time of “fiscal austerity,” a “hugely expensive project that affects such a small group possibly be justified.” Signers have stated that the remaining road is safer for the many pedestrians and cyclists that frequent the area and that the money would be better spent on other city services.

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Buscaino’s Landslide Committee votes to rebuild

L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino’s White Point Landslide Committee met on short notice this week for a final meeting to discuss the future of Paseo del Mar. Committee members in attendance voted to rebuild the 600 foot section of Paseo del Mar affected by the landslide at a estimated price tag of $28.8 million dollars. Read about the meeting in the Daily Breeze.

For more information, the Bureau of Engineering posts online reports on the progress of mitigation measures at http://eng.lacity.org/whitepoint/whitepointlandslide.htm.

White Point Landslide in the News

Donna Littlejohn of the Daily Breeze has come out with another article updating us on the stabilization process at the White Point Landslide.

The temporary fencing in White Point Nature Preserve has come down unveiling the newly installed drainage system. Underground slope anchors will be added this fall and winter with the process scheduled to be completed in January.

I must take issue with one statement in the Daily Breeze article:

“While some nearby residents have lobbied to keep the road closed, a preliminary vote at the last advisory committee meeting ran about 60 percent in favor of rebuilding the scenic east-west thoroughfare that dates back to the early 1920s, according to city maps.”

I serve on this committee and have attended all the meetings. What is not mentioned here is that the poll was taken after much protest from committee members, many saying there was not yet enough information to vote, and the question asked to the committee included the words “If money were NO object” (which brought about a lot of laughter in the room).

How do you feel about Paseo del Mar? Rebuild it or leave it?