The following information was released by the Rossmoor Homeowners Association.
If OCTA’s expansion project for the 405 goes forward, the RHA is deeply troubled by the potential for traffic congestion to occur on the northbound 405 at the Los Angeles County interface, which would cause a direct and heavy impact on the air quality inside Rossmoor. There appears to be the potential for hundreds of idling cars and trucks congested on the freeway adjacent to Rossmoor in the late afternoon and early morning, two key periods of the day that could affect residents.
The expanded 405 proposed by OCTA would have two more lanes inside Orange County than would exist in Los Angeles County, with the decrease in capacity occurring within 100 feet or less of our residential neighborhoods. Moreover, the proposed route lies within 500 feet of Hopkinson Elementary School, a sensitive receptor that was not addressed in the EIR. Section 3.2.6, the air quality analysis for the project, makes no mention of Hopkinson. The EIR identifies other sensitive receptors along the route, but neglects one of west Orange County’s largest and most highly regarded schools.
The configuration of Rossmoor has the 405 literally wrapping around the southern tip of the community, exposing residents to one of the greatest impacts anywhere in the project. And yet, Rossmoor was only superficially analyzed in the air quality supplemental.
We believe the air quality impact analysis was inadequate in considering hotspots with elevated levels of particulates, ozone, and other pollutants that could affect the health and quality of life in Rossmoor.
The OCTA air quality analysis examines, for example, carbon monoxide levels at various points along the proposed project, but not near Rossmoor. Similarly, the air toxics analysis did not adequately assess the potential for impacts on Rossmoor, particularly if congestion occurs at the county line.
Rossmoor is a community of both young children and elderly adults, the two most sensitive age groups to air pollution. We are asking that OCTA reexamine the air quality, traffic and noise impacts of the project on Rossmoor, especially its schools, parks and homes, and undertake a thorough and complete consideration of the most effective ways to mitigate those impacts to a level of insignificance.
The RHA would like OCTA to analyze whether reducing northbound lanes sequentially a mile or two before the county line would help mitigate the potential for congestion, air quality impacts and the possibility of motorists using surface streets in Los Alamitos to navigate around the chokepoint. Rather than losing two lanes at the county interface, we would like OCTA to consider squeezing down capacity miles from the county line. If and when Los Angeles County increases the capacity of the 405 in Long Beach, then the additional lanes of traffic could be opened at the county line.
We are also asking that OCTA conduct a better outreach effort in Rossmoor to elicit input and carry out real dialogue about the project.
Deadline for comments
The deadline for comments is July 17th. If you wish to voice your concerns, you may email the OCTA at firstname.lastname@example.org. By law they are required to respond to all comments submitted by the July 17th deadline.
File photo by C.E.H. Wiedel of Rossmoor’s iconic red brick wall and script R.
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