Released last month the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the City’s proposed downtown parking program found that it will have significant and unavoidable impacts on 11 City intersections.
According to the DEIR, “The purpose of the program is to provide adequate public parking resources in the downtown area to support existing and future land uses and to foster economic vitality in the Downtown area that relies on a shared public parking district.”
A City notice concerning the DEIR states that, “The proposed Downtown Parking Program includes three major components phased over a ten year period: 1) seismic retrofitting of Parking Structure 2 at 1235 Second Street and 4 at 1321 Second Street; 2) demolition and reconstruction of Parking Structure 1 at 1234 Fourth Street, 3 at 1320 Fourth Street, and 6 at 1431 Second Street; and 3. construction of two new structures, located generally in the area bounded by 4th Court and 6th Court between Wilshire Boulevard and Colorado Avenue. The replacement structures would be a maximum of three levels below ground and up to nine levels above ground and would each have approximately 15,000 square feet of commercial floor area on the ground level. The new structures would be a maximum of three levels below ground and up to six levels above ground and would each have approximately 10,000 square feet of commercial floor area on the ground level, resulting in approximately 59,340 square feet of net new commercial floor area. This Parking Program would result in an increase of up to 1,712 public parking spaces in the City’s Downtown.”
The 11 intersections that would sustain unavoidable impacts are Pacific Coast Highway and the California Incline, Ocean Avenue and Colorado Avenue, Fourth Street and Broadway, Fourth Street and Colorado Avenue, Fourth Street and the I-10 Westbound Off-Ramp, Fourth Street and the I-10 Eastbound Off-Ramp, Fifth Street and Colorado Avenue, Lincoln Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard, Lincoln Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard, Lincoln Boulevard and Broadway and Lincoln Boulevard and the I-10 Westbound ramp. The I-10 east of Cloverfied Boulevard freeway segments in the westbound direction would also have unavoidable impacts during the a.m. peak hour and in the eastbound direction during the p.m. peak hour from the proposed program.
Another unavoidable impact of the program would be increased NOx emissions from mobile sources that would affect regional air quality in addition to the City’s air.
The proposed program will also have some significant unavoidable impacts during its construction phase including traffic impacts at the intersections of Fourth Street and Olympic Drive I-10 eastbound on-ramp and the Fourth Street/Pico Boulevard intersection. Other impacts would be NOx pollutant emissions that would exceed South Coast Air Quality Management District daily significance thresholds.
According to the DEIR, “Regional air pollutant emissions associated with program operations would be generated as a function of three project components: 1. the consumption of electricity and natural gas associated with 59,340 square feet of new commercial use; 2. the consumption of electricity associated with operation of the retrofitted, rebuilt, and new structures; and 3. the operation of on-road vehicles associated with 6,168 new weekday daily trips and 8,414 new weekend daily trips generated by the program.”The DEIR analyzed in detail the following environmental issues: transportation and circulation, noise, aesthetics/shadows, neighborhood effects, air quality, land use and construction effects.