Emotions were running high on April 11th, during the first public hearing. The meeting began with a map viewing that gave attendees an opportunity to visit the various "stations" and receive information about the five alternatives. Subject matter experts were present at every station to answer questions. Shortly following the map viewing, the study team conducted a presentation that provided an overview of the Draft EIR/EIS followed by detailed instructions on how to submit verbal comments.
The highlight of the hearing was during the public comment period, where community members had the opportunity to voice their fact-based opinions. The majority of the 51 attendees spoke up against the Light Rail alternative and declared their support for the 710 tunnel. One East Los Angeles community member said, "stop making East LA the dumping ground!" According to the DEIR/DEIS, the LRT option would in fact, "displace 15 local businesses" in East Los Angeles and "adversely impact the community character."
Monterey Park City Councilwoman, Teresa Real-Sebastian was among the speakers declaring their support for the 710 Tunnel. “The 710 was never intended to end on Valley Boulevard; anyone who lives in any of these cities knows all that extra traffic spills onto our communities, where we work, where we play. The tunnel is the only option that will get mobility back on track,” stated Councilwoman Real-Sebastian. Read more about the many benefits to completing the 710 Freeway via tunnel here.