Maybe it’s too early in the public review process. Or maybe the concept seems too far fetched for many to take seriously. But less than a dozen people spoke during Tuesday night’s first public meeting on a proposed underground line that would whisk passengers several miles to Dodger Stadium in less than four minutes — and for only $1.
The sparsely attended “public scoping meeting” hosted by the city was held in the left field seats at Dodger Stadium, which is near the eastern terminus of the Dugout Loop, the name of the 3.6-mile high-speed line that Elon Musk’s The Boring Company wants to build. (The western terminus would be located near the Red Line in either East Hollywood or Los Feliz.)
Instead of baseball scores and dramatic replays, the stadium’s scoreboard flashed wonky descriptions of the environmental review process that will look at the project’s significant impacts.
Most of those who spoke at the meeting favored the concept, praising it as an innovative, privately-financed project that would reduce congestion on game days and perhaps be duplicated in other parts of the country. Former Councilman Tom LaBonge, speaking in favor, said a similar high-speed line should be built to the Hollywood Bowl. “Dig a hole there, too,” he said.
But others were skeptical about whether the Dugout Loop would significantly reduce traffic since it would transport only a fraction of fans who attend a game. One speaker wondered whether the project could sustain itself by charging only $1 while another person questioned the wisdom of building more tunnels in earthquake prone Los Angeles.
“The project appears to be a distraction,” said Patrick Dennis, who lives near the stadium.
An initial study conducted by the city’s Bureau of Engineering determined that the project could likely pose significant impacts on air quality, traffic, noise and on historic landmarks. But not all the impacts would necessarily be bad –traffic congestion and air quality may actually improve once the line is in operation, according to the study. Still, officials concluded that a more comprehensive environmental impact report needs to look at these and other issues.
The public now has 30 days to comment on the initial study before the Bureau of Engineer preparess a draft and then final impact reports. Those will trigger more public meetings and review.
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