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Downtown LA Stadium Developers Release 10,000 Page EIR

David Zahniser and Ari Bloomekatz report on yesterday's release of the EIR for a proposed $1 billion football stadium in downtown LA, by developer AEG, which intends to take significant steps to encourage event-goers to use mass transit.
April 6, 2012, 1pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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As is to be expected in a city obsessed with automobile traffic, much of the initial reaction focused on the developer's plans to mitigate the traffic impacts of the proposed 72,000 seat stadium. According to Zahniser and Bloomekatz, "With more than 19,000 vehicles expected to flood downtown for games at Farmers Field, Anschutz Entertainment Group's strategy for traffic hinges, in part, on convincing ticket buyers to travel via the Metro Blue Line, the upcoming Expo Line and other public transit routes."

"That approach made AEG President Tim Leiweke sound more like a starry-eyed urban planner than a hardball negotiator for an NFL team."

AEG's approach is not just a publicity stunt either, the developers are bound by legislation passed last year to speed the project's environmental review process to operate a stadium with fewer car trips than any other NFL facility in the nation, note Zahniser and Bloomekatz.

And despite AEG's plans to spend $35 million on transportation improvements, downtown would still see "significant, unavoidable impacts" at dozens of intersections.

Some of the most vocal critics of the project come from the adjacent low-income Pico-Union neighborhood, who fear being inundated with traffic and light pollution from the 30-plus new digital signs intended for the stadium and convention center.

The release of the EIR sets off a 45-day public comment period, and you're likely to hear much more about its contents as observers digest its 10,000 pages.

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Published on Friday, April 6, 2012 in Los Angeles Times
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