The Long Beach City Council voted unanimously (9-0) at its meeting on December 1 to further review a plan to decommission a mile-long, City of Long Beach-owned section of the Terminal Island (TI) Freeway from Pacific Coast Highway to Willow Street in order to turn the portion of the freeway into a planted buffer and park space with pedestrian and bike paths.
The city council agreed to study the so-called Green TI Transition Plan to come up with mitigations to environmental and traffic impacts. The city council agreed to have the city work with the cities of Los Angeles and Carson, along with the local ports to develop a plan for goods movement without the section of the freeway.
A rendering shows a view of the proposed plan to decommission a 25-acre portion of the Terminal Island (TI) Freeway into a greenbelt with park space along with bike and pedestrian paths. (Rendering provided by Melendrez)
The city council also agreed to continue more outreach with stakeholders on the project while providing a more detailed design and looking into sources of capital and operational funding for the project. City staff is expected to report back to the city council with a progress report within six months.
Long Beach city staff has worked with Los Angeles-based landscape architecture firm, Melendrez, which has provided renderings of the potential project, to prepare a preliminary feasibility study and design concept plan examining the potential decommissioning of the 25-acre section of the TI Freeway.
This rendering by Los Angeles-based landscape architecture firm Melendrez shows the design for a project to turn a mile-long, City of Long Beach-owned stretch of the Terminal Island (TI) Freeway from Pacific Coast Highway to Willow Street into a planted buffer and park space with pedestrian and bike paths. (Rendering provided by Melendrez)
The city received a $250,000 grant from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in 2013 to prepare a concept plan for the project. The “social justice” grant directly applies to negative environmental impacts, such as challenging air quality and noise from goods movement in West Long Beach.
A coalition of port-related businesses and organizations, including both union labor groups and international shipping trade associations, however, have argued that the TI Freeway is a critical truck route between the local ports and businesses. The groups state that the project would actually increase pollution since more trucks would be forced to drive on local streets and have asked for a full environmental impact report (EIR).