Monday, February 11, 2013

Comment on the Mid County Parkway EIR/EIS

(2/11/13) – IE Transit Talking Points Short

The Riverside County Transportation Commission will host a public hearing on a Recirculated Draft EIR/Supplemental Draft EIS for the Mid County Parkway project on February 20, 2013.

Mid County Parkway EIR/EIS Public Hearing
February 20, 2013, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Lakeside Middle School
27720 Walnut Street, Perris, CA 92571

The Mid County Parkway project will basically convert the existing Ramona Expressway corridor between north Perris and San Jacinto into a freeway with three lanes in each direction which would attract economic growth and development to the area.

There are two ways this growth can go: The growth could go unchecked with single family housing, shopping centers and sprawl dominating the development, or a desired growth in robust marketplace employment hubs in Perris, northern Hemet, and San Jacinto together with a small downtown district and mixed use center to support the existing rural housing in Lakeview.

Expressway-to-freeway conversions tend to encourage suburban sprawl beyond urban centers and put more demand on roads and greater dependence on the automobile. RCTC reports that the Mid County Parkway would support future builds of carpool lanes and park-and-ride lots, but such facilities would not be part of the original project.

Both the incorporated cities and the County of Riverside need to revisit their land-use plans to prevent the new freeway from opening the door to exacerbated suburban sprawl and possible gridlock at the I-215 Interchange. Here are some land-use designation ideas which would encourage better growth and address the region's high unemployment rate:

Growth/Land-use designation ideas:
North Perris: Manufacturing and logistics jobs
North of Lakeview: Agricultural/farming
Lakeview: Rural ranch housing supported by
 a small mixed-use downtown district (condos/lofts over retail).
North Hemet/San Jacinto: Manufacturing jobs
All Undeveloped Hillsides: Open Space/Parkland

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