200 Residents Object to Bus Yard Relocation

Times Staff Writer

About 200 residents have objected to Southern California Rapid Transit District plans to relocate a Venice bus yard to their West Los Angeles neighborhood, saying the move would bring noise, pollution and traffic problems to their community.

They voiced their objections at one of four community meetings conducted by the RTD the week before last. Residents in Santa Monica, Venice and Marina del Rey attended similar sessions. Five sites have been proposed.

Terri Tippit, co-president of the Westwood Homeowners Group who attended the West Los Angeles meeting, said residents in her Pico-Sepulveda neighborhood are concerned about noise from early-morning repair work and pollution from diesel fumes.

"We object to basically what the Venice people object to--pollution and soot from where they work on the buses, and (repair) tools operating 24 hours a day," she said.

Residents living next to the Venice yard, which operates 24 hours a day, have complained for more than a decade about those problems.

Cloud of Smoke

Ed Alves, a member of the Venice Town Council whose home at 112 Thornton Place is next to the Venice yard, said in a telephone interview that he has raised repeated objections with RTD officials. "The diesel fumes are so potent its amazing," he said. "There's a cloud of black smoke over that place that looks like somebody dropped a bomb."

Don Tollefson, vice president of the Venice council, said in a telephone interview that Venice residents affected by the yard intend to monitor the RTD's relocation plans and offer support to residents living near the proposed sites.

"We wouldn't wish this on them," Tollefson said. "Moving the scene of the nuisance is really not a good defense. . . . The yard deserves to be in an industrial area, ideally dead space near the (Los Angeles International) airport."

Albert Perdon, assistant general manager of planning and communication for RTD, said the the five Westside sites under consideration are farther away from residential areas than the Venice site.

Industrial Locations

The proposed sites, all in industrial zones, range from 4.4 to 8 acres and would cost between $4.9 million and $17.4 million, based on 1984 RTD estimates. The agency decided on them after studying 40 sites on the Westside last year. It will narrow the choices to two or three in May and choose the preferred site this summer.

Perdon said that the RTD hopes to accommodate the public as much as possible in relocating the yard.

"The last thing we want to do is ram a bus yard down their throats. We want to work with the community," Perdon said.

RTD officials said they will install sound walls and pollution control equipment at the new yard and will have repair work done indoors.

They said that the three-acre yard on Sunset Avenue in Venice is too small and too close to residences on Main Street and Thornton Place. Officials said 75 buses are now based at the Venice yard; 125 to 140 buses will be needed to accommodate increases in ridership in the next 15 years.

"The issue is not unique to the Westside," Perdon said. "It's part of an overall program to improve public transportation because we're getting severely limited to (how much traffic) the streets can handle."

The five sites proposed for the yard relocation are:

- A 4.7-acre site at the southwest corner of Olympic and Centinela boulevards in Santa Monica.

- A 6.9-acre site at the northwest intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Steward Street in Santa Monica.

- An 8-acre site bounded by Sawtelle, Pico, Sepulveda and Exposition boulevards.

- A 7.7-acre site at the southwest corner of Culver Boulevard and Marina Freeway.

- A 4.4-acre site bordered by Del Rey and Glencoe avenues.

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