Duarte Asks Irwindale to Pay if Raiders Play

Times Staff Writer

If the City Council has its way, Duarte cable subscribers will be able to watch Raiders games for free if the football team moves to neighboring Irwindale.

Duarte Councilman John Fasana suggested at a recent council meeting that Duarte residents should receive the cable rights as compensation for having to endure the crowds and heavy traffic.

"It's a reasonable thing to ask," Fasana said. "If (residents) are going to be confined to their houses, this will be something to do."

Council members last week approved a list of items, including free access to Raiders games, for which they plan to negotiate with Irwindale and the Raiders if a proposed football stadium is built in Irwindale.

Added Maintenance

Duarte will urge Irwindale to pay for the construction of two freeway ramps and the drafting of traffic management plans. Duarte also wants to be reimbursed for added maintenance costs resulting from stadium traffic on Huntington Drive.

The council approved the negotiating list after reviewing a preliminary environmental impact report on the stadium project. Duarte City Manager Jesse Duff said the recommendations will be brought up at public hearings on the report in Irwindale on Monday and Dec. 5.

A letter was sent to Irwindale this week listing the recommendations and offering to meet with Irwindale officials, Duff said.

The proposed site of the 70,000-seat stadium is bounded on the north by Huntington Drive, on the south by the Foothill Freeway, on the east by the San Gabriel River and on the west by Irwindale Avenue.

"By far the issue that concerns us the most is traffic," Duff said, adding, "For the most part, Duarte's initial concerns in areas such as noise and the intensity of lights have been adequately addressed" in the environmental report, but "the mitigation measures (for traffic) are inadequate."

The impact reports lists ways to ease traffic for the 16 to 52 events expected at the stadium each year, including stationing a traffic control officer at the intersection of Huntington Drive, Mount Olive Drive and the San Gabriel River Freeway.

Duarte City Engineer Dwight French, who reviewed the report, disagreed with its conclusion that this intersection, operating at 19% above capacity, would be the only one unacceptably congested during games.

French suggested, and the council approved, several traffic proposals for further negotiation:

Building a southbound on-ramp and a northbound off-ramp from the San Gabriel River Freeway, which is expected to carry almost 30% of football traffic, to the largest parking lot, which would hold 10,025 vehicles south of the freeway and east of the river. The ramps would divert traffic from the intersection with Mount Olive and Huntington. Parking for another 7,850 vehicles is planned at the stadium itself and at a lot north of Foothill Boulevard and east of the river.

Providing off-street parking during games for Huntington Drive properties or creating additional parking areas so that stadium-goers don't park on the street.

Widening Buena Vista to provide a right-turn-only lane onto Huntington Drive. A traffic officer could be stationed there before events to allow two right- turn lanes.

Widening the bridge over the San Gabriel River to provide three lanes.

Stationing a traffic officer at Encanto Parkway after events to prevent traffic from spilling into the parkway.

"We'd like an agreement stating that Irwindale is committed to providing" the necessary traffic mitigation measures, Duff said. He added that it doesn't matter whether the proposals are incorporated into the environmental report as long as they are implemented.

Irwindale City Engineer Carlos Alvarado said he will review the Duarte proposals but noted that Caltrans will not pay for the freeway ramps because they would be initiated by the project.

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