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BOYLE HEIGHTS : Study: Hospital Project Won't Add to Traffic

January 09, 1994|MARY ANNE PEREZ

The proposed expansion of the County-USC Medical Center would not increase traffic in the area after it is completed in 2002, according to a study released late last month.

The study prepared by Kaku Associates analyzed 14 nearby intersections, including two that would be created by the $960-million project.

The county has proposed consolidating the four hospitals on the site, leaving the 1930s-era General Hospital for non-medical purposes. The expansion project would demolish 108 homes and apartment units and 12,000 square feet of business space to the east of the hospital.

The estimated 200 families, as well as the merchants, would be relocated and compensated for their losses.

The study was completed to answer potential questions about the expansion's effect on traffic but does not include estimates about the effect of heavy equipment during construction.

The study has delayed the process for another 30 days, project director Fernando Vizcarra said. Officials delayed the project to answer residents' concerns on the draft environmental impact report, which was presented at hearings last summer and fall.

"We felt that the change (in traffic analysis) was significant enough that we had to research for 30 days, and that puts it off for another month," Vizcarra said. Until the County Board of Supervisors approves the environmental report, including the traffic study, appraisers cannot give residents an estimate on their properties.

Because the new center would mean a decrease in the number of hospital beds from 1,450 to 950, the number of employees and patients would actually decrease. The new center would not affect the area's projected annual traffic increase of 1%, according to the study.

The project would move Cummings Street 30 feet east of its current location off Zonal Avenue and make it the main hospital's drop-off point. To the south, the present Cummings Street would be erased and moved to what is now Chicago Street north of Marengo Street.

The draft circulation study is available for review at the project office, Interns and Residents Building, 8th Floor, 2020 Zonal Ave. It is also available at local libraries. Comments on the traffic study should be submitted before Jan. 28 to Vizcarra at the County-USC Medical Center, Hospital Administration, 1200 N. State St., Room 1112, Los Angeles 90033.

Information: (213) 226-6873.

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