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Council members from Alhambra, San Gabriel, Monterey Park, Rosemead, and San Marino gathered in the middle of Fremont Avenue Wednesday to celebrate “710 Day.” The Alhambra-sponsored event between Mission Road and Valley Boulevard showcased the city’s efforts to complete the 710 Freeway.
City staff organized the event to educate residents of Alhambra and neighboring cities about the proposed 710 Freeway extension and its potential environmental benefits. Alhambra City Hall, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), and the Chamber of Commerce set up information booths while a live Cars tribute band entertained passersby. Food trucks selling ice cream, French fries, and sliders were parked nearby to serve lunch.
Alhambra Mayor Steven Placido addressed the crowd at noon, proclaiming that the completion of the 710 is long overdue and that the city needs to “close the gap,” a repeated slogan throughout other council members’ speeches. The end of the program even culminated in a large spray of red, white, and blue confetti.
“For 50 years, Alhambra has been the doormat for the 710 Freeway,” Placido said. “To that we say, ‘Close the gap!’”
Those who attended “710 Day” had mixed reactions to the project. Alhambra resident Eva Cobarrubias said that she was in support of completing the freeway even though the construction could disrupt her neighborhood near Fremont and Valley. “There’s noise and pollution where I live right now, but I still don’t like the traffic,” Cobarrubias said. “Maybe one day they’ll make it.”
Mon Le-Asuncion, a mother of two, said she is still undecided about the issue because of the lack of information regarding the freeway routes. “I’m in the middle until I find out more about the routes, because I’m not sure if it goes through Emery Park,” Le-Asuncion said. “I’m afraid of the pollution it’ll bring.”
Members of the “No to 710” Action Committee attended the event to speak out against completing the freeway and Alhambra City Council's preferred option, a tunnel. “No to 710” representative Joe Cano pointed out that many cities impacted by the project remain opposed to the tunnel alternative. “Where are Pasadena, South Pasadena, El Sereno, Los Angeles, San Rafael, and Highland Park?” Cano said. “They’re not here because they are the ones in the path of the tunnel.”
Even though Metro is still eight months away from completing an environmental impact study on the 710 extension, the agency invited residents to attend their July information sessions in El Sereno, Pasadena, and Monterey Park.