710 Day sends loud message: "Close the gap!"

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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. 

18 thoughts on “710 Day sends loud message: "Close the gap!"”

  1. During the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the two level freeway buckled and twisted to its limits before the support columns failed and sent the upper deck crashing to the lower deck. In an instant, 41 people were crushed to death in their cars. Now imagine this happening underground in the 710 double-decker tunnel along with trucks carrying oil/petroleum and no emergency exits.

  2. These are our shortsighted, simple-minded council members with tunnel vision.
    It’s embarassing to watch.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQt7tfHRHko&index=4&list=UU9rw4mxw5DPKAv

    Why is Teresa Real Sebastian speaking on our behalf? We are not Monterey Park.

    1. That video is no different than all the other propaganda out there.

  3. Imagine if we didn’t extend the 210 freeway (East) and without the 105 freeway. You guys didn’t protest against it when it’s causing all the pollution to other cities and residences. Instead, you guys are enjoying the convenience of using those two freeways. Hypocrite!

  4. Are most of the responses against the 710 freeways coming from non Alhambra residences posting on this board?

    1. Alhambrans Against 710

      Alhambrans don’t want the 710 tunnel going through our town, exhaust from the portal entrance harming our kids, lowered property values and a tunnel that would be inconvenient for us to access and use (no on and off ramps + a toll for every car one way, according to Metro/CalTrans!)

      Inform yourselves on all sides of the issue: http://alhambransagainst710.com

      The City of Alhambra conveniently does not tell you about the 10+ years construction and the toll charges.

    2. Absolutely not. Most of them live in Alhambra. We’ve done our research and realized that the bromides spewed by the city council are not backed up by facts. Check out Alhambransagainst710.com to find out this will be a toll tunnel with no exits besides the 2 entry points south of Valley and in northern Pasadena. It’s not for local traffic. By Caltrans own calculations, some 60,000+ cars a day who don’t want to pay the toll will be diverted onto Alhambra streets. Sure, that’s how you spell relief.

  5. What is the best solution the the gap? Check out this website. It allows you to post solutions to problems and the 710 is posted there.

    http://www.mypoliticalsolutions.com/discussion/problem/read_solutions/46

    1. Hi Jeremy,

      That “source” is from Metro. Any discussion with them is no different than having a discussion with any mono-focused individual or organization. Metro has made many promises to many people and are not really in a situation or condition to take alternatives. While they are telling people at one end that there will be no trucks through the tunnel, they are asking the Chinese to help fund (the PPP, Private Public Partnership) tunnel to help get trucks through the 710. They are talking to both sides of the issue: one side will bring them great amounts of money, one side brings less. Which do you think they are interested in pushing?

      If you look at every tunnel made across the world in the past 20 years, the numbers have been low-balled to help get support. When Metro says $10 billion, you can see that and know that it will be $20-$30 billion by the time the last plaque is put in place.

      There is no question that a tunnel CAN be made. This is no different than many different things we CAN do. The question is: SHOULD this be done? First off, there the money issue by the users. This will be a toll tunnel. Currently Anaheim is up in a full tizzy about a proposed section of the 405 to have tolls or not. The people in Anaheim are steadfastly saying “NO.” However, if we are to have a tunnel, there will HAVE to be a toll. How many reading this are perfectly happy to pay about $10 to go 5-6 miles? My guess is not many. So that still leads the majority of drivers to take to the streets to bypass the tunnel.

      As we’ve seen from the recent truck fire at the 5 and 2 freeway that destroyed that section of the road and is still under repair to this tunnel disaster in Switzerland where many many people were killed, the potential of major disaster for this short section of road is too great.

      Does that mean we should do nothing? Far from it. We need to move two different things: people and goods. Every time you pass Mission St. in Alhambra and see or hear a train going through with hundreds of cars being pulled, those are hundreds of trucks that are no on our freeways and fouling our air. There already are the routes to move goods from the docks to Lancaster (where a major truck depot already exists and is one of the end-points for the 710 planned route). Why spends multi-billions of dollars to do something that can be done faster and significantly cheaper?

      Second is people movement. We need more rail. Anyone who’s traveled to the east coast has enjoyed the wonderful public transportation to anywhere. My wife and I travel to Boston occasion to visit our son. We do like to go there and travel all around New England. However, when we get to Boston, we “pahk da cah” and use public transportation exclusively because it’s faster and cheaper than driving.

      Amusingly, the public transportation that Metro proposes has, in my opinion, intended gaps to make the proposed routes less appealing. For example, one light-rail proposal has the train stopping pretty much in the middle of nothing in particular but completely passing East LA College. There is NO reason for such a plan other than to make the light-rail supporters not happy about a light-rail solution (“Oh, your left molar is hurting? Let me remove the right molar.” You don’t like that? Obviously you don’t like all dentists.)

      Keep in mind that vast vast amounts of money are being passed around and planned for the future. If you do not think that greed is not an issue in this, than you’ve had your head in a hole for too long.

      Will something be done? Yes. Will it be beneficial to all or only to the few who will make big bucks off of this, that depends upon the citizens, us.

  6. Reading your story about the 710, a lady indicated she is undecided whether to support or oppose the 710 “because of the pollution it would create”.But what about the pollution we all suffer with the massive traffic going through our city due to the lack of connection between Valley and points north? Studies have proven that high concentrations of vehicle travel create more pollution.

  7. We need to close the gap! I’m tired of being stuck in traffic having to drive through Alhambra on Valley, Fremont, and through Pasadena just to get back home. There’s so much pollution in that one area of the freeway as well and it needs to go!

    1. Lynn,

      You have my sympathy. IF closing the gap would solve the traffic than there might be things to discuss. But it has already been proved up and down the wazoo that EVERY ASPECT of either tunnel or above ground WILL NOT fix the traffic. In fact, it will only make matters worse. Metro has already conceded that on the day this open, it will have a traffic flow of grade “F.”

      Why: (1) the tunnel will start in Alhambra and end in Pasadena with no exits in between. Thus, anyone who wants to get off the freeway at any point in between, can’t. Their ONLY option is to go across the same route they have now, right in front of you.

      (2) The expected truck traffic increases will double and even triple. If you think the 710 has too many trucks now, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Why? increased container traffic coming into San Pedro, Long Beach, etc.

      (3) this is being pushed as a PPP, Private Public Partnership. This is being done to help pay for everything. The ONLY way this can be done is to have tolls going through the tunnel. Tolls have been calculated to be $5-$20 depending on time of day. You might be willing to pay $20 during rush hour, but many of those people you see on the streets now will still be there.

      Metro has budgeted costs for this to be around $5 billion dollars. To put that in perspective, the Big Dig in Boston was estimated to cost $2.8 billion. It’s final cost was $22 billion. And that doesn’t include costs in repairing the faulty construction during the last 10 years.

      Why is this being done: With money like that, everyone wants to get their share. Politicians, construction folks, truckers, you name it. There’s money to be made and people frustrated like you want some resolution that we are used to. They are depending upon you being upset and frustrated and willing to buy into this scheme. If it doesn’t work (and it can’t), the money will be spent and well, who cares about you. Cynical, you bet I am, I’ve been following this for a long time and I’ve been watching the lies that Metro has spread.

      Are there alternatives? Sure. The big one is to connect the docks to the train center near Lancaster. Every time you see a train running in the ditch next to Mission, that’s hundreds of trucks that are not on a freeway. Think of removing 10s of thousands of trucks daily from the 710. Think of increasing other tracks like the Gold Line across the San Gabriel Valley. If people are on public transportation, they are not in front of you on the roads.

      Please, hang in there, don’t buy into the hype and let’s go for real solutions to a real problem, not false solutions to a real problem.

      1. Gary, please cite sources for your assertions. I’ve only seen supporting material to back up some of your arguments while others seem based solely on conjecture. If you want to be convincing, cite the report or article from a reliable source for each point (links are extremely helpful). Wikipedia’s editorial guidelines regarding citations is a good place to start if you’re unsure what I mean: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citing_sources Remember, you’re trying to convince us.
        Meanwhile, anything you post without support is free to be written off as pure fantasy.

  8. Felix Gutierrez

    If Alhambra’s elected officials really want to “close the gap” they can make the first move by re-establishing street crossings over the railroad tracks from Westminster east to the city limits by the San Gabriel Mission. Alhambrans and others used to cross over the grade-level Southern Pacific tracks on many streets going north and south through the city.
    When the tracks were lowered the overcrossings were put in at very few streets, starting at Fremont and going east. This, along with Alhambra converting single family homesites to apartment complexes, has caused a concentration of traffic and traffic jams on the few streets available to cross the tracks.
    More housing plus more people minus less streets crossing the tracks that run the length of the city all add to the traffic troubles.
    The gap that needs to be closed is the gap in the thinking of the city leaders. With open minds they would be open to better solutions with more options addressing the congestion they helpd create.

  9. Have you ever gone by mission and seen one of the trains on the lowered train track with 300-600 shipping boxes going along? Just think of each of those shipping containers on trucks going along the 710.

    Now think of taking all of the trucks that are currently on the 710 and putting them on trains so they are off the freeway. And think of all the space there’d be on the freeway if that were to happen.

    Oh wait, we can’t because those train tracks don’t exist from the shipping docks to the Lancaster where they are bound.

    But think of how much less we’d spend if we put in those tracks instead of extending a freeway that has already been graded with an “F” even before it’s built.

    But what do you want to spend? A couple of billion $$ or $20 billion of your tax dollars to get the trucks off of the freeway or or a toll road that only truckers will pay to go through a tunnel that’s going to exhaust all of its fumes in Alhambra.

  10. Close the trap. Expose the crap.

  11. If the cities of the San Gabriel valley want to “close the gap” so badly, why not build the tunnel in their cities? At their 710 Day celebration Alhambra officials were advocating building a freeway — actually it will be a 6.3 mile toll tunnel — through and under El Sereno, So Pasadena and Pasadena. The tunnel could be built quite easily anywhere along the 10 freeway routing traffic from the 710 to the 10 and up to the 210. I find it interesting that Alhambra is bullying cities that don’t want the tunnel into a 10-year construction project which will eventually cost billions, will charge a toll, and will spew exhaust pollution into the air from 30 foot high venting towers, just to relieve congestion on Valley Blvd. and Fremont. San Gabriel Valley cities need to consider alternate forms of transportation to relieve congestion in their cities.

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