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710 public comment period extended to August

Residents now have until Aug 5 to provide input on how the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Caltrans should handle the 710 Freeway. Metro previously set July 6 as a deadline for the public comment period, but have now extended it to August. They are calling for people to weigh in on the five ways they've proposed to deal with the 710 Freeway that directs traffic onto Valley Boulevard. For decades Alhambra residents have complained about the congestion stemming from the freeway, with special attention given to the gridlock on Fremont Avenue. Metro's five proposals are:

·   A "No Build" option that would leave conditions as they are

·   A traffic management system to upgrade and synchronize signals and improvements to local street intersections to more quickly move traffic that exits the dead end freeway

·   A rapid bus line featuring high frequency service with minimal stops and potentially a dedicated bus lane

·   Light rail to carry passengers between East Los Angeles and Pasadena

·   A freeway tunnel that would extend the SR-710

Below, we've compiled materials to keep you updated on recent developments. Read up on the arguments for and against a tunnel, and find out how you can contribute to the public comment period.

Metro says tunnel would alleviate the most traffic

The tunnel option has been the most discussed topic with many people either advocating for it or fighting against it. According to Metro’s Environmental Impact Report released earlier this year, the tunnel would alleviate the most traffic, cost the most amount of money, and take the most time to build. However they also released a cost-benefit analysis stating the tunnel also brings the most traffic management per dollar.

·   710 Freeway gap economic study says tunnel would produce greatest benefits by the Pasadena Star-News

·   MTA's report on 710 Freeway gap project accused of tunnel vision by the La Canada Valley Sun 

A diagram of the tunnel option | From MetroAlhambra is at the center of pro-tunnel push

The City of Alhambra is the driving force behind the pro-tunnel voice and leads the 710 Coalition. The coalition is made up of Alhambra, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel, and San Marino, which all support ‘Closing the gap’ with an underground tunnel. They maintain that, aside from improving traffic, the tunnel will also bring local jobs. During a June 22 City Council meeting, the city said it will draft a letter to Metro that would formally reiterate Alhambra's support for the tunnel option.

·   San Gabriel Valley COG recommends tunnel option for 710 by the San Gabriel Valley Tribune

·   710 Day in Alhambra stops traffic, draws crowd by the Pasadena Star-News

·   'Relieve Congestion': Alhambra unveils 'close the gap' banners in support of 710 tunnel by the Alhambra Source 

Alhambra pro-710 tunnel banner on Fremont Ave

Pasadena and other cities opting for options besides a tunnel 

Beyond the 710, an anti-tunnel group urges Metro to consider a combination of public transportation and traffic management systems to relieve congestion. Pasadena, South Pasadena, La Canada Flintridge, and Sierra Madre, along with other local groups are pushing this agenda. They claim that the current options do not adequately address the 710 and call for more research to be done.

·   Opponents of 710 Freeway extension offer alternatives to tunneling by the Los Angeles Times

·   710 Tunnel opponents: Don't extend the freeway, tear out more of it by KPCC

Alhambra Vice Mayor Barbara Messina and La Canada Flintridge Mayor Pro Tem Donald Voss debated the matter on KPCC:

·   Stakeholders debate next phase of the 710 freeway expansion proposal by KPCC

Public hearings have been lively and contentious  

No 710 Action Committee protesting | Photo by Kyle Garcia

Metro and other groups have hosted several public hearings as part of their efforts to get community input on the transportation issue.

·   710 Freeway extension: Solis says East LA residents want more health info by KPCC

·   Emotion erupts at second 710 Freeway public hearing by the Pasadena Star-News

·   San Gabriel Valley cities clash over 710 Freeway options by KPCC

The public has until Aug 5 to voice their opinion. Metro set up an online comment form for residents to use. You can also mail your comments to:

SR-710 Study
One Gateway Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Or call:

Metro will announce their preferred option next year.

The Alhambra Source encourages comment on our stories. However, we do not vet comments for accuracy or endorse links to posts in the comment section. The thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author of the comment.

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