Election 2012: Local candidates on transportation in Alhambra

Transportation is a hot topic in Alhambra, where issues like the 710 Freeway gap, biking, and senior services affect residents and Alhambra Source readers. Local candidates Rep. Judy Chu (D) and Jack Orswell (R) are running for the 27th Congressional District, Dr. Matthew Lin (R) and Edwin "Ed" Chau (D) are running for the 49th State Assembly District, and Dr. Stephen Placido and Elizabeth Salinas are running for Alhambra City Council. Here's what each has to say about transportation.

THE 710 FREEWAY COMPLETION

Chu: “We need an adequate, safe and effective solution to the 710 gap problem, which is disproportionately affecting residents of Alhambra. That is why I support the completion of the environmental impact review (EIR). We must follow the will of residents of Los Angeles County, who voted to make $780 million available through Measure R to explore solutions to this problem.”

Chau: “I am in support of completing the 710 freeway and that has been my position since day one…The tunnel option is the option I would prefer. And obviously, having said that, I think what we want to do now is to find ways to cause the least disruption to the neighborhood. Whether it’s acquisition of additional homes or whatever it is, we need to find ways to minimize that disruption.”

Placido: "[The 710 freeway completion] will take commuter traffic off our streets, it'll improve air quality, and it's the #1 project in the five Southern California counties that will improve air quality and traffic. Working towards that, I think it'll keep our streets safer, it'll keep traffic away from our schools, our parks, and where kids play. So I think that's important.” (From Alhambra Preservation Group)

Orswell: “Supports a light rail system or bus system, but would like to see results from Environmental Impact Survey. “In the next 18 months when it comes out, if the tunnel is for passenger/cars only, and if it doesn’t cause air pollution and all that and meets the needs of Alhambra and meets the needs of Pasadena and surrounding communities, then it would be a viable solution.” 

Lin: “I would like to see the freeway pass. I think that it connects the two dots. […] The connection will release local traffic so that they [people] don’t end up bound by local streets. It will release significant congestion in the area.”

Salinas: “I have lived in Alhambra 30+ years and the alleged ‘completion of the 710’ has been used as a political pandering pitch for as long as I have been alive…I can think of a lot of other issues that should take precedence, like more funding for our local schools and finding tenants for all or our vacant store fronts, for example.”

ALHAMBRA'S MASTER BIKE PLAN

Chu: “I support residents using alternative transportations like biking, and commend the city for working to improve safety. I look forward to reviewing the plan when it comes out on November 19th, and will work with the City of Alhambra to make our community more accessible and safe for everyone…I pledge to work with the city to ensure the safety needs of pedestrians, bikers and drivers are met to the fullest extent possible.”

Lin: “I think the bike plan is really good and the bike plan somehow will encourage students to go to school so family/parents don’t have to get up and drive the kids to school and back home every day… It will cut down on a lot of pollution.” 

Orswell:“If today’s kids are looking to other sources of transportation other than automobiles, then we have to provide bike lanes, have a light rail system and more mass transit systems available, convenient and easy to use.” 

SENIOR SERVICES

Chu: “I support programs like Access Services, which provides transportation help to people with disabilities and the elderly.  We must ensure that even in these tight financial times, people with mobility challenges still have the means to get around.” 

Orswell: “What I’d like to see is a more regional operation, where you pick up an Arcadia transit and make it to Alhambra and vice versa. A senior transportation circle that is more regional instead of localized, city by city.” 

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