LocationAlhambra , CA United States
Alhambra residents will have the opportunity to give feedback on local transportation projects that will be funded by money formerly earmarked to finish the 710 interstate, as well as the possibility of turning the freeway stub into a regional park, at a forum hosted by Mayor Jeff Maloney.
Maloney said that the event, which will take place at the Alhambra Civic Center Library at 6:30 next Wednesday evening, will solicit people’s thoughts on what they want to see happen with Interstate California 710, which currently ends at Valley Boulevard. This unfinished gap in the freeway has severely impacted traffic in the city for more than 50 years.
“This will be less about me talking than listening to what folks have to say,” he said.
The meeting will include a recap of Metro’s decision not to fund a 4.5 mile tunnel that would have extended the 710 north to join Interstate 210 in Pasadena. Alhambra city leaders supported the tunnel project, which was opposed by South Pasadena and other cities that the tunnel would have run under.
Caltrans announced their decision not to move forward with the project at the end of last year. The agency instead awarded $515 million out of $780 million in Measure R funding for local traffic improvement projects, as reported in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. This includes improving Alhambra’s on and off-ramps to Interstate 10 at Garfield Avenue, Atlantic Avenue and Fremont Avenue.
Maloney also intends to discuss other transportation options including asking for money in a second round of funding to support a shuttle to the Gold Line station in South Pasadena and bike lanes in the city. “We’re trying not to be too car-centric here with the projects we’re asking for, but we’re also trying to recognize that cars are a big part of the equation,” he said.
The mayor will also tell attendees about two bills introduced in Sacramento that would take the 710 stub, which stretches about a mile from the 10 to Valley Boulevard, out of the state highway system. “A properly planned system would never allow a multi-lane highway to just dead-end into a local street like Valley Boulevard,” he said.
Maloney, who has championed several environmental issues in the past, thinks that this presents a good opportunity to do something creative with that space, like building a regional park. “It would accomplish a lot of goals on the table, expanding green space, planting trees,” he said, adding that many people he has spoken to informally expressed interest in the idea.
“I’d like to hear feedback on that and other ideas,” Maloney said, adding that a park would be a long-term project and would need extensive community buy-in. “Whatever we want to see there, we’re going to have to come together and push it.”
Check out our event calendar for more information on the 710 roundtable. The event is free and open to all.