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The 710 Freeway gap: a "self-inflicted Carmageddon"?

The completion of the 710 Freeway, which has been under discussion for 50 years, is a “regional need”, transportation expert James E. Moore II argues in an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times.  A 4.5 mile gap remains from the freeway stops in Alhambra and where it begins again at the intersection of the 134 and 210 freeways. Complaints, particulary from South Pasadena and Pasadena residents who do not want it passing through their cities, has stalled completion for decades. But Moore believes this has been misguided, writing “fifty years of talk is enough. It’s time to dig.”

Moore argues that as a result of the gap "we face a self-inflicted “Carmageddon” every day; one which passes through Alhambra. About 218,000 daily trips by vehicles are diverted or postponed by the gap in the 710 — close to half the number of trips that were recently affected due to the 405 Freeway closure. Moreover, he writes, it's the county's most significant pending public works project: the Southern California Association and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) produced studies that indicate that the completion of the 710 freeway would lead to less pollution and congestion than any other proposed local highway project.

Moore offers five measures needed to close the 710-freeway gap: 1) dismiss Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation from the project since the freeway is a state route. 2) Speed up the environmental review of the project. 3) Focus on the larger picture and political drive to proceed. 4) Form a joint powers authority that includes cities in the immediate area of the planned route in order to start the oversight process.  In addition, complete the roster of agencies involved in this project including, Caltrans, MTA, and SCAG.  5) Be open to the toll option, which would allow for a public-private partnership to design, construct and operate the tunnel.

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1 thought on “The 710 Freeway gap: a "self-inflicted Carmageddon"?”

  1. Thank you for highlighting this op-ed piece by Moore.  South Pasadena continues to adhere to its NIMBYist viewpoint to the detriment to the wider region.  Lobbying, lawyers, and legal maneuvers – all the while Alhambra is stifled in congestion and pollution, and the risks they bring such as increased traffic accidents and increased asthma among children.  At one time early in his term, Mike Eng had it right.  Shortly after being elected to the Assembly, his view was that it's not just a matter of quality of life, it's a matter of life or death – people are actually dying as a result of this.

    But maybe South Pasadena got a bit too wily for it's own good.  Just recently the South Pasadena city council decided to reverse it's previous resolution that stated its opposition to any 710 extension.  Why?  Because by saying they unconditionally oppose any extension of the 710, they unwittingly locked themselves out of any negotiating position with the State.  That is, their resolution put in writing their unreasonableness.  Sort of like writing them off as the crazy aunt in the attic.  Rescinding this resolution should be taken for what it is:  another attempt to obstruct the process.

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