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What Are the Best Alternatives for the 710 Gap Closure?

Locals gathered Thursday night to discuss 710 gap closure options—some of which will be researched in-depth through an environmental study that Metro awarded to CH2MHill in October for $37.3 million.

Metro, in conjunction with Caltrans, kicked off its Thursday, with an interactive meeting where about 100 locals came out to obtain information and share ideas regarding closing the gap between the 210 and 710 freeways.

“I don’t want a freeway,” said longtime Mt. Washington resident, Gloria Schneider. “I think we need to get rapid transit. We need to get out of our cars. I’m very much interested in the environment.”

This meeting was the first of many in a process that Metro says will consist of collecting data, gathering public comments and evaluating all multi-modal alternatives—from advanced technology to street improvements, among others.

The most viable options will then be researched in-depth through an environmental study The study is expected to be completed in the fall of 2014.

“We want to start fresh. ... I know we have heard about the goods movement wherever it may be, but ultimately it comes down to the impacts of the congestion and the impacts of the neighborhood,” Metro’s Executive Officer Frank Quon told Patch Thursday night.

South Pas resident remains skeptical, and says he would like to see traffic origin destination studies, to prove where there is a problem to be fixed.

“The reality is they want to build this to move containers from the ports, and that’s intuitively obvious. … I’m not convinced freeways are the answer. What I think is we need is to have a robust rail system to move these containers,” he said wearing a no-710 baseball cap.

But Quon insists there is a traffic problem throughout the region that “affects everybody’s daily lives. It affects every person in L.A. County,” he said, pointing to Measure R as proof.

In November 2008, Measure R was approved by two-thirds majority, committing a projected $40 billion to traffic relief and transportation upgrades throughout the county over the next 30 years.

“This area was identified as an area that needed attention,” he said of that traffic relief. 

William Schenewerk, who has lived in Highland Park since 1984, is in favor of a 710 extension whether it be a surface route or tunnel through South Pasadena.

“If the 210, 710 connection is built, instead of the trucks being on the 5 and us breathing dirty air from the trucks, the trucks will be down wind and we won’t be breathing the dirty air,” he said.

“[The air in South Pasadena] may actually get cleaner too because the trucks will be going at full throttle …,” he continued.

As for how any gap closure project(s) would be funded, Quon said $780 million of the Measure S funds have been allocated.

“I think we all recognize that the project is probably going to cost more—whatever the alternatives are. We will then recognize if we need to seek additional funding … and there are various options that we can seek,” he said.

Want to join in the conversation? The next (or join the live broadcast HERE.The Alternative Analysis process is slated to end in Fall of 2014.

Patch Asks: Where do you stand on the 710 Gap Closure? What alternatives would you like to see evaluated in the environmental study?

John Rizzi May 30, 2012 at 10:41 PM
I agree with you.. thats why the idea of just running the road to the boarders of South Pasadena using the rout that bought up all those homes some 50 years ago makes sense! No more home maintenance or bureaucrats to manage them. South Pasadena doesnt want a freeway.. fine. but they get the cars on their streets instead! Oh, we wont be in this budget crisis for ever... We just need to quit wasting money in court with frivolous lawsuits... like the city of SP has done for the past 50 years.
Joshua Johnson May 30, 2012 at 11:38 PM
It's pretty obvious the effects on La Canada, the 210 stub that ends in Pasadena heads directly up through La Canada. They would get all the increased shipping traffic if it goes through. That would increase the particulate counts in their air quality. It would also effect Glendale because part of Glendale exists on the other side of the mountain right by the 210 freeway - which would also be effected by increased traffic on the 210. I see no point to the 710, the freeway would end up just like the 405 and the 5 - clogged to all heck every rushour.
Joshua Johnson May 30, 2012 at 11:45 PM
@Richard Christy: considering there are no viable train routes from LBH up through Los Angeles: going from zero rail routes to an infinite number of them is a seriously rediculous comparison to a rational placement of one or 2 routes that trucks can pick up from and distribute to a wider area. As it is, they all go to one place then fan out across the southland ruining most of the freeways with their heavy loads buckling the lanes they regularly traffic in. Reduce the freeway maintanence costs, cut down congestion, reduce air pollution - all probable effects from a sensable rail system that doesn't need to be gargantuan for the benifits to be seen.
John Rizzi May 31, 2012 at 12:16 AM
So you appear to be good with the idea that getting to the East side of Los Angeles means driving over to Glendale the 2 to the 5 south to the 10 to the 710 or to Duarte the 605 to the 10 to the 710... so back to my point, build the road to the boarder of South Pasadena on either side. it will knock 20 minutes off the drive through Alhambra and Pasadena remove some of the pollution on The streets of Alhambra and most of the congestion. I am so glad we are coming to a meeting of the minds here! ;-)

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