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Huizar Introduces 710 Resolution

Huizar's motion calls for the City Council to oppose all of Metro's currently proposed freeway and highway routes, save for one, F-7, which is a tunnel that would be built beneath the city of South Pasadena.

At a contentious community forumon Monday, August 6,  residents of Highland Park demanded to know where Councilmember José Huizar stood on the proposed extension of State Route 710 through their community.

Nate Hayward, a field deputy who spoke on Huizar's behalf at the meeting, said the Councilmember was opposed to any surface route option. However, he said Huizar was still waiting to take a public stance on the proposed tunnels.

On Friday, August 17, SR-710 opponents got a clearer picture of where Huizar stood on the issue, as the Councilmember introduced a resolution that calls on the City Council to oppose five of Metro's proposed extensions routes.

"Of Metro’s 12 remaining options, the Freeway and Highway alternatives would have detrimental impacts on the communities they would go through. Therefore, I categorically oppose the following routes: H-2, H-6, F-2, F-5, and F-6," Huizar wrote in an e-mail to constituents.

The motion calls also on the City Council to oppose any above ground routes.

Metro and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) are currently undergoing their latest attempt to attain a valid Environmental Impact Report for their plans to extend Interstate-710 beyond its northern terminus in Alhambra and connect it to the SR-210 in Pasadena.

The study has been narrowed down to 12 options, which in addition to rail and bus options, include several freeway and highway routes that would potentially be built through or below the communities of Garvanza, Mount Washington, Glassell Park, El Sereno, South Pasadena and Pasadena.

Huizar's motion calls for the City Council to oppose all of Metro's currently proposed freeway and highway routes, save for one, F-7, which is a tunnel that would be built beneath the city of South Pasadena.

"These routes would not link communities, they would destroy them," Huizar added in the letter.

Chris Smith, the President of the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council and a member of the No 710 on Avenue 64 group, said he believed that Huizar's motion was a "good start," but that he hoped the resolution would eventually include language opposing all underground routes as well.

Several phone calls to Huizar's office were not returned regarding the resolution.

Rob Schraff August 20, 2012 at 11:48 PM
What a bold , courageous decision by councilman Huizar on behalf of the citizens of South Pasadena. Too bad about all the people living by the Northbound 5 and Eastbound 60 and 10. In Los Angeles.
Tom Williams August 21, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Sorry Rob, although we would like to have him back in SoPas he belongs to us, CD14, City of Los Angeles. But remember he is also on the MTA Board but has done nothing to get MTA, CalTrans, LADoT and the Stakeholders Oversight Advsory Committee representative to comply and support the City of LA Resolution of 2009 which supported ONLY the Zone3/F7 alternative within the City of LA, their/our jurisdiction. ElSereno (part of CD14) opposes even that and has a position that a new concept can solve many traffic problems but requirees a lot of teeth but could benefit LACity and western SanGabriel jobs, small-med contractors and the real people of the "710 Corridor". Huizar is only repeating 2009 using the few teeth he has courage to use...and where is the Boss-AV???
Rob Schraff August 21, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Tom, if you understood irony or humor, you might get closer to my message. Here it is, in simplest terms. 1) LA Port traffic is the biggest component of the LA economy. 2) It goes somewhere. 3) Right now, something like half of it goes through my neighborhood. 4) South Pasadena kids enjoy better air quality than my kids, and kids in Boyle Heights, and a bunch of other places, in L. A. 5) Huizar is doing a better job of representing South Pasadena than L.A. See?
Stella Meridian August 21, 2012 at 01:35 AM
This is a good first step, but we don't want ANY tunnel built under this region. Saying you're for it in South Pas but not in LA is classic NIMBYism. No new highway building!
Rob Schraff August 21, 2012 at 01:44 AM
It's the 5-is-in-my-backayard-already-ism. On the other hand, South Pas gets all the benefits of the L.A. economy and doesn't want to bear any of the burden. Now THAT's NIMByism. Bottom Line? South Pas has been running this "environmental" game for decades now - at the expense of communities that actually suffer real health and traffic implications.
Charlotte August 21, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Enough already! We are surrounded by freeways in NELA and South Pas. Do we need a freeway UNDER us, as well?? This tunnel will increase congestion, dumping trucks onto the 210 and the 134. Who that lives around here would want that? Solve the freight issue with rail, a much more forward thinking solution.
frank van neutra lautner August 21, 2012 at 05:43 AM
The solution isn't more highways or freeways, it's freight rail lines.
nonoise August 21, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Freight rail lines (train) are not the answer either. That would mean more trains going through the poorest neighbors like Cypress Park and through Taylor Yard. What we have now seems to work fine, a combination of Big Rig trucks and train to haul freight. No 710 extension, no tunnels, no bullet train.
elozano August 21, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Agreed. The SR 710 extension beast needs to be killed now. The Gold Line could be extended to the borders of L.A. County with the kind of money Metro is dedicating to just study options. We need transportation solutions that moves away from the automobile/trucks. Let's not throw anyone under the bus here - Northeast Los Angeles or South Pasadena.
Bob Reid August 21, 2012 at 02:23 PM
No freeway, no tunnel, no further waste of limited public funds. That's it, enough Caltrans.
Rob Schraff August 21, 2012 at 03:05 PM
The solution is already rail - right up the Alameda Corridor to one of the biggest multimodal freight yards in the world at the 710 and 5. So then where does it go? (Remembering the trains have to be unloaded somewhere.) Also interesting that there are no rights of way for freight trains in South Pas, and trains also make plenty of noise and pollution which, again, South Pas residents won't have to deal with. Easy to say "trains," harder to see how it would actually work, particularly given that the port and billions more in other infrastructure is already there. Of course, this controversy has also been simmering for more than thirty years, so this is likely just another grandstanding political move as the can gets kicked down the road once more.
Rebel with a Cause August 21, 2012 at 03:43 PM
It all comes down to these elected officials who are in the loop making these decisions for the community. I think I can speak for all those who oppose this issue. If this project goes thru, next election day, we will vote you out of office!
krd August 21, 2012 at 05:14 PM
When I have 3 freeway options for my work commute, I'd say we have PLENTY of freeways in NELA. PLENTY. How about fixing up the West side jam? Oh those rich bastards over there can buy off anyone interesting in putting a freeway. Must be nice.
Marino August 21, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Finally Huizar took a position I can agree with. The 710/210 is a freeway 97% built. It needs to be completed. On the other hand bulldozing a wonderful community to build a freeway over it is unconscionable. The tunnel solution through the shortest route solves both problems. Completes the freeway and leaves the community above ground mostly intact. Start digging already.
Peter Bedard August 21, 2012 at 09:03 PM
20th Century Thinking: Freeways. 21st Century Thinking: Rail Besides the freight issue, Caltrans is working with the supposition that freeways (in this case it's a Tollway costing between $5 and $10 each way) reduce congestion. In fact, the opposite is coming true. With the finishing of the 210 Freeway came unbelievable congestion. A once easy to navigate freeway has turned into a parking lot and brought congestion all the way down the 134 to Bob Hope Drive and all the way East to Irwindale and Glendora. Build a environmentally sound "green" rail line and you get hardly any pollution, a dedicate route to move freight on, and by Metro's own data 90,000truck trips a day off the roads. Now that, relieves congestion. False supposition - Roads and freeways are more valuable then communities and neighborhoods. False Supposition - Roads and freeways are more valuable then the environment and air quality. False Supposition - Freeways are of progress and of the future. The younger generation values open space, air quality, and community way more then the speed of getting around. They're looking to live in apartments and communities rather then suburbs. They ride bikes and walk and are actively choosing these methods of transportation over cars. the choose family over long hours driving and at work. This freeway is not about making LA a better place. It's not about relieving congestion. It's about bringing Chinese goods from the Ports of LA and Long Beach inland.
Sam Burgess August 22, 2012 at 07:31 PM
The cloud of the 710 extension has hovered across the skys of the L.A. region for many a year. There are more than a few legitimate, rationale & logical reasons to object and to deny the extension in any form and in any direction. Many of these arguments are well stated in comments above. There is one, however, that needs to be brought out in the open: This entire argument is not about 20th centuiry ideas vs. 21st century ideas; it is not about the many environmental issues; nor is it about the quality of life of all those throughout the region who would be so negatively affected. Although all of these should be discussed and Metro, Cal-Trans & Huizar should be made to clearly explain why they give but slight acknowledgment to these arguments. No, this is about politics, hard core politics--and it always has been. EVERY elected representative of El Sereno and N.E, L.A. has, since first proposed, been in strong support of this montrosity. This issue is about the ports and it is about money--$$$. Follow the money and you will find those who support the freeway. Jose Huizar is just another in a long list of representatives who would sell out his community for the political power and money his 710 decision will give him. I have long argued that this issue is a regional issue & not a local one. I have also long argued that the community of El Sereno as we now know it will cease to exist if the 710 is built in any form or in any direction.
Marino August 22, 2012 at 08:20 PM
We need a freeway that goes around downtown not through the center of it like the 110, the 101 and the 5 do. That's elementary transportation planning. It was planned, it was 97% built. It needs to be finished and the straight tunnel solution is the least destructive. It's the last piece of freeway we need to finish in LA. No other freeway related project deserves funding compared to this. No sound walls, no freeway widenings, nothing. The career NIMBYists who oppose it are the same people who oppose any public work project in their back yard including mass transit. They talk about alternative transportation and they drive their cars to the 710 meetings. Usually I'm the only one who gets there by bicycle. And yes it shouldn't be a political issue. It's a technical issue. People who are trained in urban planning, transportation planning, geology and engineering should be designing it instead of letting every Dick & Harry including myself comment on where and how to build a tunnel. Good thing we didn't make the Mars expedition design their mission based on public comment. What a waste...
Marino August 22, 2012 at 08:26 PM
And in case my last comment sounded undemocratic... Put it on an LA Countywide ballot and see how many support/oppose finishing the 710/210 freeway.
SIMON August 22, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Why is it that Huizar cares more about south pasadena than his own district. Huizar shut down emergency resources in his area and is ignoring the fact that there has been a serious delay in fire and ambulance service due to hussars decision. Huizar pleases Mayor Villaraigoza and now wants to please south Pasadena, How about if Huizar stops pleasing other people and begins to care for his community
Marino August 22, 2012 at 09:13 PM
I don't like Huizar but how's he pleasing South Pasadena by supporting a tunnel under them that they oppose?
Rob Schraff August 22, 2012 at 10:20 PM
The tunnel in the only option Huizar is supporting - above ground on the same alignment would be off the table if his resolution is passed, and had any authority.(Which it wouldn't.) Above ground would be WAY cheaper (and, again additional tunnel costs borne by the region, not South Pas, which would get the ostensible benefits). South Pas begged for a super-expensive tunnel for decades, and now that they might get, they're making the same sort of environmental complaints against the tunnel that they made against above-ground.
Marino August 23, 2012 at 12:43 AM
I agree that South Pasadena supported a tunnel option until CalTrans actually considered it. Then they turned against it which in my opinion is stupid. An above ground option would destroy hundreds of historical homes and a beautiful community and I and many others have always opposed it. Huizar is supporting the under Pasadena tunnel because: #1 it's the only realistic option (the options to tunnel to the 605 or the 2 etc was some bizarre PR attempt to "consider all options" that blew up in CalTrans face by freaking out and uniting NIMBYists across the region) #2 It would benefit us, his constituents of downtown and NELA by diverting non local traffic to where it belongs. #3 He gets to collect millions in contributions from labor and big time contractors who will build the darn thing.
Rob Schraff August 23, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Very cogent. I think you are pretty much right on. I might quibble with the order, and note that lots of (ahem, non-white) neighborhoods with histories have been destroyed by freeways, including Huizar's "native" Boyle Heights. Which I suppose cuts both ways now that he reps El Sereno.
Moira Clegg August 24, 2012 at 03:51 PM
frank van neutra lautner is right. Freight rail lines are the only way to deal with the huge volume of freight coming through the Port. Certainly the old-established residential neighborhoods of L.A. should not be asked to let more trucks through. South Pasadena is right. (I am a resident of Highland Park).
Marino August 27, 2012 at 11:16 PM
We gave credit to Huizar too soon. He turned around to support the DO NOTHING proposal. http://highlandpark-ca.patch.com/articles/huizar-motion-opposing-all-710-routes-passed-by-committee-heads-to-council

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