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.