With approximately 400 people filling the Pasadena City Council meeting chambers to overflow capacity on Monday evening, the board voted to formally state their opposition three proposed State Route 710 extension projects that would be built through or below the communities of Garvanza and San Rafael.
Members of community organizations--including the Garvanza Improvement Association and the San Rafael Neighborhood Association--rallied extensively in the days leading up the to the city council meeting to ensure a large turnout.
The result was a chorus of voices speaking out against Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (Metro) proposed expansions of the 710 Freeway, which would extend it beyond its northern terminus in Alhambra to either the SR-210 or the Ventura Freeway in Pasadena.
The Pasadena City Council's opposition to the 710 Freeway extension project was limited to three proposals; Alternative H-2, an arterial road along the current Avenue 64; Alternative H-6, a highway along Huntington Drive/Fair Oaks/Pasadena Avenue connecting the I-10 to I-210 and Alternative F-5, a freeway tunnel connecting I-10 to SR-134.
Throughout the night, [Metro's 710 Project Manager Michelle] Smith was yelled at and shouted down by audience members frustrated with the process and an hour-long glitch brought on by technical difficulties.
Metro representatives could scarcely get through a sentence or a PowerPoint slide without a reaction from the crowd, from boos to cheers to shouts of discontent.
"We're taking a fresh look at it. The transportation landscape has changed. The transportation attitudes have changed. And this particular study is a comprehensive, multimodal look at all of the transportation modes and perhaps some hybrid alternatives," said Michelle Smith with Metro.
The concerns expressed by community members on Monday echo those from a Monday, , where 710 opponents criticized Metro for their lack of outreach, and described the project as a thinly veiled attempt to accelerate freight traffic from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
On Tuesday, the No 710 on Avenue 64 action committee had already planned their next tactic to express opposition to the freeway extension.
"We are forming a flash-mob phone call to the office of Mike Antonovich (Chair of the MTA Board) between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. this afternoon," posted Tina Gulotta-Miller on the No 710 on Avenue 64 Facebook page. "Call their office at (213) 974-5555."