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South Pasadena Mayor Urges NELA to Oppose 710 Extension

Mike Ten asks the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council to work with the City of Los Angeles to regain its right of control over the 710 extension after 47 years.

A day after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill requiring state transportation authorities to seek South Pasadena’s approval in the long-planned extension of the 710 freeway, the city’s mayor urged Northeast L.A. neighborhoods to assert their own right to similar negotiations over one of the nation’s most contested freeway projects.

In a brief but pointed presentation before the on Tuesday night, South Pasadena Mayor Mike Ten said it’s vital for the City of Los Angeles to rescind a freeway agreement that it signed in 1964, effectively agreeing to allow either a surface or tunnel extension of the 710 through its territory.

“If Eagle Rock is very concerned about where the [710] tunnel might go, you need to get completely all your rights back,” Ten told the ERNC at its monthly board meeting held at the .

Ten said that with the signing of AB 751 into law, South Pasadena successfully lobbied to repeal a 1982 legislation that deprived the city—as well as Pasadena and Alhambra—from exercising any control over the roughly 6-mile extension of the 710 freeway from the San Bernadino (10) freeway to the Foothill Freeway (210).

In response to Ten's appeal last June, the ERNC narrowly failed to muster a vote to support the legislation now passed by Gov. Brown after Assemblymember Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) introduced it in April. At the time, the ERNC told South Pasadena’s mayor that while it opposes the 710 extension, including in the form of a tunnel that would run some four miles from Mount Washington to Glassell Park, it needs to deliberate further whether or not to offer formal support for any 710-related legislation.

In response to a question from ERNC President Michael Larsen on Tuesday night about the extent to which South Pasadena is now immune from the 710’s extension, Mayor Ten said his city is only “free to negotiate with CALTRANS—we’re not safe from anything.”

A clause in CALTRANS’ agreement with the four cities that would be affected by the 710 extension—including Alhambra and Pasadena—says “there’s no guarantee they [CALTRANS] are going to build a freeway or a tunnel where they thought it was going to be,” Ten said. “CALTRANS and the state of California are pretty good at writing things they can move around how they want.”

CALTRANS and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority are undertaking a three-year environmental impact study about the freeway’s extension. “The environmental process is going to start probably next year, so you need to get involved,” Ten told the ERNC board, adding: “And I think to fully participate in the environmental process, you want to have all these restrictions from 1964 taken away.”

Ten said he is going to make a similar appeal to the neighborhood councils of El Sereno on Wednesday and Highland Park on Thursday.

Kyle Jonathan Chang October 09, 2011 at 03:07 AM
What about all the traffic that many cities in the San Gabriel Valley suffer from everyday ? Cities such as Monterey Park, Alhambra,San Marino,San Gabriel, and Pasadena all suffer from the fact that the 710 Freeway Gap has not been closed all at the expense of South Pasadena.The 710 Freeway Extension will help take cars and trucks off surface streets such Valley Blvd,Fremont Ave,and Atlantic and relieve Traffic Congestion and improve air quality and the San Gabriel Valley Area.
Ernest Arnold October 09, 2011 at 05:34 AM
Kyle, Neither San Marino nor Alhambra would not accept a freeway up Atlantic Blvd. San Gabriel would not accept a freeway up New Ave. or San Gabriel Blvd. Montery Park could not accept a freeway up Garfield. Why should the City of South Pasadena accept a freeway through the heart of our city? Alhambra has more than doubled in size since 1960 and add big box retailers such as Home Depot to attract people to Alhambra. They do not want the 710 Freeway to relieve traffic but to assist people in coming to Alhambra to shop. Pasadena has added over 10,000 housing units in the last 10 years. How can you blame the failure to complete the 710 Freeway for traffic caused by cities development plans? Cal Trans estimates that the completion of the 710 Freeway will add over 300,000 trips per day through this corridor. The problem with you argument is that is is an old argument that just does not stand up to scrutiny.
Elijah H October 09, 2011 at 05:52 PM
Ernest, you and others have made it crystal clear that South Pasadena opposes any compromise that remotely impacts South Pasadena. However, you're asking uninvolved parties to support your position, using (in your case) unsubtle threats of retribution. In fairness, I can't support your position, not when the greater community will see a benefit.
George Lasla December 10, 2012 at 04:17 AM
So LA should not develop?, get real. Imagine what LA would be like without freeways, much poorer dysfunctional and no one could live farther than ten miles from work, Everything you see every day aside from dirt and oak trees was brought here by truck at some point, everything. Of course they are obnoxious, as are semi trucks but they are vital. Now they are proposing an underground tunnel that would effect South Pas almost zero and even that is being opposed. Shut up and let them finish the freeway, it connects to the Port of Los Angeles and will be economically perhaps the most vital transportation artery in Los Angeles.
nonoise December 10, 2012 at 03:28 PM
The tunnel would effect many communities not just south pasadena. The tunnel would be a disaster.

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