To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Another Call to Action!! from Sylvia Plummer ~

I am asking everyone to post a comment to Yes 710 - Syd Mead of Pasadena.

New Comments Below:

 Abira Ali at 9:35 PM September 2, 2012
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I live in Highland Park, I work in North West Pasadena, this is a nice place to live and we don’t need a tunnel or a Freeway. I shop and hang out in South Pasadena. South Pasadena is a rare gem of a city and this tunnel would decimate it, what are these planners thinking? If you want to learn how to design a neighborhood go and study South Pasadena, don't run an 8 lane tunnel through it!
The 710 tunnel or freeway would be a historic mistake and misuse of funding. To create and build a functional livable future, for our children, the NO BUILD option for the SR710 is the only answer. We can improve our public transportation with the funding from measure R. We can work for more livable neighborhoods that require less driving and more walking.

Stop710 at 7:33 PM September 2, 2012 Re-posting link:
    Stop710 at 6:41 PM September 2, 2012
    The State of California requires compliance with AB 32, which means mandatory reduction of greenhouse gasses in the state. To meet this standard, it is absolutely necessary to cut transportation and cargo emissions, the largest single source of carbon exhaust in the state via the Ports. This makes rail almost mandatory, because trucks use three times the amount of fuel that rail does. Combine that with the fact that trains carry 4.5 times the volume of cargo per unit than trucks, you see that it's on the order of 13 times more GHG emissions to truck cargo rather than use rail.
    http://www.csx.com/index.cfm/about-csx/projects-and-partnerships/fuel-efficiency/L. Barlow
    rtdbum at 6:34 PM September 2, 2012 I don't think people in Alhambra support the expansion of 710 because they want a quicker access to our beautiful Old Town for a nice tour.  I think they want to dump what they don't want to our city instead.  I don't understand why Mr. Mead think this is a good idea.  
    havuk88 at 4:38 PM September 2, 2012 Claiming the 710 Tunnel is the only sensible solution to alleviate frieght traffic seems disingenuous when offered by futurist. Any futurist worth his salt would know that the possible solutions for any problem are endless. Why then, are we considering old, extremely costly solutions when we could set the standard with new, environmentally sound, forward-thinking solutions that represent the 21st Century?
    Why does the only sensible solution involve destroying historic homes, tree lined streets, a newly restored OLd Town, and an unprecentented influx of deisel traffic into a peaceful community? This, Mr. Mead is not sensible, it is senseless.
    Trusting a corrupt government agency, to manage millions of dollars to build an 8 lane freight carrying freeway through one of the last remaining historical neighborhoods in our state, is sensless. If maintaining our past is part of creating a successful future, then we are failing miserably.
    The best that Pasadena can do now, is to come together and protect our last remaining resources, before yet another "vitally necessary" Cal Trans or Metro problem be layed at our feet.
    We need to take a strong and clear NO BUILD, NO 710 position before it is too late.
    KimMad at 3:52 PM September 2, 2012 I find it ironinc that the visionary artist who created the dark and depressing 2019 LA of Blade Runner in an advocate for creating such a future in our own neighborhood.  There is nothing sensible about a tunnel to join outdated freeways to more outdated freeways. It is clear that upgrading the heavy rail lines  and continuing the progress along the Alameda corridor is far more feasible at this point. Rail terminals outside of Long Beach should be stages in Santa Clarita so that trucks can then service the Northwest Los Angeles Basin.   A terminal in the eastern area between Rancho Cucamonga and San Bernardino would serve the East and the already existing freeways would continue to serve downtown La and the central city areas.  This type of planning or similar plans are cleaner choice for a city that is considered the most polluted city in the United States as well as safer, less expensive and far less destructive to existing communities.  It is very worth while to look at the NATIONAL GATEWAY plan for the East coast.  When completed this plan replaces truck traffic with clean trains that reduces road repairs by 3 billion per year.  Light rail as well as bus lines must be vastly improved.  These are sensible solutions.Cal Trans should look towards the clear utopian cities that Syd has also painted instead of the lung-choking Blade Runner Los Angeles.
    amylola92 at 3:31 PM September 2, 2012 The ONLY sensible option is the no-build option.  Other commentors have listed the myriad of reasons why the tunnel should not be built.  I don't need to repeat them.  But they are all excellent reasons for NOT building a tunnel.
    janrik91105 at 3:16 PM September 2, 2012 Mr. Mead, no disrespect but are you another paid lobbyist? I can't think of another reason why you'd support the destruction of our city.
    How can you think that having thousands of big rigs emerging into old town Pasadena would be a good thing?
    How can you think that stacks spewing cancer causing diesel exhaust into your air 24/7 would be good for you, your children or grandchildren?
    Do you really think that investing billions of taxpayer dollars into a project that will only benefit private millionaire investors is our money well spent? The projected tolls of $10 a trip for cars would only benefit the investors, no one but the big rigs will be using the tunnel.
    Don't you enjoy living in Pasadena where it is so easy to get around? Oh, unless you want to use the 210 which is a nightmare after 1:30 p.m. but it would be infinitely worse if the 710 extension is built.
    No, the real solution to moving Chinese goods along is on rail. The rail alternatives reduce our dependence on foreign oil, reduce wear and tear and cost of upkeep of our existing roadways, move goods faster and cheaper, have less negative impact on the air and noise pollution, cost far less to build, and would make the roads safer for us by reducing the number of hazardous big rigs on it.
    All affected neighborhoods will stand united against antiquated "solutions" and support 21st century alternatives.
    GK1111 at 3:03 PM September 2, 2012 There is nothing sensible about the tunnel. The economics make zero sense.  The environmental, air quality, historic preservation, environmental justice (El Sereno) and safety costs are sky high.  There has not been a full cost accounting given to communities of Pasadena, South Pasadena and El Sereno who are being asked to pay. Nor are most residents to the east of Pasadena and El Sereno (Alhambra listen up) aware that they will be directly in the path of 2 ventilation shafts that will release all of emissions from the 4.5 mile tunnel.  Traffic from the port is expected to increase 2/3rds with the Panama Canal's expansion so the air quality issues these communities face now are only going to worsen in severity.
    The toll tunnel will cost anywhere from $5-$15 one-way depending on vehicle type (car, truck, peak, non-peak).  Seattle's own "Big Dig West" has shown that people won't pay more than $4 one-way to drive in a tunnel. They willl continue to use surface streets.  Economics dictate usage.  The projected tunnel costs of $5- $14 billion vary wildy. Keeping the tolls under $4 will be impossible.  There are California toll roads that sit empty for this very reason. The private investors and contractors made their money. The taxpayers were left holding the bag for an empty road that no one uses.  This tunnel will have the same fate, only this time the costs will be even higher.
    johnrdale at 2:52 PM September 2, 2012 There are many ways to spend $4.5 Billion and almost any other alternative is far more cost effective than a freeway tunnel that will funnel even more traffic onto the overburdened #134 / 210 corridor. Substantial funds could be diverted to improving the highly successful Gold Line to make it safer, more efficient and less disruptive to all that surface traffic in and around Pasadena, South Pasadena and Highland Park. A few hundred million dollars cut out of the Gold Line led to many compromises in the past but the system is still basically sound and effective and should be enhanced. There are many better and cheaper ways of reducing traffic congestion if the MTA was to take those options seriously instead of manipulating the public outreach process to lead to their preferred freeway solution. Some of the greatest western cities of the world abandoned the notion of freeways decades ago and they still seem to be thriving. A notable example is Toronto, that stopped their inner city freeway project in the 1970's and have been successfully expanding their subway and streetcar and light rail lines ever since. Let's move from the 20th century to the 21st now! If you are the Syd Mead I know about, you are supposed to be a FUTURIST!
    John Dale, FAIA

     Paula Shatsky at 2:48 PM September 2, 2012
    The tunnel is a fiscal, environmental, logistical, geological, sociological, anthropological disaster. have I left out any o g I c a l s?
    The only reason this is being shoved down our throats is "the pact with the devil" ( so to speak) we have made with international interests who want to buy us off by infusing money into the California economy. The city of Pasadena will be forever divided and destroyed by this behemoth. People will die inside the tunnel without adequate fire rescue. The city is already sorely lacking in this area. Wait until we have a really big disaster like a large quake and see what I mean.
    Vote no on J. Fight the 710 with every fiber of your being as many of us have already committed to doing.
    • R 
    rickrise at 2:40 PM September 2, 2012 There are plenty of alternative solutions to the tunnel, including many that add no rdoad traffic--as shown by Metro's own mentio of a "multi-modal" solution.
    Cargo can be carried, faster, more cleanly, and cheaper with an electric rail solution in much smaller tunnels such as GRID ( http://gridlogisticsinc.com ), and expansions of light rail networks can make freeways obsolete and free people from being their own unpaid chauffeurs in the multi-billion-dollar subsidzed land grabs we have been pounding our communities with for seventy years.
Another Call to Action!! from Sylvia Plummer ~

I am asking everyone to post a comment to Yes 710 - Syd Mead of Pasadena.

As my friend Freddie says:  We must hammer the Pro 710ers and expose them if we can, as lobbyists, contractors, and people who would profit from the building of the 710.  I don't believe one person in their "coalition" is "just" a resident.  Some of us should talk about environment, some talk about the cost (past, present & future), some question exactly who is Nat  Read & his so-called coalition, etc.

We need to start posting comments on very single article, letter, when that is available to us.  

Let's add to the two comments that are currently there from Stan Clark and Carla Riggs.

Letter to the Editor (Mailbag):  The tunnel is the only sensible solution

No On Measure J


Posted by Daryl Hons

I'll start by saying that I'm 100% behind mass...
Daryl Hons1:20pm Sep 2
I'll start by saying that I'm 100% behind mass transit. I used light rail to get to work in another city and it's great. I'm also a resident within the San Gabriel Valley town of Monrovia. However, I am voting no on Measure J and urge Los Angeles County voters, especially Gabrielenos, to do likewise.

Tony V. ran for mayor largely on the basis that he wanted to be the "transit" mayor. Los Angeles needed mass transit, was too spread out and dependent on cars, and lacked the dense concentration of urban amenities characteristic of other cities (think New York, Chicago, San Francisco) he said. Building mass transit would alleviate traffic congestion and stimulate transit-oriented development (TOD) along its routes, thereby transforming Los Angeles into a more lively and efficient place to live and work.

So far, so good.

The only problem is that this type of commitment takes money...lots of it. Consequently, he and other politicoes on the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board (MTA), as well as West Side people like Mike Feuer, developed the sales tax initiative, Measure R, that would raise county sales taxes by 1/2%. The money generated by this tax would be allocated to mass transit and other transporation projects in Los Angeles County. The campaign positioned Measure R as a solution to REGIONAL transportation problems and was successfully adopted by the narrowest of margins as stipulated by law.

Let's look at the list of mass transit rail projects that are on the priorities list of the MTA. These projects are the ones that are in the planning stages and are the ones that will receive the benefit of Measure R (or Measure J) money. They include the "Subway to the Sea," second phase extension of the Expo Line, Cresnshaw Line, downtown rail connector, Green Line extension to LAX. There's a pattern here. All these projects are within the city of Los Angeles. Don't see the second phase extension of the Gold Line in this list. As a matter of fact, the MTA has recently said that the soonest that it will even consider this extension will be in the neighborhood of 2039!

Now, Tony V. wants Measure J approved to extend the 1/2-cent sales tax for another 30 years so that he can go to the federal government and borrow money against projected future tax receipts to get these priority projects built now rather than later. Where is regional interest in all of this? He wants rail in LA and comes to county voters to pay for it. Yes, I know what the traffic is like, especially on the West Side. But I also think that a truly regional fix to transit is in the planning and implementation of a system that benefits residents countywide, especially if county taxpayers are footing the bill. The Gold Line has nothing to apologize for as its average daily ridership is 47,000 and is a testament to the success that mass transit has in outlying areas. Yet, the building of this route has been like pulling teeth...the original Gold Line plan was that the route be an extension of the Blue Line. If this original plan had been implemented, there would be no need for the "downtown connector" that's on the drawing board now.

The first phase extension of the Gold Line is currently being built with Measure R funds but now there are allegations that a deal was made to get this approved by the MTA. I don't know the truth behind these allegations, but I do know that Antonovich, who heads the MTA board, is cooking a scheme that will allow money generated by Measure R and allocated for highway projects within the San Gabriel Valley to be diverted for the second phase extension of the Gold Line. One of the problems here is that this initiative will only ALLOW the funds to be legally diverted. The actual transfer and implementation of these funds must be subsequently APPROVED by the MTA board, a body where many of the votes are from Los Angeles interests. And to make matters worse, the San Gabriel Valley Council of Goverments has endorsed this plan. It stands to reason that such a plan will only invite further political machinations and opportunities for deal making.

As taxpayers and users of public transit, don't we deserve better than this?

Proponents of rail projects in Los Angeles like to talk about how everyone will benefit from using the planned lines. But how efficient will these trains be if people have to drive or take a bus for miles in order to get to a station? This is just a continuation of dysfunction within the region and discounts the needs of county residents outside the corporate city limits of Los Angeles, many of whom rely on public transit not just to go to Los Angeles but to places like Pasadena, another major area of local employment.

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Cities send elected reps, not planners, to 710 Freeway extension advisory committee




From Carla Riggs


After attending last weeks TAC meeting I found out that Metro's representatives are not interested in anyone's suggestions, including planners.  They are wearing blinders and unable to answer questions that matter.  The elected representatives did an outstanding job representing their cities. - Sylvia
August 02, 2012|By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com
La Cañada Flintridge has become one of several cities to put elected officials on an advisory committee set up to study alternatives closing the so-called Long Beach (710) Freeway gap, flouting a request to send planning commissioners instead.The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Agency had requested member cities appoint planning officials to the Stakeholder Outreach Advisory Committee to provide more depth of talent and expertise, but city councils have instead sent members of their own, who they say will better represent the political views of their constituencies on such a controversial project.

“Not that a planning commissioner isn't perfectly capable, but the council has been so involved in this issue that we were adamant that one of us would be there and could speak to our position,” said La Cañada City Councilwoman Laura Olhasso, who attended the July 20 advisory committee meeting on her city’s behalf.

 The city has long opposed a freeway or tunnel connecting the 710 Freeway to the Foothill (210) Freeway, one of the alternatives being studied by the MTA and California Department of Transportation. Officials and residents in La Cañada, together with those in other cities like Glendale and South Pasadena, are concerned that an increase in truck traffic will generate too much noise, pollution and pressure on local streets and neighborhoods surrounding the 210 Freeway.

Olhasso said she was joined at the meeting by the mayor of Sierra Madre and a councilman from Temple City.

“At the meeting I attended there was no comment, so I assume [MTA has] come to accept it,” Olhasso said. “So I think we set a precedent, and others followed suit.”
Lynda Bybee, an MTA spokeswoman, said the request that cities send planning commissioners was simply an attempt at building the knowledge base in the outreach committee, and that having elected officials participate hasn't presented any problems.

“It wasn't anything too mysterious. We thought planning commissioners who are familiar with land-use issues would be particularly well-suited to the discussions,” she said. “We welcomed [elected officials] to the committee.... It's functioning just fine.”

The tunnel is the only sensible solution

 Pasadena Sun, August 31, 2012 


Re: “Retention of tunnel option disappoints,” Aug. 26. The “disappointed” are those who choose to ignore the fact that there is an existent four-level interchange that already constitutes a considerable piece of valuable urban real estate that serves zero taxable income to the city of Pasadena and is a daily reminder of the continuation of the 40-year obstructive efforts preventing the connection of the 71O to the 21O and 134 freeways.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority knows that the only sensible solution to closing the 4.5-mile gap is to use advanced tunneling technology already proven over the last 15 years as tunneling proceeded under the city of Los Angeles.

Tunneling technology is a mature technique demonstrated by projects around the globe that materially exceed the relative short 4.5-mile tunnel project. The 71O extension is not in the elite neighborhood of La Cañada Flintridge. The 21O already swoops through that upscale city.

It is time to realize that a tunnel is the only, singular, solution to the 71O extension. When implemented, it should be clear that there will be no off-ramps in South Pasadena to irritate those good folks’ precious solidarity. To access the extension they would, like now, have to wend their way south or north, using the jammed surface Fremont corridor, to the points where the tunnel would blend into existing surface routes. I lend my admiration and enthusiastic kudos to Nat Read of the 71O Coalition, who affirms that a tunnel is the only logical option.

Syd Mead


 Carlita9 at 12:49 PM September 02, 201

Nat Read is a paid consultant to push the 710 connector route through to the 210. Mr. Read has been in this paid position for decades, and has benefitted nicely from taxpayer's money.

We don't need a Pasadena Big Dig in our city, with it's financial boondogle, nor do we need more cars, trucks and their pollution. You are quite cavalier in your comments, and show your lack of information regarding this entire disaster.
CalTras has estimated the 34,000 trucks now using the 710 will increase to 90,000 trucks by the year 2035.  The city is saying 'No Thanks!' in everyone's back  yard.
NoFWYNotunnel at 9:51 PM September 01, 2012
 Dear Mr. Mead, First, residents that do not support a massive polluting tunnel, or otherwise, are not obstructive - they are protective! Protective of their homes, their air, their quality of life as they know it now. Second, in the tunnels in Los Angeles for lite rail, I do not see 20,000+ semi trucks carrying goods going through them. Nor are there 100,000+ cars in them. Third, this is not about traffic mitigation. Fourth, rich, poor, or in between neighborhoods make no difference - none of them want it! For the two cities that claim they do, well then, let them build the burden in or under their cities and pay the ultimate $15 billion cost. Fifth, a 4+ mile tunnel 100-300 ft under ground in not a short tunnel. Just imagine a big rig accident in the middle of it. Who wants to be in that tunnel then? Sure, put chimney stacks emitting poison into the air right next to the only trauma hospital in the valley. That's the only sensible solution? The communities at risk don't agree.
No Sir, the time now is to give up on old 20th century solutions to 21st century issues. RAIL, with traffic managment systems are the answer. South Pasadena is not alone. Solidarity is alive and building, not waning!
Stan Clark,
Pasadena, CA.