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

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Battle of the 710 Freeway Extension (Video)

The battle of the 710 freeway goes back decades to when the freeway was first built, but never completed. This is a clip from "Today in LA" on December 11, 2012.

Summary of December 10 Pasadena City Council Meeting 
 (via an email from Sylvia Plummer posted on the No on Avenue 64 Facebook page)

Last night at the Pasadena City Council meeting there were over 200 people in attendance.
Over 30 people spoke against the tunnel, and three spoke for the tunnel.
Council Member Steve Madison made a motion to Oppose the Tunnel.

Five yes votes were needed to pass his motion. That did not happen.

Voting Yes to Oppose the Tunnel:
Steve Madison, Victor Gordo, Gene Masuda, Mayor Bill Bogaard

Voting No: Jacque Robinson, Margaret McAustin, Terry Tornek

The City Council agreed that Mayor Bogaard will draft a letter to Metro about the
City Council's concerns about the effects the tunnel will have on Pasadena.
The letter will be asking METRO for assurances that no trucks will be allowed in the tunnel and no tolls.

As we know, if Federal funds are used to build the tunnel, trucks must be allowed.

Mayor Bogaard stated: In the long run, Metro will do whatever they want anyway.
No on 710 Extension

Posted by Joe Cano on the No on Avenue 64 Facebook page

The corporate PR machine is in full throttle because Metro is in trouble. Every Metro henchman is out and about trying to pawn this off on the public, from the Mayor of Alhambra Barbara Messina' insults, to ... Bob Huddy (Santa's evil elf) a transportation hack that along with a former mayor of Monterey Park that support the tunnel, also came to insult our intelligence. Mr. Huddy whined about traffic when he needs to get to his appointments . With so many freeways in this part of the state, if you don't know how to get around, then you has no business in the transportation racket.
 Huddy questions our reasoning when he makes a statement that he expels so much more pollutants sitting in traffic and his solution is to build a tunnel that will multiply the exhaust output. He is a consultant and he cares nothing about victims of this monstrosity. At the mic I waved my house keys at him and challenged him to trade our home in the portal area with his and asked him how long it would take for the property value to drop once construction started. He ran out door before I could finish.

Pasadena threatens to oppose 710 Freeway tunnel, cites concerns


 December 11, 2012 |  7:44 am

 Pasadena City Council members say they will go on record with a host of questions and concerns about drilling a 4.5-mile tunnel that would connect the 710 and 210 freeways.

But city leaders stopped short of formally opposing the plan.After a resolution against the 710 Freeway tunnel failed to garner five votes required for passage Monday, the council voted 7-0 to threaten regional transportation planners with future opposition if the tunnel would be open to truck traffic, increase air pollution or push some drivers to detour into neighborhoods to avoid tolls, the Pasadena Sun reported.

The statement by Mayor Bill Bogaard to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority will also raise questions about the estimated $5.5 billion cost of the project, seismic and other safety concerns, impacts of tunnel construction and the future of Caltrans-owned homes in the freeway extension corridor.

Officials also called for a city-funded study, separate from the environmental review being conducted by the MTA, about the tunnel’s potentially harmful effects on the city.

MTA is expected to release a draft of its review in February 2014 and make a decision on the project no earlier than 2015. Other options under consideration include expanding bus and light rail service, local street improvements or doing nothing.

Some 150 people gathered for Monday's meeting at the Pasadena Convention Center. More than 30 spoke, all but three asking city leaders to oppose the plan.

Councilmen Steve Madison, Gene Masuda and Victor Gordo and Mayor Bill Bogaard voted to oppose the tunnel outright.

Councilmembers Terry Tornek, Jacque Robinson and Margaret McAustin said they did not support the tunnel but felt ruling on a project prior to completion of environmental review would set dangerous legal precedent.

McAustin also said she hesitated to contradict a 2001 citywide vote in favor of a ballot measure stating the city’s policy would be to support completion of the 710 Freeway.

Council members and others complained that Metro has not been clear about whether the tunnel would accommodate truck traffic or operate as a toll road.

California's Population is Moving Out, Census Report Shows


 By Olga Spilewsky and Conan Nolan

|  Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012  |  Updated 8:10 AM PST

 More people are moving out of the state than into the state, a new Census report shows.

(You'll want to read the comments to this article--go to the website--to find out how the Californian migration is viewed, that is, what people in other states think of us Californians.)

 About 100,000 more people moved away from California in 2011 than relocated to the Golden State, according to the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The trend can be explained, in part, in monetary terms. Even in an economic boom, the cost of living in California has increased, prompting people to move out, and, in recent years, unemployment in the state has skyrocketed.

So, where are these former Californians going?

The Census Bureau calculates that the most popular destination is Texas (58,992), a state that is luring California companies. That’s followed by Arizona (49,635), Nevada (40,114), Washington (38,421) and Oregon (34,214).

Although in smaller numbers, people are still relocating to the Golden State.
Texans make up the largest number of translates to California with 37,387 people, according to the report. That is followed by people from Washington (36,481), Nevada (36,159), Arizona (35,650), and New York (25,269).

Economic experts are optimistic that California’s economy has started picking up steam, and may reverse the movement out of the state.

“We expect over the next couple of years that we will add jobs,” said Robert Kleinhenz, chief economist with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. "This year, we’ve added jobs in California at a faster pace than in the nation as a whole. So, we are moving in right direction. As that happens, we’ll see the migration numbers turn around some."

A major facet of the state's economy, the agriculture industry has been affected by fewer undocumented immigrants crossing the border, deterred from coming to the U.S. because of high unemployment and a developing middle class in Mexico.

According to the Census Bureau, 468,428 people have moved to California from other states and 
269,772 have moved to the state from other countries.
Residents Sound Off on Pasadena Underground Metro (Video)


Pasadena's mayor says Metro has no official responsibility to hear concerns from residents about a proposed underground tunnel intended to ease traffic in the area. Still, there was a healthy debate Monday night over virtues of the hotly-contested proposal. The city failed to formally oppose the plan, but did agree with residents to send a message to Metro to keep trucks out of any proposed tunnels. Beverly White reports from Pasadena for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Dec. 10, 2012.

No Clear 710 Consensus Emerges at City Council Meeting


 Published: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 | 6:22 AM


A divided Pasadena City Council Monday agreed to send a letter to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority stating each Councilmember’s concerns over Metro’s proposed Long Beach 710 Freeway extension plans, but no consensus emerged on favored alternatives and Councilmember Steve

Madison’s motion to oppose the tunnel option was voted down.
Several Councilmembers said repeatedly they simply did not have enough information to make informed decisions about Metro’s proposals and the alternative bus transit and light rail alternatives being considered.

“There are a lot of questions,” Councilmember Terry Tornek told his colleagues, “The problem is that I don’t have answers.”

Tornek was joined by Vice Mayor Margaret McAustin and Councilmember Jacque Robinson is saying he supports awaiting a full Environmental Impact report to provide further facts. That report won’t be ready until 2014.

Madison expressed “extreme disappointment” at the Council for opposing his motion.

“Just completing the EIR will have a deleterious effect,” he said. “We need to put our foot down.”

Pasadena City Council will send letter to Metro, but balks at supporting alternatives to 710 tunnel


 By Brian Charles, SGVN
Updated:   12/10/2012 11:38:30 PM PST
 PASADENA - The Pasadena City Council voted late Monday night to send a letter to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority listing the each council member's individual objections to the proposed Long Beach (710) Freeway tunnel project.
The consensus on sending the letter was reached after the City Council failed to reach the five-vote threshold necessary to pass a much stronger motion that would have expressed strong opposition to the tunnel option and supported light rail and rapid bus lines over the completion of boring a tunnel under El Sereno, Alhambra, South Pasadena and Pasadena.

City Council members Terry Tornek, Jacque Robinson and Margaret McAustin balked at supporting the light rail and bus line option prior to completion of an environmental impact report on all the options to address traffic in and around 710. That report won't be ready until 2014.

"I don't think we have enough information to take a position on these alternative routes," District 2 City Councilwoman Margaret McAustin said. "I am not prepared to say I would recommend any one of these alternatives, because frankly we don't have enough information."

Instead seven members of the eight-member body agreed to send a letter expressing their individual objections to the proposed tunnel.

The Pasadena City Council is short one member after the election of former District 3 City Councilman Chris Holden to the state Assembly.

District 6 City Councilman Steve Madison criticized his colleagues on  the City Council for not leading on the 710 freeway issue by voicing strong opposition to the proposed tunnel.

"I am extremely disappointed that the council will not take a position of leadership and that my colleagues think we need an EIR to tell us that we don't need a tunnel tearing through our community," he said.

District 6 City Councilman Steve Madison criticized his colleagues on