We've Got Issues: Closing the 710 Freeway gap
The issues and topics that Council Council candidates and voters are talking about
January 24, 2013
What do First District City Council candidates think about extending the 710 Freeway to close a gap between El Sereno and Pasadena that has jammed traffic on surface streets? The most recent ideas – including a tunnel and busway now under consideration would not necessarily have a direct impact on Council District 1. But these and other alternatives being considered would certainly have an impact traffic and transportation across Northeast L.A. The topic came up at a recent Highland Park candidate forum. Three of the four candidates voiced their opposition to any extension, but State Assemblyman Gil Cedillo said he would support a tunnel that would run beneath El Sereno and emerge in Pasadena.
Here’s how they responded:
Gill Cedillo, State Assemblyman
“I’m the only person who has authored legislation to block any surface route to the 710, and I did that by negotiating with the city of South Pasadena, the city of Alhambra, talking to the mayor of Pasadena, working with communities along the corridor … I oppose all routes other than the direct route that goes north. It goes under, south of Valley [Boulevard], and will not emerge until it gets to into Pasadena.”
Jose Gardea, Chief of Staff to Councilman Ed Reyes
“I am against the 710. Many of us in this room have done transportation planning over the years. We have done good neighborhood planning over the years. And the 710 under any scenario is neither. So as residents and neighbors of South Pasadena and neighbors of El Sereno, we cannot support a project like that. Because as much as we can talk about the tunnel going through their neighborhood, I don’t trust Caltrans, and I don’t think many of you trust Caltrans. I don’t trust the MTA … It’s not going to happen in my administration. I will work on your behalf. “
Jesse Rosas, business owner
I am against any proposals for the 710 because it will destroy any community it goes through: El Sereno, South Pasadena, Pasadena, Highland Park, Mount Washington, Cypress… Absolutely not, I’m not going to support the 710 Freeway. Not today, not tomorrow but in the long run, there will be sinking in that area [where the tunneling is proposed]…”
William Morrison, write-in candidate
“I’m against the 710 Freeway. There are many reasons why I’m against it. They’re not going to be able to build it in this area or in District 1. The only way they’re ever going to make a freeway is away from here … The 710 is a dead issue and I’m against it.”
We’ve Got Issues is a look at how City Council candidates in the March 5 election stand on specific issues. Responses are compiled from candidate forums and direct questions submitted to candidates.