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

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The details on 710 Day, environmental impact still up for debate


By Alfred Dicioco, June 13, 2013


City Council revealed on Monday evening plans for the 710 Day Celebration, an event on July 10 focusing on traffic, safety, and air quality in connection with closing the 710 Freeway gap. The Center for Disease Control, Sparkletts Water, Metro, Alhambra Hospital, and the Alhambra Police Department will have information booths. Activities also include carnival games, face paint, food trucks, and live entertainment from a Cars tribute band, who will be performing on a solar-powered stage in the Gateway Plaza on Fremont Avenue and Valley Boulevard.

Alhambra officials support a tunnel between the 710 and 210 freeways as a solution to congestion and safety and argue that the option would improve the environment. “For me, it’s very important because it’s an environmental issue. If you read the news, Southern California, Los Angeles specifically, is the number one city in the country, in the entire nation, if you rank it in terms of contamination,” Councilman Luis Ayala said during Monday night's City Council meeting. "This is something that is going to impact most likely our generation, if we see this through. Our kids now living near this freeway are the ones being impacted the most.”

Despite the eco-driven motif of 710 Day, resident Lola Armendariz questioned the safety of the event's location, stating that 50,000 vehicles pass through this intersection of Fremont Avenue and Valley Boulevard each day, according to the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce’s monthly publication Around Alhambra. She also said that the city's new residential projects have contributed to the number of cars passing through the city and the contamination Ayala mentioned.

“You talk about air quality and automobiles and congestion and so on and yet you have high density on Main Street with your projects," Armendariz said during the meeting. "You’ve got the Casita de Zen coming in, the Super A coming in, the Ratkovich project on Mission and Fremont and you have two large projects there. So you can’t be walking around with clean hands here because you are contributing to a lot of the traffic that’s going on out there on the streets."