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, February 10, 2013

Rose Bowl `secret' report unforced error 


By Edward Barrera, February 9, 2013

 It's never the crime, always the "secret report."
While the only crime here could be to taxpayers, despite Pasadena officials promises to the contrary, the city seems to be ignoring the usual rule of public relations: When bad news comes, get it out, regardless of what the lawyers say. Politicians will pay the political price while attorneys continue to collect their billable hours anyway if they hide it.

It's simple: Don't let the media frame the bad news before you can. The media usually will find out anyway, and it will focus on the agency that should be open and transparent rather than the alleged guilty party.

In this case, the ire is being directed at Pasadena and the ever-expanding Rose Bowl renovation
project cost.

Reporter Brenda Gazzar revealed how a "secret report" details how the original projected budget, which was pegged at $152 million, should have been higher, closer to $200 million, and that project team officials should have known it. The lower number was the one touted to the public in 2010.

This should hardly be a surprise to anyone. Critics have pointed out that the overreaching and unrealistic expectations were coupled with underestimated cost projections since the project was first unveiled.

So, shocker, a third-party review agreed. The reaction from Pasadena is "pay no attention to that report. We know everything about it but can't show it to you."

Pasadena officials, including Mayor Bill Bogaard, are hiding behind questionable legal interpretations and are just making the situation worse. The mayor even said that the report will be released once litigation linked to the renovations is "ruled out." What happens if litigation is not ruled out? Will the report be made public then?

No offense to the mayor, but the California Public Records Act decides what has to be made public and when, not the mayor of Pasadena.

Open government advocates Terry Francke and Gil Aguirre have already pointed out that the city's position is shaky at best, deceptive at worst. Francke points out that the city's position that the report is exempt because it's litigation "work product" is a ruse to keep it from being made public. Aguirre notes that the report's original purpose was based on concerns of how things were being run. To now claim it's part of the litigation process, said Aguirre, is "absurd."

City Councilman Victor Gordo, president of the Rose Bowl Operating Company, created an ad hoc committee that instigated the report. (Note that ad hoc committees are exempt from following state open meeting laws.)

He said, without a hint of sarcasm, that the project was "well planned."

Coming after news in December that Pasadena Unified School District's construction project is a mess, I'm not sure that Pasadena residents would agree anyone in Pasadena government can ever plan a construction project well.

But have no fear, Gordo found a silver lining: "... these aren't overruns."

Right. The cost overruns will be detailed in the next secret report.


Monrovia officials to weigh settlement with developer over $106 million Station Square lawsuit 


By Brenda Gazzar, February 9, 2013

MONROVIA - City officials Monday will consider settling a $106 million lawsuit from a developer tapped to create an ambitious transit-oriented development near the future Gold Line Station.

The Monrovia-based Samuelson & Fetter sued the city and its former redevelopment agency last August contending officials had violated a development agreement and claiming losses of nearly $100 million in future values and profits. The lawsuit was related to the agency diverting property slated for the Station Square Transit Village development to the Gold Line Construction Authority.

The state's battle and ultimate victory in eliminating local redevelopment agencies prevented the two sides from amending a former development agreement so the project could move forward.

"I think it's a win-win because ... we're able to avoid additional costly litigation expenses and we're able to have a better opportunity to provide for a beneficial development of our Station Square area that enhances that area," City Manager Laurie Lile said Friday.

The highly complex deal would ultimately result in the former Redevelopment Agency transferring a little over 2 acres of land at the southwest corner of Primrose and Pomona avenues valued at $2.78 million to Samuelson & Fetter as compensation. The agency, also known as the successor agency, will also pay about $610,000 for development costs, including infrastructure expenses toward the project's costs, officials and the developer said.

Lile said the settlement is similar to obligations both parties had in their previous agreement before the elimination of redevelopment agencies. The transaction would also have to be approved by the state's department of finance, she said.

Blaine Fetter, a principal of the development firm, said the settlement, if approved, would allow them to move forward with plans to build about 200 apartment units at the site.

"We worked very hard to make sure it's zero sum for the city," Fetter said. "We're on the city's side here ... The (former redevelopment) agency will pay us a relatively small amount of money to reimburse costs that have occurred in that area. That's the only cash that comes back to us."

Fetter originally had plans to build a mixed-use transit oriented project on nearly 80 acres before a confluence of unfortunate events, officials have said.

The recession hit, which stalled development, and the need for the Gold Line maintenance yard altered the project's original plans. The end of redevelopment agencies further delayed and complicated the Station Square plan.

Fetter, however, said the firm is still interested in trying to further develop the area.
Mayor Mary Ann Lutz said Friday that the agreement as written ensures that the city would neither admit or pay for any liability.

Councilman Tom Adams said such a settlement could make the lawsuit go away and resolve the developer's allegation of a breached contract.

"I think this is the best of a bad situation," he said.


Gold Line growing train culture in Pasadena, L.A.


By Steve Scauzillo, February 9, 2013

THE only thing I learned about train culture growing up in New York was don't wear gold chains and don't look people in the eye.
Here in L.A., train culture is a lot more upbeat.

Train culture you say? Oh, you've never heard of train culture in sunny L.A.? Well, you'd be wrong.

Last year, Los Angeles County opened two new rail lines and three new ones are under construction.
We're seeing record number of riders on the Gold Line, which travels from Pasadena to Union Station and from Montebello to Union Station via East L.A. A new, $60 million bus station opened in El Monte last year that soon will double the number of bus riders.

Voters approved about $10 billion in bonds for high-speed rail train that will get you from L.A. to the Bay Area in 2 1/2 hours. Ground has already been broken in the San Joaquin Valley.

But that's all trains under a bridge.

If you want to get to know train culture, you need to meet San Gabriel resident and UCLA Medical Center disabilities counselor Mark Briskie, 59.

"Oh that can't be right," he told me last week, pointing to the flashing timetable showing the arrival time of the next northbound Gold Line train.

Briskie, a nine-year train veteran, assured me, a self-described intermediate, that the next train was due in five minutes, not 40. He was right. I followed him through the silver doors and sat on the seat across from him.

We hit it off.

He's a former journalist, worked at the L.A. Times in 1980 and later at the old KHJ-TV (now KCAL) as a TV reporter before changing careers.

He grew up as I did in Long Island. He want to MacArthur High, rival to my alma mater, East Meadow High. We attended the same community college, Nassau College in Garden City, N.Y.

"Best years of my life," he said at the end of our time together, as we climbed the stairs of the Sierra Madre Villa platform.

"Me too," I said, mentioning how my days writing for the college newspaper, The Vignette, started my career. The reference nearly floored him. "I haven't heard that name mentioned in years," he said.

And so it goes with Briskie and others immersed in L.A.'s train culture. "Every day is an adventure. I truly enjoy the commute," he said.

Briskie begins his day on the 4:36 a.m. Gold Line to Union Station, the very first train. From there, he takes the Purple Line to Wilshire and Western, then the Metro 720 express bus to Wilshire and Westwood Boulevard. He frequently says his 1 hour, 20 minute train ride (slightly longer in the p.m.) is the best time of his day.

"I meet people. You get to know their families and their babies," he said. "You connect with people. It's a good experience."

He calls driving on the freeways "prehistoric." On the train, one evolves. "It's great for people watching, or reading, or listening to music on MP3 devices. We've had amateur magic shows, musicians, dancers and actors perform on the Gold Line. Every day is different."

Briskie embraces train culture like most Angelenos do new-car smell. He meets people of different backgrounds, ages and ethnicities. He's chatted with maids on their way to L.A.'s fanciest hotels, and college kids riding the train to class.

A year or so ago, a young, distraught USC student started talking to him about how he was not getting support from his college counselor. He felt like he would never get a job.

Briskie didn't remember the guidance or encouragement he gave out that day, but the young man did.
Two weeks ago, a handsomely dressed man in his 20s asked Briskie if he remembered him. He had taken what Briskie had said that day to heart; he even told his wife about it.

"I had no recollection ... but he said our conversation was very significant to him and helped him get out of his depression. Now he has a wonderful job with a future and he thanked me for being there at the right time," Briskie said.

Oh, it's not how Dr. Seuss puts it, all about "the places you'll go." In train culture, it's the people you'll meet. The places Briskie goes on the train are always the same. The people are different.


The "This World is a Troubled Place" Version of the Tattler Sunday News


February 10, 2013 

(Mod: Before every installment of the Tattler Sunday News I share with you what I believe to be important issues facing us as Sierra Madreanos. Think local, but act with the universe in mind, that is what we say. If there is a center to it all, our whirling ball of dirt and rocks aimlessly adrift on the furthest fringes of a minor galaxy that is slowly heading for a date with one of the larger black holes in space, it is this: Sierra Madre. Of this I have little doubt, and you shouldn't either ... One piece of sad news this week. The Mountain Views News has apparently let go all of its columnists. No more Hail, no more Rich, and no more middle aged dudes endlessly arguing over whatever it is they saw on cable television news last week. This is a stunning blow to free speech here in Sierra Madre, and to those columnists who have so suddenly lost their perches allow me to extend a word of advice to you. Start a blog ... On a more humorous note, the long awaited Joe Mosca endorsement for Mayor of Los Angeles is now in, and it's Eric Garcetti! That this is the same dude that was kinda endorsed by John Harabedian has got to be a coincidence, I'm sure. Here is the news:

Tyrone Hampton Wins California School Employees Association EndorsementDear PUSD School Board Candidates, Thank you for participating in the School Board Candidates forum hosted by employee unions of the Pasadena Unified School District on January 31, 2013 at Blair High School. I would like to inform you at this time that CSEA, Pasadena Chapter #434 has decided to endorse Board Candidates Dean Cooper for District 1 and Tyrone Hampton for District 3.

We wish you luck in the March 5, 2013 election. Again, thank you! Rosemarie Riley, President and Michelle Bailey, Political Action Coordinator

(Mod: The District 3 PUSD Board of Ed race gets even wilder. Hampton's campaign manager has apparently gone on the warpath against any Republican who might be supporting Guillermo Arce. Arce is not a registered Republican, while apparently Hampton is. Yet Hampton, who has denied receiving the support of any unions, attended the CSEA debate and did receive their endorsement! Hampton, in the spirit of mixing oil and water, is also actively campaigning for the support of TEAPAC. This despite his CSEA support, which is anathema in those circles. More as it becomes available.)

Southern California school board member convicted of running sex ring (Daily Caller - click here): Pimpin’ ain’t easy, man, as Ice-T, The Notorious B.I.G. and a number of other celebrated rappers have incisively counseled for years. However, Moreno Valley school board member Mike Rios had to learn this wisdom the hard way.

On Friday, a jury in Riverside, California found Rios, 42, guilty on almost two dozen felony counts stemming from a prostitution operation, reports KNBC. Rios managed the venture out of his home in neighboring Moreno Valley.

The litany of charges against the school board member included rape, pimping, pandering and insurance fraud. Two of the prostitutes involved were underage girls.

(Mod: It is always important to cast an informed vote.)

Joel Kotkin: In California, don't bash the 'burbs (Orange County Register - click here): For the past century, California, particularly Southern California, nurtured and invented the suburban dream. The sun-drenched single-family house, often with a pool, on a tree-lined street was an image lovingly projected by television and the movies. Places like the San Fernando Valley – actual home to the "Brady Bunch" and scores of other TV family sitcoms – became, in author Kevin Roderick's phrase, "America's suburb."

This dream, even a modernized, multicultural version of it, now is passé to California's governing class. Even in his first administration, 1975-83, Gov. Jerry Brown disdained suburbs, promoting a city-first, pro-density policy. His feelings hardened during eight years (1999-2007) as mayor of Oakland, a city that, since he left, has fallen on hard times, although it has been treated with some love recently in the blue media.

As state attorney general (2007-11) Brown took advantage of the state's 2006 climate change legislation to move against suburban growth everywhere from Pleasanton to San Bernardino. Now back as governor, he can give full rein to his determination to limit access to the old California dream, curbing suburbia and forcing more of us and, even more so our successors, into small apartments nearby bus and rail stops. His successor as attorney general, former San Francisco D.A. Kamala Harris, is, if anything, more theologically committed to curbing suburban growth.

Sadly, much of the state's development "community" has enlisted itself into the densification jihad. An influential recent report from the Urban Land Institute, for example, sees a "new California dream," which predicts huge growth in high-density development based on underlying demographic trends – like shifts in housing tastes among millennials or empty-nesters rushing to downtown condos.

Yet it's not enough for the planners, and their developer allies, to watch the market shift and take advantage of it. That would be both logical and justified. But the planning clerisy are not content to leave suburbia die; it must, instead, be cauterized and prevented, like some plague, from spreading.

Ironically, it turns out that the "new California dream" is more widely shared by planners and rent-seeking developers than by the consuming public. During the past decade, when pro-density sentiment has supposedly building, some 80 percent of the new construction in the state was single-family, a rate slightly above the national average. Over time, Californians continue to buy single-family houses, mostly in the suburban and exurban periphery. They do it because they are like most Americans, roughly four of five of whom prefer single-family houses, preferably closer to work but, if that proves unaffordable, further out.

(Mod: This is an issue we have been discussing on The Tattler ever since it started. Good to see the rest of the world is beginning to catch up.)

Report blasts cell phone taxes and fees (Business Journal - click here): Feel like you’re paying an unfair amount of taxes on your cell phone bill? A new study agrees. U.S. wireless consumers pay an average of more than 17 percent in taxes and fees on their cell phone bill, including more than 11 percent in state and local charges, according to the analysis by the Tax Foundation, a Washington, D.C. - based nonpartisan research group.

In Nebraska, the combined federal-state-local average rate is nearly 24.5 percent, and in six other states it eclipses 20 percent. Wisconsin consumers don’t have it nearly as bad, with a combined rate of 13 percent, ranked 42nd in the nation, the report found.

“Accessing new sources of information on our mobile devices may be getting easier, but paying cell phone taxes is not,” said Joseph Henchman, Tax Foundation vice president for legal and state projects, in a written statement. “State and local governments should not single out one product for stealth tax increases as they are doing with wireless services.”

Cell phones are taxed at a much higher level than other consumer items, even as much or more than alcohol or cigarettes, the report said. The highest sales tax in the country, using combined state and average local rates, is 9.43 percent in Tennessee. But the highest state and local tax rates for cell phone service are almost double that, the report said.

“Scholars from across the political spectrum have criticized telecom taxes as burdensome, regressive and stifling consumer choice,” said Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard. “In response to this problem, legislation entitled the Wireless Tax Fairness Act, which would restrict excessive state and local wireless taxes, has been regularly introduced in Congress.”

(This is particularly good news for Sierra Madre as the majority faction of our City Council has announced its intention to raise our cell phone utility tax rate to 12%, the highest in California. Rates in Sierra Madre are so high that some residents have now begun to register their cell phones at their places of work.)

Who dat at the Super Bowl? Lobbyists and California lawmaker (Sacramento Bee - click here): No matter that the 49ers lost - the Super Bowl was still a $60,000 win for the California Democratic Party. That's how much the party netted from an exclusive fundraising event in which a handful of Sacramento lobbyists spent Super Bowl weekend in New Orleans with a powerful state senator. The experience included a private plane ride across the country with Sen. Kevin de León, lodging with him in a French Quarter vacation home and tickets to the hottest football game of the year.

Organizers would not say who attended or how much they paid, but three Capitol advocates were with the group - Dustin Corcoran, chief executive officer of the California Medical Association; Scott Wetch, a lobbyist representing unions, insurance companies and health care groups; and Scott Govenar, a lobbyist representing finance interests and one Indian tribe.

Govenar and Wetch said they were there, but declined to comment further. Jason Kinney, a communications consultant for the Senate Democratic caucus who organized and attended the fundraiser, would not confirm or deny the names of attendees. Corcoran did not respond to requests for comment.

De León, a Los Angeles Democrat, chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee - a position that allows him huge influence over which bills get a vote by the full house. He said the weekend was not about work.

"We didn't talk about any issues whatsoever. It was all about the Super Bowl," de León said. "The same laws apply over there. Whether it's in Louisiana or here, you can't sit down at a fundraiser and engage in policy matters."

(Mod: Oh, I'm sure.)

S.F.'s plastic ban may be unhealthy (San Francisco Chronicle - click here): San Francisco passed America's "first-in-the-nation" ban on plastic bags in chain grocery stores and drugstores in 2007. In a research paper for the Wharton School Institute for Law and Economics, law professors Jonathan Klick and Joshua Wright crunched state and federal data on emergency room admissions and food-borne-illness deaths and figured that the San Francisco ban "led to an increase in infections immediately upon implementation."

They found a 46 percent rise in food-borne-illness deaths. The bottom line: "Our results suggest that the San Francisco ban led to, conservatively, 5.4 annual additional deaths."

Is San Francisco's bag ban a killer? Conceivably, yes, but probably not.

Intuitively, the Wharton findings make sense. The city's anti-bag laws are designed to drive consumers to reusable bags. Consumer advice types warn people about the dangers of said bags becoming germ incubators. I got this from the TLC website:

"Designate specific bags for meats and fish. Wash these bags regularly - preferably after each shopping trip - to get rid of bacteria. If your bag is fabric, toss it in the washing machine with jeans, and if it's a plastic material, let it soak in a basin filled with soapy water and either the juice of half a lemon or about a quarter cup of vinegar."

San Francisco health officer Tomás Aragón reviewed the Wharton paper and found "a biologically plausible hypothesis" but "sloppy" research. "It's a complicated topic. It's a little surprising that he would put this out there without a peer review," he added. If the professors had consulted with an epidemiologist, they would have understood how the city's unique demographics contribute to specific intestinal issues. (Unlike Aragón, I'm trying to be delicate here and not share too much information.) In short, the doctor concluded that the study raised more questions than it answered.

Dave Heylen of the California Grocers Association ripped the study for not understanding something really basic about how the San Francisco bag ban worked at first. "People weren't using reusable bags, they were using paper bags," Heylen said.

Be it noted, the grocers have supported proposals for a statewide ban on plastic bags - which would require supermarkets to charge for single-use bags - because they provide what the sponsor of Sacramento's latest effort, Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, calls "uniformity of experience" for shoppers and store owners. (It also means big stores can charge for bags and blame the government.)

Mayor Ed Lee's office said the mayor will look into the health consequences of the city's now-tougher bag laws if Aragón so recommends. That doesn't seem likely. Likewise, Levine didn't sound particularly concerned.

Maybe they should be. More than 60 California communities have bag bans, which means more Californians are using reusable bags. Most families probably aren't washing them. And that's not healthy.

California politicians didn't even bother studying the possible health effects of their anti-bag laws. They were in such a hurry to tell their constituents what's best for them, they forgot to check how their busybody scheme might go wrong.

(Mod: I have discovered that if you order take out that is delivered to your home, it comes in plastic bags rather than cloth.)

Amish leader gets 15-years in Ohio beard-cutting assault trial (Examiner.com - click here): An Amish leader and fifteen others were sentenced to prison Friday after they attacked other Amish folk by cutting their beards and hair and filming the attacks, according to a Feb.8, 2013 press release from the US Attorney’s Office of Northern Ohio.

Samuel Mullet Sr., 67, is the accused ringleader of the operation that spread fear through the Amish community of Ohio after he organized a series of assaults which has led to him being convicted of hate crimes.

Samuel Mullet Sr. is the Bishop of the Amish community in Bergholz, utilizing his position to take the wives of community members into his home, as well as using corporal punishment to discipline members.

Mullet organized assaults against others Ohio Amish members and perceived religious enemies, often filming and taking photographs of the attacks, as they held down men and women of the community and shaved their beards and hair. The weapons of choice were scissors and battery-powered trimmers.

(Mod: Anybody take note that the perpetrator of this crime against hair is named Mullet?)

Chinese world worries that Year of Snake may bite (Associated Press - click here): As Indiana Jones might say: Why did it have to be the Year of the Snake?

When the Chinese-speaking world ushers in its new year on Sunday, its 12-year zodiac will turn from the dragon to one of the world's most despised animals. As undeserved as the snake's reputation might be, its last two years did not go so well: 2001 was the year of the Sept. 11 attacks and 1989 was when Chinese forces crushed pro-democracy protests around Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

Some wonder if this one also could hold bad tidings. "In Chinese mythology, snakes were often associated with monsters, or with incarnations of monsters, so some political turbulence can be expected," said Taiwanese astrologer Tsai Shang-chi.

Chinese New Year remains the most important festival in the region, a weeklong round of family reunions, temple visits and gastronomic excess. It is Mardi Gras, Christmas and the Fourth of July rolled into one, marked by the clacking of mahjong tiles and explosions of firecrackers. With businesses and markets hermetically closed, it brings a rare calm to the otherwise frenetic pace of what is arguably the world's most dynamic economic region.

In China, some couples have apparently been trying to schedule their pregnancies to avoid having children born during the snake year, in contrast to the coveted Year of the Dragon. In Beijing, a manager with the government office that arranges appointments with obstetricians said there was a noticeable drop in appointment requests compared to those received as the Year of the Dragon approached, though she offered no firm statistics. She spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to the press.

(Mod: I for one plan on being extremely cautious over the next 12 months. My advice is that you should do the same.)

Enjoy what is left of your weekend. Avoid snakes, unwashed reusable grocery bags, "smart growth" developers, pimps and Amish zealots armed with scissors. I know, it is a lot to keep track of
Measure R Local Return Presentation


An interesting pdf.
Day One Pasadena:  Youth & Health Advocacy Group

From Sylvia Plummer, February 10, 2013

 Day One has joined our cause.  They are against the SR710 tunnel and the lane additions to the 710 South.  Their organization supports Transportation Alternatives for the 710 North and South projects.  

Below is an excellent letter sent on Saturday, 2/2/13, from Day One to METRO, CALTRANS and the Pasadena City Council.  


Dear Metro Board Members, staff and Caltrans officials,
On behalf of Day One, Inc., a public health non-profit dedicated to improving community health in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond, I am submitting the attached comment letter regarding the 710 North and South projects.  A copy of the letter has also been pasted below for your convenience.  

Thank you for your time and consideration,
Wesley Reutimann
Environmental Prevention Director, Day One
175 N. Euclid Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 229-9750 Fax (626) 792-8056
Email: wesley@dayonepasadena.org

 February 5, 2013

Metro Board Members
One Gateway Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90012-2952
Re: Support for Transportation Alternatives – 710-South and 710-North

Dear Metro Board Members, staff and Caltrans Officials,

Day One is a Pasadena-based community-based organization with a 25-year history of providing effective, culturally sensitive public health education, policy development and environmental prevention strategies. As an agency committed to improving the health and well-being of residents of the communities we serve, Day One is deeply concerned by the detrimental health implications of the proposed 710-freeway tunnel and lane expansion north of the ports of LA.

In particular, Day One is concerned by the proposed expansion of the north and south 710 in the following areas:

        Air Quality/Health - Over a decade of scientific research has linked air pollution from freeways and busy roadways to poor health outcomes, including asthma, impaired lung development, cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, premature birth weight, and autism. Expanding any freeway project in southern California, an urban region with some of the worst air quality in the United States, will only hinder efforts to address these serious public health problems. This is particularly the case for freeways with heavy truck traffic such as the 710.
        Public Safety - With gross weights over 10,000 pounds and lengths of up to 75 feet, trucks pose a serious danger to smaller road users. In 2008 it was estimated that 1 in 9 traffic fatalities resulted from a collision involving a large truck (NHTSA, 2008). Of these fatalities, 74% were the occupants of another vehicle, 10% were non-occupants, and 16% occupants of the truck itself. In short, reducing superfluous truck trips (e.g., non local trips for port cargo) by transporting cargo via rail would significantly benefit the safety of other road users, as well as alleviate wear and tear on the roadway itself. 

        Opportunity Cost of a $5-15 billion dollar transportation project - At a time when there is increasing public support and demand for transportation alternatives, the limited taxpayer dollars available for transportation infrastructure should be spent judiciously. Even in a best case scenario the tunnel option would require a massive investment of scarce transit dollars, dollars that could otherwise be used to expedite the development of projects that enjoy broad public support, including the Metro Gold Line Extensions to Ontario and Whittier, the “Subway to the Sea”, and the “JEM” line linking the Westside and San Fernando Valley. Funding saved from a “Big Dig” tunnel project could also be used to further expand and augment the region’s growing transit network via the implementation of Bus Rapid Transit lines connecting to Metro Rail.  In short, the high price tag of a tunnel and freeway widening would inherently slow efforts to transform Southern California into a region composed of pedestrian-friendly communities linked by a convenient, multi-modal transit system.


Rather than spend billions on a 4.5 mile toll tunnel and freeway expansion that will benefit few and burden many, Day One urges decision makers to acknowledge the many inherent community health and safety impacts and invest in 21st century solutions, such as:

     Investment in ship-to-rail technologies at the ports (e.g., GRID Project)

     Electrification and expansion of the freight rail system in LA County

     Expansion of the Metro’s existing transit network:

     Metro Gold Line Extensions to Ontario Airport and Whittier

     Light Rail connecting Metro Gold Line in Pasadena to Red Line in the San Fernando Valley

     Light Rail linking Fillmore Station in Pasadena to Atlantic Station in East Los Angeles

     Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines in the San Gabriel Valley

Supporting Healthier, More Active Communities
Transportation planning decisions directly shape the form and function of our built environment, and thereby the health of our communities. For the past sixty years elected officials invested in projects that resulted in sedentary lifestyles and poor health outcomes. Fortunately we as a region have begun to (re)invest in multi-modal solutions that help integrate physical activity into the lives of County residents. Yet the question remains whether we will accelerate the transition to a more pedestrian, transit and bike-friendly Los Angeles County, or take a step backwards by funding an enormously expensive highway project that will more greatly benefit those able to afford its tolls. Day One urges local decision makers to focus limited resources on expanding public transit options, repairing existing infrastructure, and encouraging alternative, more sustainable forms of transportation. The time has come to make healthier choices and lifestyles easier for Southern Californians.


Christy Zamani, Executive Director
Day One, Inc.
175 N. Euclid Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101

CALL TO ACTION:  Need Your Comments

From Sylvia Plummer, February 10, 2013:
METRO has posted SR-710 METRO Study:  Working for a Solution

Right now we need everyone to go on and Comment with your SR710 concerns and suggestions.

My note:  Metro posted the video and article on Friday, February 8, 2013, but the author of the article, Steve Hymon, doesn't appear to work on the weekend so, at this time, only two comments and his reply to one comment appear under the article. If you post a comment, it will appear on the site, but only to you and it will say above the comment "Your comment is awaiting moderation." But please post your comments anyway and hopefully all the comments will appear posted to everyone tomorrow when Steve gets back to work. These are the comments now appearing including my two comments undergoing "moderation":

3 thoughts on “SR-710 North Study: what’s on the table and what’s off the table”

  1. I do not have much confidence in your source of information, because there are some things that are factually incorrect.

    Number one, the stub of fwy in Pasadena is not a stub of the 710, but part of 210, therefor not a gap in the fwy. (Check the court document in the 70′s pertaining to this section of fwy.)
    Second, the cost estimate for the tunnel alternative 7 of $5.425 billion is incomplete. That cost is only for the bored segment and does not include the portal entrances and bridge replacement, scrubbers, etc. Another $1 billion, at least must be added.

    There are many more, but the report at 1,560 pages takes a while to digest so back to you later. Hopefully you have more accurate information in your next post.
  2. Hi Joanne;
    I’m not familiar with that court document, but I have seen the stub occasionally labeled as the 210 on maps. That’s also completely beside the point. The fact is there is a gap in the 710 freeway between Alhambra and and a stub of the freeway built in Pasadena that was intended to connect to the 710. You can see it on maps, you can go see it in person and you can drive north from Long Beach on the 710, exit by necessity at Valley Boulevard and then drive north on mostly residential streets until you reach a stub of freeway that ends between Del Mar and California. Whether that gap should be filled is a matter that has provoked a lot of different opinions over the decades. I don’t think it’s an easy issue by any means and as a Pasadena resident, I respect the different views on it.

    But I don’t think there’s any denying there’s a gap in the freeway. The stub of freeway south of the 134/210 interchange in Pasadena.

    [googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ll=34.144718,-118.154762&spn=0.012573,0.033002&t=k&z=16&msa=0&msid=217330688871199327376.0004d54276d59ef599277&w=425&h=350%5D

    And here’s a broader view, showing the 710 ending in Alhambra at the bottom of the screen and the stub of freeway built south of the 210/134 interchange in Pasadena:
    [googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ll=34.103277,-118.13633&spn=0.100635,0.264015&t=k&z=13&msa=0&msid=217330688871199327376.0004d54286286f0957425&w=425&h=350%5D

    I couldn’t get the maps to show in the comments page; please click on the links to see the maps.
    Steve Hymon
    Editor, The Source
  3. At 0.29 minutes into the video, you show a photo of the Fair Oaks Pharmacy and you indicate that people don’t stop at the stores along the way because traffic is so congested. Who wrote the lines for this video? Someone, obviously, who doesn’t know the South Pasadena shopping area along Fair Oaks Blvd. Very easy to stop at the Fair Oaks Pharmacy at any time of the day–turn right or left at Mission, depending on what direction you are coming from on Fair Oaks, and there is plenty of free parking on the side streets. Drivers also easily stop at any time of the day at OSH, Vons, Bristol Farms, Baskin Robbins, etc., etc. And because it is a major shopping street, that is, with many drivers on the way to the stores on that street, it will always be heavily traveled, which, by the way, is good for the businesses there as they are attracting customers.
  4. Additionally, re: my comment above, it is really a disservice to the Fair Oaks Pharmacy that you are indicating in the video that people can’t easily stop there to shop.