Purpose

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

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Angry Dachshunds Against Freeway Extension

Posted by Winnie Bagel Cano on No 710 on Avenue 64 Facebook page, July 3, 2013
 
I helped my daddy Joe to get my float ready to ride with my friend Coco for the 710 Freeway Fighters march at the So. Pasadena 4th Of July Parade. Metro, Grrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!
Angry Dachshunds Against the 710 Freeway extension! See you all there with my mommy Tess & My daddy Joe.
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

#Police State @ the Metro in Los Angeles

Militarized police are currently conducting searches and armed patrols on all platforms at multiple train stations in Los Angeles, including Union Station. Beware! #ftp ~wtf

By Occupy Los Angeles, July 3, 2013


Civil Advocates to Hold 4th of July Protest March vs Proposed 710 Freeway Extension

http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/civil-advocates-to-hold-4th-of-july-protest-march-vs-proposed-710-freeway-extension

July 3, 2013









Civil advocates will hold a 4th of July Parade Protest March with the residents of South Pasadena and at least seven nearby cities against the proposed extension of the 710 Freeway.

The opponents of the proposed 710 Freeway extension said the residents of Alhambra, La CaƱada-Flintridge, Los Angeles, San Marino, Sierra Madre, La Crescenta, are set to join on Thursday a solidarity march with the residents of Pasadena, South Pasadena and El Sereno who would be directly affected once a freeway tunnel is constructed in South Pasadena.

“South Pasadena has been fighting the extension of the 710 freeway through its community for half of its 125 year existence as an incorporated city,” No710Action Committee said in a statement.

“Recognizing this citizen-led freeway fight has lasted seven times longer than the American revolution, we are joined by our friends and neighbors from seven cities marching in solidarity with South Pasadena citizens to say no freeway tunnels should ruin anyone’s city,” it added.

According to the organization, since 1947, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Caltrans, and its predecessors have proposed the building of a free way “through the heart of South Pasadena’s historic community.”
The latest freeway proposal is to bore one to two 4.6 mile tunnels underneath South Pasadena and make it a tollway, threatening to divert additional traffic onto residential streets, the statement said.

The proposed freeway route would extend the 710 Freeway from the 10 Freeways in the Los Angeles community of El Sereno at the Alhambra border to the 210 Freeway in Pasadena.

The parade will run through the Mission Street from Meridian to Garfield Park in South Pasadena.

The opening ceremonies will be held at the footsteps of the South Pasadena Library Community Room at 10:30 a.m. The 31st annual South Pasadena Fourth of July Parade begins at 11:00 a.m.

For more information, contact Joanne Nuckols at (626) 252-3344 or email no710extension@aol.com. Visit No710.com for more details.

Metro Rail Odyssey Exposes MTA for What It is: Disorganized and Unprepared

http://citywatchla.com/8box-left/5320-metro-rail-odyssey-exposes-mta-for-what-it-is-disorganized-and-unprepared

By Paul Hatfield, July 2, 2013


 

PERSPECTIVE - I always use metro rail whenever I have business somewhere along the Red Line; the same for the Orange Line, too. 

I recently started a route of epic proportions – from North Hollywood to El Segundo – the Red Line to the Blue Line to the Green Line.

In a way, this commute tops the one I did back in 2001 when I traveled from North Hollywood to Irvine via the Red Line and Amtrak….three lines vs. two.

My one way door-to-door trip is 90 minutes. That’s literally from my front door to the client’s office.

However, there are occasional delays which lengthen the traveling time, but no more than 15 minutes. That was true until today.

There was police action that shut down the Red Line segment between Hollywood/Highland and Hollywood/Vine today. It cost me 30 minutes, but that wasn’t the worst of it. It was how MTA failed to deal with the fiasco that followed.

I swiped my TAP card and proceeded down the stairs to the NoHo station platform about 7a.m. It seemed more crowded than usual.

There were no messages on the video screen, only a muffled announcement about the police action.

It took a few times, but I was able to finally learn the full extent of the problem and the proposed workaround. Metro would transfer passengers from Highland to Vine via regular bus service. Actually, it’s a fairly short walk, so that is what I planned to do.

It sounded like a decent plan. There was only one problem – it didn’t happen.

Instead, a train sat with its doors closed. No announcements were made as to when it might be leaving. Patrons were getting frustrated.

All the while, more bodies piled on to the platform as the Orange Line emptied its loads on the surface.

Another train pulled in. This one kept its doors open and people boarded en masse. Still no announcement from Metro as to which train would pull away.

After the cars filled up, there was still a throng on the platform. Finally the doors opened on the empty train. It was then people sensed it could be the first one out. That triggered a mad rush as the passengers from the other consist pushed and shoved through the doors and surged across the platform. More people streamed down the stairs from above. It reminded me of a scene from World War Z where hordes of zombies rush through crowded streets in pursuit of live human beings.
It was then that I finally heard a muted announcement about regular service being restored.
The overcrowded train finally pulled away.

Throughout the entire event, there were no MTA personnel or County sheriffs in sight.
It was a total failure in crowd control.

To my knowledge, no one was hurt, but another ten minutes could have changed the picture as more riders entered the station.

I complained to County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky’s office. I received a call from an MTA representative the very next day. The person promised it would be investigated.

I also complained about the lack of parking at the NoHo Red Line station. A few years ago, Yaroslavsky promised additional parking. If anything, more spots were switched to permit status, meaning that average working people were crowded out from the lot.

Before MTA spends a dime on the subway to the sea, East Valley residents should insist that Measure R funds are used to double the size of the unrestricted parking at the station.

It would be nice if Zev addresses this before he leaves office.

Bruised, Not Beaten, Crenshaw Vows to Continue Tunnel Fight

http://www.thefrontpageonline.com/articles1-13050/BruisedNotBeatenCrenshawVowstoContinueTunnelFight

By Ari L. Noonan, July 1, 2013

 
 Mr. Goodmon


On this fourth morning after the MTA Board’s darkly disappointing decision last Thursday to daintily skirt a showdown vote on an 11-block light rail tunnel at the southerly end of the Crenshaw Boulevard-to-LAX line, leaders of the Crenshaw Subway Coalition and their allies remain dazed but unbowed.
 
They say they are just as grittily determined to pursue their longtime target as they were before the Metro Board again dashed their hopes for underground tracks through a key portion of Crenshaw Boulevard. 

Construction of the line – that will take five years – is scheduled to start next year. Crenshaw leaders passionately want to have the mile-long stretch of light rail placed underground for the safety of nearby elementary school children and because of the interminable disruptions of the businesses that line both sides of the densely traveled boulevard.

There is no doubt that Damien Goodmon, Executive Director of the Crenshaw Subway Coalition, and the tier of leaders in the 300-person pro-tunnel party that turned out at Metro – from the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the business world – felt most let down by Board member Mark Ridley-Thomas, along with Board CEO Art Leahy. Mr. Ridley-Thomas represents their section of South Los Angeles on the influential County Board of Supervisors and the MTAS Board. More than almost anyone else, the Crenshaw neighborhood’s years’ long tunnel dreams have been pinned brightly to Mr. Ridley-Thomas’s lapels.  

How Could This Happen?

Mr. Goodmon, the most visible South Los Angeles leader on the project, was unstinting in his reaction and in denouncing the Board’s refusal to act on one bidder’s contention the tunnel could be built within budget, contrary to claims.

“What the people witnessed on Thursday was a total abdication of the Metro Board’s responsibility to hear the concerns of the community of the South L.A. elected officials – and to hold for 11 months and fail to ask the hard questions of staff,” he said.

Months ago, Mr. Goodmon and his allies learned that – contrary to public posturing by the Board – one of the four contractors bidding to build the line told the Metro staff that the tunnel could be included within the allotted budget.

“For 11 months,” Mr. Goodmon said, “staff has known that at least one of the four bidders said this could be done. “At least one. It might be two. But at least one.

‘Of Course Metro Knew’

“The only way we had fleshed that out was that we had privately learned about it through an MTA whistleblower a few months ago.  If we knew about it that long ago, you know that certain Board members were contacted about it. 

“We finally got to the point where Metro’s staff report admitted, admitted three of the four (contractor) finalists requested to bid it. We have confirmed that at least one of the three put a number to it.”

One haunting mystery of this scenario is that the equally hard sought Leimert Park Village Station, approved in May by the Board, will cost twice as much to build as the tunnel, $120 million to $60 million.

What is going on? The question not only remains unanswered but, typically, ducked.

At 9 o’clock on the morning after the Leimert Park Station was approved, there was a civic celebration in the park, and two of the smilingest faces belonged to Mr. Ridley-Thomas and former Mayor Villaraigosa, spending his first full day as a termed-out mayor.

But on that May morning, both officials were hailed as heroes. They took bows. Last Thursday, Mr. Villaraigosa, the most powerful member, controlling four votes, and Mr. Ridley-Thomas made it clear that given presumed fiscal constraints, they saw no need to go underground for the 11-block stretch.

A Common Sense Alternative to Portland's Mega Highway

From Sylvia Plummer, July 3, 2013


Thanks to Judy Bergstresser for this story.

Here is an amazing video made by graphic genius Spencer Boomhower to illustrate the "common Sense Alternative" to the recently defeated Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project in Portland, Oregon.

We need one of these for the SR-710



And then there is this animation to show people how the old highway and what the new highway would look like.  We need one of these to show people what the SR-710 tunnel portals will look like.
Is there anyone out there that could help with this project?
  

South Pasadena 125th year Birthday "Festival of Balloons" 4th of July Parade

From Sylvia Plummer, July 3, 2013



The No710 Action Committee needs you!!

We need lots and lots of friends to march with us so that we will be seen as a strong force opposing the 710 Freeway Tunnel.
.
(Parade route is less than a mile long)

9:30am - noon   (for marchers)

Meet at Staging Area no later than 9:30 am: 

         806 Meridian Avenue
         South Pasadena  

Wear No710 t-shirt or plain white shirt or plain red shirt.


Diverse CEQA bills ride wave of support

http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2013/07/01/calif-environmental-quality-act-bills.html

By Christopher Arns, July 1, 2013




The California Environmental Quality Act inspired a rare bout of bipartisanship this year among lawmakers.
 The California Environmental Quality Act inspired a rare bout of bipartisanship this year among lawmakers.
 
The California Environmental Quality Act inspired a rare bout of bipartisanship this year.
For starters, Senate lawmakers unanimously approved a major CEQA reform bill in May that would set new thresholds for how things such as noise and transportation would affect local communities.

Last week, the Assembly unanimously passed another CEQA reform bill. Assembly Bill 52, introduced by Southern California Democrat Mike Gatto, would expand the 1970 environmental law to protect Native American tribal places.

The state of California's environmental law already protects archaeological and historical sites, but if Gatto's proposal becomes law, local agencies would have to consult with Native American tribes during the environmental review process if new development would affect any cultural, historic or sacred resources.

Native American tribes say they want a larger role in the development process to protect their heritage. But business groups like the California Association of Realtors and Associated Builders and Contractors of California oppose the proposal, and it has been called a “job killer” by the California Chamber of Commerce.

Gatto’s proposal next has to pass the Senate before it can become law, but so far, the business community's opposition hasn't appeared to affect the votes of lawmakers, and the Assembly's unanimous support means AB 52 has a good chance of passing the more moderate Senate. So far, the bill hasn't been assigned a committee.

THE FUTURE OF FEDERAL FUNDING IS FINANCE: Move LA returns from Transit Initiatives Conference in Atlanta

http://movela.org/2013/07/02/the-future-of-federal-funding-is-finance-move-la-returns-from-transit-initiatives-conference-in-atlanta/

July 2, 2013


Move LA just got back from three hot days in Midtown Atlanta at APTA’s (American Public Transportation Association) Center for Transportation Excellence Conference, where cities and regions from around the U.S. gathered to discuss mounting sales tax initiatives and finding other new sources of revenue for transit.

Detroit, Seattle, St. Louis, Denver, Charlotte, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Baton Rouge were among the several dozen cities and regions in attendance. The success of Measure R in Los Angeles has boosted interest in sales tax initiatives in part because the amount of money raised ($40 billion) is so impressive, and because former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer succeeded in convincing Congress to expand the TIFIA low-interest loan program — revenue streams from sales taxes can be used to secure TIFIA loans. (TIFIA = the Transportation Infrastructure and Financing Innovation Act.)

Researcher (and conference presenter) Stephanie Pollack, associate director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University in Boston, analyzes the Measure R campaign and Move LA’s role in it in a new study available soon.

APTA, T4AMERICA SAY FINANCING IS THE FUTURE

Both APTA and the national nonprofit Transportation for America agreed that federal financing – as distinct from federal funding — is the future, whether through the TIFIA loan program or a new America Fast Forward bond program that has been proposed by Villaraigosa and LA Metro. T4America Policy Director Nick Donohue said that the TIFIA loan program may be the only new source of money for transportation in the next federal reauthorization. “Why take out a loan when you could get a grant?” Donohue asked rhetorically. “Because when it comes to providing free money for transit, the feds are pulling back. Financing is here to stay.”

The TIFIA low-interest loan program was bumped up from $122 million per year to $750 million last year because of the efforts of Villaraigosa and Boxer. TIFIA will be bumped up again this year to $1 billion, an amount that will allow the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide $10 billion in loans.

Donohue noted that TIFIA loans provide transportation agencies with significant advantages over traditional financing programs because: 1) The interest rates are very low (about 3.44%) and can be locked in before an agency starts to build and then accessed later on. 2) Payments can be deferred for up to five years, by which time the project may be producing farebox returns or other revenues. 3) The low interest rate is available regardless of the agency’s credit rating and regardless of whether the loan is subordinate to other debt — a situation faced by many agencies.

Donohue cited T4America’s 2012 report “Thinking Outside the Farebox” as a good source of information on creative approaches to financing transit projects.

LAST YEAR TIFIA, THIS YEAR THE AFF BOND PROGRAM?

LA Metro, which has applied for a $1 billion TIFIA loan, is working hard to build support for the America Fast Forward bond program, which would create a new class of tax credit bonds that would allow local governments and transit agencies to bond against a secure revenue stream such as a sales tax. Private investors would buy the bonds, the city or agency would pay back the principle over time, and the federal government would pay the interest, providing investors with federal income tax credits in lieu of interest payments.  Mayor Villaraigosa’s 30-10 plan (to build 30 years of Measure R-funded transit projects in 10 years) was built upon these two financing mechanisms — TIFIA and the bond program — but Congress only adopted TIFIA last year.  The AFF bond program could be adopted by Congress this year.

Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have expressed interest in the bond program this year.

MORE REGIONS, CITIES EXPLORING CREATIVE FINANCING


A growing number of regions are mounting sales tax initiatives to provide revenue streams that can be used to secure TIFIA loans or bond sales, while others are increasing property tax rates or even using tax increment financing (TIF):  Charlotte, North Carolina, for example, is investigating using TIF to build five new transit lines — by developing mixed-use neighborhoods along them in order to boost property values and raise the tax increment. Similarly, the notoriously auto-oriented and traffic-congested Tysons Corner commercial center in Fairfax County, Virginia, has increased property taxes by 25% in order to provide a revenue stream that will help finance construction of the Silver Line.
APTA Policy and Research Director Darnell Grisby points out that these creative approaches to financing transit are being explored in part because of an increasing body of evidence showing that property in walkable neighborhoods near transit has increased or held its value across the country despite the recession. He cited APTA’s new study, “The New Real Estate Mantra: Location Near Public Transportation,” which showed impressive gains in property values near transit from 2006 to 2011 in six case study regions — ranging from a 37% increase in Phoenix, which has a small system, to 129% in Boston, which has an extensive system.
RAISING STATE GAS TAXES


State constitutions have different rules governing who can put initiatives on the ballot and what kind: In Massachusetts, for example, there can be no ballot measures regarding money — only policy. For this reason transit advocates can’t put a sales tax measure on the ballot and are pushing for a state gas tax increase instead. In Seattle, in contrast, there have been two successful sales tax campaigns for transit, but because there is no state income tax in Washington sales taxes are already quite high, so advocates there are also discussing a state gas tax increase.

Other states considering raising state gas taxes include New Hampshire, New York, Texas, Michigan and Minnesota.

MAKING THE BUSINESS CASE FOR TRANSIT

Speakers at the conference emphasized the importance of making the business case for transit — whether for a sales tax initiative or a gas tax increase —because it is so compelling. “The cost of congestion is like a tax but worse because at least a tax provides revenues while congestion is pure waste,” joked conference presenter Richard Voith of Philadelphia.

Greg Leroy of Good Jobs First noted that an increasing number of employers are become transit advocates because they recognize that one prerequisite for a prosperous business climate is a robust transportation system, and because it’s important to provide employees with affordable transportation options. He referred conference attendees to the new Good Jobs First report “Bosses for Buses.”
Voith added that only transit — not highways — allows for the density of jobs, employees and residents that create so-called “agglomeration economies,” which are the most diverse and rich.

THE REASON ALL THIS MATTERS SO MUCH

Congress will begin consideration of the next big transportation reauthorization bill this summer, but concerns about the budget, the federal deficit, and the pending insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund will stand in the way of a robust transportation funding program. The Trust Fund, which is funded by the national gas tax and is the major source of federal transportation funding, has been depleted due to the greater fuel efficiency of cars, the fact that Americans are driving less, and because the gas tax was set at 18.4 cents per gallon in 1993 and does not rise with gas prices, and because it was not indexed to inflation. Whereas the gas tax represented 17 percent of the price of a gallon of gas in 1993, today it represents just 5 percent. The Trust Fund is projected to be running on empty in 2014 and has required transfusions of about $10 billion a year from the General Fund. This is not sustainable but neither does this Congress appear willing to increase the gas tax.

Highway 126 expansion to begin soon

Project officials: Highway will not shut down entirely during construction


 http://www.signalscv.com/section/36/article/99944/

By Luke Money, July 2, 2013




Citing a need to address growing traffic concerns and the potential for short and long-term economic benefits, a partnership of state and county agencies is planning to break ground on a $50 million project to expand and reroute Highway 126 near the Valencia Commerce Center.

As designed, the project would entail construction of a bridge to lift Highway 126 over Commerce Center Drive in Castaic, improving traffic flow on both routes, according to Paul Maselbas, a principal engineer with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.

Traffic

The project, a cooperative effort between Public Works, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the California Department of Transportation, would also add new lanes on the highway, expanding it to three in each direction.

Maselbas said Tuesday that more than 40,000 vehicles roll through the intersection of Commerce Center Drive and Highway 126 every day.

“The primary purpose of this project is to address existing traffic congestion,” Maselbas said.
But long-term relief for commuters could come at the cost of some temporary delays along Highway 126, which serves as the primary route to some segments of the Santa Clarita Valley, including Val Verde and portions of Castaic, as well as parts of Ventura County and Highway 101.

Jeffrey Payne, construction manager for the Highway 126 project, said Tuesday the highway should be fully open during peak travel times in the morning and at night, but could be reduced to one lane in each direction during construction hours.

He also said there would be “very little” work on weekends or at night in the area.

Funding

While $9 million in funding for the project comes from a Metro grant, the lion’s share of funding for the $50 million project is in the form of bridge and major thoroughfare construction fees.
Those fees are part of the costs that accompany residential and commercial development, such as the Newhall Ranch residential development project, which would add more than 20,000 homes along Highway 126.

Though future developments would stand to benefit from the highway expansion, Maselbas said the project was not planned to benefit any specific development.

“This project is needed to address the current situation that exists and not to further future development,” Maselbas said.

Additional provisions
The project also includes
 adding on- and off-ramps from Highway 126 to Commerce Center Drive and Henry Mayo Drive, realigning and extending Henry Mayo Drive, adding new traffic signals at the intersection of Commerce Center and Henry Mayo drives and at the intersection of Highway 126 and the access road to the Valencia Travel Village RV park.

These road improvements could have a defined economic impact in the Santa Clarita Valley, according to Maselbas, as construction alone could create 1,600 temporary jobs.

Maselbas also said the completed project could result in the creation of 7,000 permanent jobs in the nearby Valencia Commerce Center as it is built out.

Other impacts

The project also entails planting new landscaping to help stabilize the bank of the Santa Clara River near Highway 126 and removing some invasive species to improve water flow in the river.

The plan is to start construction on the project sometime in mid-July or early August, according to Maselbas, though that could change depending on the outcome of biological studies in the area.
The potential for such delays was built into the construction contract for the project, which was awarded to local developer C.A. Rasmussen, Inc.

“We’ve got it built into our contract that the environment takes precedence over all else out there,” Maselbas said.
Public Works al
so has to relocate some utility services in the area to accommodate construction, according to Payne. But there should be no interruption in any services during relocation, he said.

The project is slated to be complete in late 2016.

Meet Your New Transportation Committee, Chaired by Mike Bonin

http://la.streetsblog.org/2013/07/02/meet-your-new-transportation-committee-chaired-by-mike-bonin/

By Damien Newton, July 2, 2013



We just received confirmation from Council Member Mike Bonin’s office that Bonin will  replace his former boss Bill Rosendahl as Chair of the City Council Transportation Committee. The Westside’s Council District 11, which Bonin represents, is home to two of the largest infrastructure projects in the region, the 405 Widening through the Sepulveda Pass and Phase II of the Expo Line.
I didn’t notice until just now that it kind of looks like Mike has a cape slung over his shoulder too. 
 
Most of the rest of the cast remains the same. Paul Koretz from the neighboring Council District 5 remains the Vice-Chair. Tom LaBonge and Bernard Parks remain on the committee as well. The only change is that Downtown and Boyle Heights Council Member Jose Huizar is replaced by Valley Council Member Paul Krekorian.

From a Livable Streets perspective,  Bonin may be the best vetted Transportation Committee Chair in the world. He appeared competent and passionate at our CD 11 City Council Forum in January, handled my questions well in a one-on-one discussion after the forum (above), answered a Bike Coalition questionaire, and built his own legacy as a heavyweight on these issues when Rosendahl chaired the committee  and Mike was his Chief of Staff.

While there has been a lot of Livable Streets related action in Huizar’s district, Krekorian has been a favorite of many activists since he took a stand against speed limit increases as a State Senator in 2008. As a Council Member, he continues to push back against LADOT/LAPD efforts to increase limits on local streets in his district.

We’re working on setting up an interview with Bonin as we speak. When we have details of how we’re going to conduct that interview, we’ll be sure to let you know.  At least this time, we won’t have to teach the Transportation Committee Chair how to ride a bicycle.

Two 4th of July Parades

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com/

July 3, 2013


 



Tomorrow is our 4th of July Parade, an event we are always very proud of here in Sierra Madre. My son Jack will be marching in the parade with the band from The Gooden School. The Gooden's marching band got the #5 slot in the parade, which to my mind is the very best one there is because they will be playing just before this year's Grand Marshal, our military veterans from VFW Post 3208.

The kids have all been hard at work practicing their favorite patriotic songs, and are very excited that they will get to do this. It is quite an honor for them.

This year in particular we will all be able to honor Sierra Madre's veterans from World War II, something we can thank the 4th of July Parade Committee for working to make happen. To my mind this makes it even more of a special event than usual, something that goes to the heart of what our parade and community is all about. This is where my family plans to be tomorrow.

Another thing that the 4th of July is all about is celebrating the freedom of the American people to freely speak their minds in whatever way they choose. Hopefully people remember this, it is a right many made the ultimate sacrifice to protect. In South Pasadena a lot of people, and from many different towns, will be doing this by marching in that city's 4th of July Parade. And for one very special reason, to stop any further consideration of the environmentally devastating and state bureaucracy driven 710 Tunnel.

Here is how the good people at the No 710 Action Committee describe what is going down there:

Seven Cities Celebrate 60 year 710 Freeway Battle with 4th of July Parade Protest March in South Pasadena. South Pasadena fights 710 Freeway for Half of its 125 years of history, 7 times longer than the American Revolution.

South Pasadena has been fighting the extension of the 710 freeway through its community for half of it's 125 year existence as an incorporated city.

Recognizing this citizen-led freeway fight has lasted seven times longer than the American Revolution, we are joined by our friends and neighbors from seven cities marching in solidarity with South Pasadena citizens to say no freeway tunnels should ever ruin anyone's city.

Citizens from Alhambra, Altadena, Glendale, La Canada Flintridge, Los Angeles, San Marino, Sierra Madre, La Crescenta and other cities will march with residents from Pasadena, South Pasadena and El Sereno who would be directly impacted by a freeway tunnel in South Pasadena's Festival of Balloons 4th of  July Parade, Thursday July 4th.

Background: Since 1947, The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), Caltrans and its predecessors have proposed, studied and advocated for the building of a freeway through the heart of South Pasadena's historic community. The proposed freeway route would extend the 710 Freeway from the 10 Freeway in the Los Angeles community of El Sereno at the Alhambra border to the 210 Freeway in Pasadena.

The latest freeway proposal is to bore one to two 4.6 mile tunnels underneath South Pasadena and make it a tollway, threatening to divert traffic onto residential streets.

Parade Location and Times: Parade runs the length of Mission Street from Meridian to Garfield Park in South Pasadena. 10:30 opening ceremonies at footsteps of the South Pasadena Library Community Room. 11 am, 31st annual South Pasadena Fourth of July parade begins.

Like I said, I plan on being here for Sierra Madre's 4th of July parade. But I know that some people, like me, also feel very strongly about the 710 Tunnel issue. That includes our Sierra Madre City Council which voted unanimously to oppose this unnecessary and environmentally destructive example of bureaucratic madness.

Should you choose here is a good opportunity to do something about it. And in the most patriotic and celebratory of ways.

For those of you who do oppose the 710 Tunnel, here is some good news: Metro Board removes 710 extension from accelerated projects (link).