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

Monday, July 8, 2013

Larry Wilson: Not everyone wants diet for Pasadena's streets Read more: http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_23588579/larry-wilson-not-everyone-wants-diet-pasadenas-streets#ixzz2YWdxOsaq


By Larry Wilson, July 3, 2013

Turns out not every motorist is enthralled by the idea of putting our city streets on a diet. I wrote about such proposals, including the notion of moveable parklets, in Pasadena's Playhouse District, last week. Reader Eleanor Valentine, who has lived in Pasadena since 1930, drops a note:

"Please drive on Washington Blvd. between Allen Ave. and Hill Ave. right here in Pasadena. That area has the cute little bulb-outs, with the concrete posts standing around the edge like little soldiers (or worse) so drivers can see the bulb-outs. They still get hit and need frequent replacing. The purpose of these B-O's is said to be so pedestrians don't have so far to walk when crossing the street. WHY? The major flaw with the B-O's is that they take away the right-hand turn lane, so turns must be made from the No. 2 traffic lane. This also makes the busses stop in the No. 2 traffic lane to pick up and discharge riders, while traffic waits behind them."

Hadn't been over to East Washington in a while, so Tuesday morning I drove straight through, from Altadena Drive all the way west to the Arroyo Seco. First thing I noticed was how nicely done the city blocks east of Lake are looking -- the unincorporated area toward Eaton Canyon is in relative disrepair. It's not the most pedestrian-heavy street, but I for one like the job planners have done with the crosswalks. Problem seems to me that drivers just aren't seeing the new corner "bulbs," and are hitting them, and sometimes the quite obvious "little soldiers." Motorists should open their eyes. There are black tire marks on every bulb. 

Eleanor eloquently disagrees: "Our planners are getting sillier and sillier. All the wonderful CALMING effects only produce irritated drivers."

At random this Wednesday: Talking of drivers, I'd been hearing that Pasadena would be joining the bigger cities experimenting with Zipcars, the $10-an-hour rental company that lets you worry about a car only when you need one. Caltech has already partnered with the company for faculty and students. But Playhouse District Executive Director Erlinda Romo reports, after talking to the city's Mike Bagheri, that within four to six months there will be a pilot program in Pasadena's downtown, with eight Zipcar pickup locations ...

How Mayor Garcetti Can Keep LA Transportation on Track


By Ken Alpern, July 4, 2013

ALPERN AT LARGE - New Mayor Eric Garcetti has inherited both a legacy and a huge "to-do" list from former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and it's no secret that both men share the desire to establish a first-rate 21st Century transportation system for the City and County of Los Angeles.

However, Mayor Garcetti has the opportunity and need to build upon the successes of his predecessor, while reversing some of the inertia and baggage his predecessor left him as well.
And it's safe to say that Angelenos and LA County residents expect no less of Mayor Garcetti, because he resides in a county and Southland that many (perhaps most?) non-Angeleno residents know more of and about Eric Garcetti than they do of their own smaller-town mayor.  It may seem crazy, but it's true that when it comes to major transportation and other initiatives, Eric Garcetti is de facto mayor of more than just Los Angeles.

So let's do a quick overview of some of Antonio Villaraigosa's accomplishments, which were HUGE: he broke through the legal and funding roadblocks to reconstructing the Wilshire Subway, helped pushed through Measure R and almost pushed through Measure J, helped start the America Fast Forward initiative in Washington, and did yeoman's work behind the scenes towards getting light rail built from the Expo Line through Crenshaw Blvd. to LAX.

Villaraigosa's baggage includes:  too much wining and dining and inappropriate promises with developers who cared not about transit, the environment and mobility but with making only a quick buck, turning off Angeleno voters by bad land use and budgetary decisions after they voted overwhelmingly for Measure R, and creating a city/county divide that unnecessarily alienated and infuriated the San Gabriel Valley, Southeast County Cities and South Bay Cities.

It's not accurate or fair to say that Villaraigosa's negatives outnumbered his positives on transportation--much of it he couldn't avoid, and involved tough and painful decisions, but the style and nature of Eric Garcetti gives the latter a golden opportunity for a fresh start--but Garcetti WILL be expected to keep up the efforts and energy of his predecessor on transportation, lest he be viewed as another Mayor Hahn.

So here we go:

GOAL #1:  Pick the right three Metro Boardmembers to represent the City of Los Angeles!
This is a chore I do not envy Hizzoner Garcetti.  Everyone has an agenda, and no one wants to be disincluded.  Effectively, he'll have four votes on the Metro Board, and while has been argued that we should have voters directly vote for the Metro Board, it's not the way it works.  So in other words, fellow voters, your City and County votes mean something with respect to Metro decisions!

We've got an Expo Line that's not finished but has much if not most of the big hurdles behind it, we've got a Crenshaw Line that remains controversial and divisive within the region and City, a Downtown Light Rail Connector that is not without controversy, and the need to finally connect MetroRail to LAX.

So Garcetti will need loyal advisors and friends to form a reliable and savvy voting bloc on the Board.
My recommendations (and boy, won't Garcetti get oodles of "advice") is to keep Richard Katz (a smart, savvy veteran) and to appoint Westsider Mike Bonin and Mid-City/Downtowner Jan Perry.

GOAL #2:  Create betterments for the Expo and Crenshaw Lines that include Regional Transit Centers!

The key stations that will have two connecting rail lines will become reality within a Garcetti mayoral era (especially if he is re-elected in four years) include Exposition/Crenshaw, Exposition/Sepulveda/Pico and Century/Aviation.  These are perfect locations for rail, bus, DASH van and other options for intermodal transit centers and transit malls.

Land use decisions are critical at these sites, and after the Casden debacle at Exposition/Sepulveda/Pico (Casden never gave a damn about transit-oriented development, and now isn't obligated to build one), the need for Metro and the City of LA to step up and make these transit centers to serve commuters is more glaring than ever.

And while we're at it, parking for all key stations where it is in short supply is necessary to encourage Angelenos who choose to get out of their cars to do just that.  Parking does NOT discourage transit use, and anyone in Planning or the LADOT who continues to drink that kool-aid should be fired or transferred post-haste.

GOAL#3:  Be the right communicator and diplomat to get past the contentious Crenshaw/LAX Line conundrum!

Antonio Villaraigosa and Mark Ridley-Thomas helped get us past most of the nasty and thorny decision-making and politically-sensitive issues with their recent decision to award the project to a contractor that will build what is one of the most expensive light rail projects ever, and with both an underground Leimert Park and surface-level Westchester/Hindry station...but without a Park Mesa tunnel.

The Westside and South Bay potentially had their projects in jeopardy because of the over $120 million devoted to this Crenshaw/LAX Line betterment, which set one region against another until Measure C money could be found to fill in their gaps and prevent yet a new crisis.

The fury of the Mid-City of the decision to keep the Park Mesa region surface-level is both palpable and understandable , but it should be reminded that legal precedent and Metro policy prevents such a tunnel.

Ask South Pasadena and Cheviot Hills residents what happened to their desired tunnels, and it's not hard to figure out that if Metro policy (based on car trips and safety measures) prevents a tunnel at one location for a given project, then it does so for all other comparable locations and projects.  It's the law, and any contractor who promises the moon (or a Park Mesa tunnel) is doing so inappropriately and without any legal merit.

Better to focus on a new Measure J and long-term plan that focuses on where a tunnel MUST be placed, which would be to expand this Crenshaw/LAX line north underground (required for legal and engineering reasons) to the future Wilshire Subway, and which would make this light rail a very well-ridden line, indeed.

Compromise is tough, gut-wrenching and downright painful.  Let's focus on how to spruce up the Crenshaw Corridor and help the merchants there any way we legally can--Garcetti needs to communicate these sentiments to a region that is as seething and unhappy as are Westsiders who wanted an Expo Line tunnel in their neighborhood.

GOAL #4:  End the East/West divide with respect to the Foothill Gold Line!

While County Supervisor Mike Antonovich gets failing marks for political acumen, his vision is superb--Metrolink and high-speed rail between the county and the rest of the state (and with Las Vegas), as well as a Norwalk MetroRail/Metrolink connection, to say nothing of the Foothill Gold Line extension to Ontario Airport.

(MetroRail serves local commuting needs and local development, while Metrolink is more for long-distance commuting, and they're both very helpful for those who use them)

The Wilshire Subway is fundamental to the region, but should never, EVER be built to the exclusion of (and paid for by) the rest of the county's transportation needs.

If Eric Garcetti wants to tax Angelenos only to expedite the Subway, that's his prerogative, but there can never be a happy county unless he respects the league of allied Republican and Democratic electeds who are backing the Foothill Gold Line extension.  If not for Antonovich, do it for THESE folks who need our alliance, not our opposition.

In other words, Mayor Garcetti, be the man who got MetroRail to BOTH Ontario and LAX airports!
GOAL #5:  Get MetroRail to LAX (specifically the central airline terminals)

Despite the aforementioned controversy of the Crenshaw/LAX project, while this project does create a nice network to connect the Expo Line to the Green Line, it does NOT get MetroRail to the central airline terminals...only to Century/Aviation station, which is a mile from those airline terminals.

Anger and frustration still beset taxpayers and voters as to why we've not done this yet, but the big problem is the MAP.  The freeway and rail right of way are a mile or more from the airport.

(Speaking of MAP, the need to keep the 78 MAP limit of 78 Million Annual Passengers intact is critical for the Economy, Environment and Quality of Life for all city and county residents, no matter what crazy things that Henry Waxman says about LAX being able to expand)

So we've got two main options, and they potentially are in competition with the Crenshaw/LAX line because that latter line serves those accessing LAX from the east, but not really all that well from the north, south and west:

1) Create a connecting People Mover Monorail from Century/Aviation to the central airline terminals, to the cost of about $1-2 billion.

2) Redo the Crenshaw/LAX southern portion and create a singular Crenshaw/Green Line under LAX, also to the cost of about $1-2 billion.

Only when we have a truly comprehensive LAX/MetroRail plan to serve the Westside, South Bay, Mid-City, Southeast City and Downtown regions will voters and taxpayers be happy.  Expansions of the Green Line to the Westside and South Bay must be taken seriously in any LAX land use plan, and the need to revisit Alternative 2 for LAX modernization (NOT expansion) is imperative.

Clearly, Eric Garcetti has his work cut out for him...but it can be done.  His predecessor has laid the groundwork and cleared many horrific obstacles for him, and now it's up to Eric Garcetti to diplomatically make his visions and case clear to both the electeds and voters alike.
The Villaraigosa Era of transportation is over, and the Garcetti Era of transportation must now begin post-haste.

Parking Problems on Alhambra's 710 Day

From Sylvia Plummer:

Parking will be a problem.

Fremont will be closed between Mission and Valley 8:30 am to 3:30 pm

Adjacent streets to Fremont will have no parking. 

Kohl's on Fremont & Mission is probably the best option.
In the event that Kohls restricts their parking lot during business hours, another option is Meridian Avenue behind Kohls. There are no restrictions during the day on Meridian Avenue.
Be sure to read street signs to avoid getting a parking ticket. 

If you want to take a bus from Pasadena:  Take Metro line 485 on Lake & Colorado, which goes to Valley & Fremont in Alhambra. 

The following handout was distributed by Alhambra city crews. 


Inline image 1

Press Release: UCT Protest of CALTRANS Hearings over Rent Increases

From Sylvia Plummer:

The United CalTrans Tenants (UCT)  living along the 710 right of way, will be conducting a picketing protest against the drastic increase of rental rates initiated by CalTrans. 

 UCT is asking that their friends and neighbors come out to join them.

Tuesday, July 9th  -  5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
El Sereno Library
5226 S. Huntington Drive
Los Angeles,  90032


Wednesday,  July 10th  -  5:00 pm  -  7:00 pm
Pasadena Convention Center
300 E. Green Street
Lower Level, Room 211
Pasadena,   91101


For Release at 12:01 am PDT
On Monday, July 8, 2013

United Caltrans Tenants (UCT) Protest of Cal Trans Hearing

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 between 5:00 PM – 6:30 pm PDT
at the El Sereno Library 5226 S. Huntington Drive, 90032

El Sereno, CA 90032 – Tuesday, July 9, 2013 – The United Caltrans Tenants will be conducting a picketing protest at a hearing for public comment to Caltrans, California Department of Transportation to enact an emergency policy to restrict the usage of the affordable rate act policy for residential housing rental rate increases.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 between 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM PDT
Pasadena Convention Center, Conference Center, Lower Level, Room 211
300 East Green St., Pasadena 91101

Caltrans’ residential housing division began on March 1, 2013 to raise the rental rates of the tenants of the 710 Freeway Right of Way houses by a drastic increase of 10 % every 6 months to a new monthly rate Caltrans has determined to charge for the property rental.  In most cases the new monthly rental rate will be up to 70 % MORE.

The Caltrans Right of Way Division is requiring what it has determined to be the “Market Rate” of the houses, but refuses to make necessary repairs to bring the houses into the required livable housing standards – broken windows gone unrepaired for months, toilet repair, etc.  Caltrans has engaged in slumlord actions.  Caltrans will not provide monthly billing or allow payments locally as the only required payment location is their Sacramento office, even though they are located in downtown Los Angeles.

There are over 400 residential rental properties along the 710 Freeway Right of Way between where the 710 Freeway ends at Valley Blvd just north of the 10 Freeway and 210 Freeway in Pasadena for the communities of El Sereno, South Pasadena and Pasadena.  The residents must maintain the rental properties in livable conditions, but Caltrans is reluctant to do their part.

Pasadena Central Library Presents Laboratory for Modernity, Los Angeles, 1940-1990


July 5, 2013

Join Pasadena Central Library for a look at Los Angeles as scholars and urban planners discuss landscape and infrastructural changes in greater Los Angeles, circa 1940-1990 on Thursday, July 11 at 7:00 p.m. in Pasadena Central Library’s Donald R. Wright Auditorium, 285 E. Walnut St. The event is free and open to the public.

The evening’s panel event draws on a new online photographic exhibit drawn from the Southern California Edison photographic archive at the Huntington Library. That archive, with more than 70,000 images, offers a fascinating tour of the Los Angeles past and insight into how Los Angeles became modern.

Panelists and discussants include: Greg Hise, Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William Deverell, Professor of History, Interim Chair, Director at the University of Southern California, Sarah Schrank, Professor of History at California State University, Long Beach, Jan Reiff, Associate Professor of History & Statistics at the University of California, Los Angeles, Eric Avila, Associate Professor of Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Alan Loomis, Principal Urban Designer for the City of Glendale.

For more information, contact Bill Deverell at Deverell@dornsife.usc.edu.

Fremont Avenue Commuters Can Complain To These People

In regard to the closure of Fremont Avenue on July 10, 2013, for Alhambra's 710 Day party, Joe Cano will be passing along this flyer to commuters stuck in traffic on Fremont Avenue and Mission:

To all commuters that travel Fremont Ave to get to work & are late because of this closure you can file a complaint about the traffic on Fremont Ave by

Alhambra Mayor Steve Placido
Alhambra Vice Mayor Stephen Sham
Councilwoman Barbara Messina:
 Dept. Phone: 626-570-5010
Councilman Gary Yamauchi                      
Councilman Luis Ayala
City Clerk: Lauren Miles: cityclerk1@cityofalhambra.org

Alhambra Police Department:
Mark Yokoyama Police Chief:

Alhambra City Services – 626 570 5067

What would Jesus drive? Pope tells priests to buy "humble" cars


By Catherine Hornby, July 8, 2013

 A line of 2012 Focus sedans are lined up for sale at a Ford dealership in the south Denver suburb of Littleton, Colo. Feb. 19, 2012.

Pope Francis said on Saturday it pained him to see priests driving flashy cars, and told them to pick something more "humble".

As part of his drive to make the Catholic Church more austere and focus on the poor, Francis told young and trainee priests and nuns from around the world that having the latest smartphone or fashion accessory was not the route to happiness.

"It hurts me when I see a priest or a nun with the latest model car, you can't do this," he said.
"A car is necessary to do a lot of work, but please, choose a more humble one. If you like the fancy one, just think about how many children are dying of hunger in the world," he said.

Since succeeding Pope Benedict in March, the former cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina has eschewed some of the more ostentatious trappings of his office and has chosen to live in a Vatican guest house rather than the opulent papal apartments.

The ANSA news agency said the pope's car of choice for moving around the walled Vatican City was a compact Ford Focus.

Close the 710 Gap

Posted by Joe Cano on Facebook, July 8, 2013

I was out scoping the area when I got this handout from city crews were handing out to the residents in around the area. Basically, all southbound traffic on Fremont will be directed east & west depending on where folks need to go until 3:30PM. This going to create a great (traffic mess).

Alhambra 710 Day will create a traffic nightmare for surrounding cities--Video by Joe Cano.





What If Someone Made a Car Ad That Reflected Reality?


By Angie Schmitt, July 8, 2013


You can’t avoid them: leaping out of your television, a magazine, or the billboard you walk by on the overpass. There they are — cars, sleek and shiny, racing unfettered on some pristine street to the soothing tones of a hyper-masculine narrator.

Copenhagenize has the antidote for anyone who’s ever felt irritated by the dreamy idealization of car commercials. Ivan Conte developed this “reality-based” car spot to counter the slick imagery that auto companies bombard us with.

Copenhagenize’s Mikael Colville-Andersen writes:
It’s no secret that car commercials are, by and large, fiction. Shiny cars roaring along empty streets devoid of traffic jams or scarring their way through impressive landscapes. Selling the dream. With the emphasis on dream.

So. What if car commercials reflected the reality of life on the roads? What if they had to — or were even forced to by laws regarding advertising standards — highlight the carnage that motorists cause on the roads of the world.

Back in 2009, we blogged about our idea that cars should be subject to the same rules regarding tobacco products and be forced to feature health warnings.

Here at Copenhagenize Design Co. we played around and took it the next level, producing a car commercial based in reality instead of fantasy.
That’s one disturbing commercial. How much does a 30-second slot during the Super Bowl cost?
Elsewhere on the Network today: Biking Toronto notes that four out of the city’s top five “fittest city councillors” make biking a part of their daily life. Transport Providence reports that the city is planning to sink $3.1 million into a downtown parking lot. And Streets.mn shares some stats on vehicle mileage in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, where people drove six million fewer miles in 2011 than in 2008.

BRT system that will link Calif. universities making progress


July 7, 2018

Officials at the public bus agency Omnitrans are touting the latest in their efforts give future riders of its developing transit service a better look at how that service will be different than regular bus service. 

Crews in the last month have been installing electronic ticket vending machines, security cameras, arrival/departure signs and emergency call lines at the Cal State San Bernardino station of the SBX rapid-transit line, a dedicated route bus service planned to go from CSUSB to Loma Linda.
The machines have also been going in at the route's Kendall Drive and Palm Avenue park-and-ride facility.

Omnitrans is still building the route, which is estimated to cost $192 million.

The planned SBX system, the first-of-its-kind express bus service in the Inland Empire, will span north San Bernardino and Loma Linda. Civic leaders have pitched the project as a boon for the area.
SBX buses, which burn natural gas, will reduce air pollution and vehicle congestion while providing the public efficient transportation to and from Cal State San Bernardino and Loma Linda University, officials said.

The project will also spur economic growth, officials say.

SBX will include dedicated lanes and signal-light priority, meaning buses will be able to make red lights turn green or make green lights stay green longer.

The route's north end will be Palm and Kendall avenues near Cal State San Bernardino. SBX will run southeast along E Street, through downtown San Bernardino. It will then move east along Hospitality Lane and end on Barton Road in Loma Linda at the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Veterans Medical Center.

The project is expected to be completed on time and under budget, Omnitrans officials said.
The targeted completion date is early next year.

In the coming months, officials say the new electrical components will be tested.

And that will come as early this month. Northbound crews will shut down E Street between Second and Court streets for about two weeks for work such as paving.

As a detour, motorists can use D Street to the east. Businesses will remain open and parking will continue to be available at the Civic Center parking structure. In addition, northbound E Street between Court and Sixth streets will close between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. for similar work.

Read more: http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_23615768/elements-omnitrans-sbx-rapid-transit-line-project-taking#ixzz2YTk8TsnD


Solar-powered sedan hits Dutch streets


By John Upton, July 8, 2013

 This solar-powered car, Stella, was unveiled Thursday.

This solar-powered car, Stella, was unveiled Thursday.
Plug-in electric car? That’s so 2013.

The electric sedans of the future will also generate their own photovoltaic power.

That’s the philosophy behind a new class of competition in this year’s World Solar Challenge.
Since 1987, the challenge has had solar-powered cars racing across the parched Australian outback every couple years. But the solar-powered vehicles that have competed in the challenge, while exciting and innovative, have been anything but consumer-friendly. They have typically carried only an uncomfortable driver in a craft shaped like a sheet of aluminum foil precariously perched over three wheels.

This year’s challenge, scheduled for October, will push teams to go even further. The new Michelin cruiser class has been created for vehicles that could conceivably be marketed as family sedans. Ten teams have entered, and they will compete against each other for points awarded based on such criteria as practicality, attractiveness, and energy consumption.

On Thursday, one of the those teams unveiled its entry, taking a car it dubbed Stella to cordoned-off Dutch streets to strut its photovoltaic stuff. And it’s pretty as a pug. Watch:

The team of 22 Eindhoven University of Technology students behind Stella has vowed to register the car for on-road use, helping to demonstrate its potential commercial viability. From a press release:
‘Stella’ is the first ‘energy-positive car’ with room for four people, a trunk, intuitive steering and a range of 600 kilometers.

By combining aerodynamic design with lightweight materials like carbon and aluminum, a very fuel-efficient car has been designed, which also has ingenious applications like a LED strip and touchscreen that make all the buttons and knobs we know today superfluous. Intuitive driving is enabled by a steering wheel that expands or contracts when you are driving too fast or too slowly. STE will have the car officially certified for road use to prove that this really is a fully-fledged car.

California seeks to break freight bottleneck


By Todd Solomon, July 3, 2013

California's Devore Interchange is a critical freight link serving 21,000 trucks each day. It links Interstates 15 and 215; and it connects freight traffic from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach with critical points east. It also carries more than one million drivers per week and can back up as far as five miles due to excess volume.

A bottleneck like that doesn't just slow down San Bernardino County; it slows down our nation's economy. And that's why we're pleased to see that California has broken ground on a modernized Devore Interchange that will relieve freight congestion through this critical corridor.

Infographic of traffic statistics fro the Devore Interchange
Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Greg Nadeau was on hand to help state and local officials celebrate the start of this important project. And he offered three terrific reasons for the $245 million federal investment to see this work through:
"Improving safety – our number one priority at DOT, Caltrans and throughout the transportation community; relieving congestion so people can spend more time doing what they want to do and less time stuck in traffic, and; helping freight move more efficiently to and from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and then out to the nation and the world."
Photo of Greg Nadeau speaking at the Devore groundbreaking
Deputy Administrator Greg Nadeau addresses crowd at the Devore Interchange groundbreaking;
photo courtesy Stan Lim, The Press-Enterprise
As part of the Devore project, the I-15/I-215 interchange and adjacent interchanges will be reconfigured with an added lane in each direction. And, in addition to the new general traffic lanes, the project will also include a truck bypass lane in each direction that will further improve safety and reduce congestion for commercial vehicles as well as passenger cars.
Photo of traffic backed up for miles near the Devore Interchange
Deputy Administrator Nadeau also observed that redesigning the Devore Interchange is far from the only thing we're doing to improve movement of the goods that fuel our economy. As he noted, "The Department is devoting a lot of attention to freight."

From the National Freight Advisory Committee (NFAC), which held its first meeting last week, to our investments in coastal and inland ports to track upgrades on the Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad, this DOT is working hard to keep our economic arteries flowing as safely and efficiently as possible.

In California, those upgrades also include projects to modernize the Gerald Desmond Bridge--the main link to the Port of Long Beach--and to improve safety around the at-grade Colton road-rail crossing. In fact, the Colton Crossing could be the oldest bottleneck in U.S. history, with a history of freight delays dating back to 1893.

At DOT, we call these projects a good start. But truck drivers, rail engineers, and port operators know that we've still got miles to go. Efficient freight movement is too important to America's economy for us to slow down now.

Join us at Alhambra's 710 Day

From Sylvia Plummer:

Join us at Alhambra's 710 Day

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Location: Fremont Ave/Valley Blvd., Alhambra

Wear No 710 shirt, red shirt & No710 buttons. We will have No 710 fans, pins, stickers and flyers to hand out.

Again we want to show the opposition that there are many in the area against the 710 Tunnel. We are also there to educate those in Alhambra that know nothing about Metro's bad idea: SR-710 tunnels.
Come any time after 10:00 a.m. and stay as long as you can.  

Important Information:  
(1)  Parking:  There is an electrical sign on Fremont that says that Fremont will be closed from 8:30AM to 3:30PM. It doesn't say where the closure will begin and end. (It probably will be between Mission and Valley).  Parking will be a challenge.  Take a look at the map below of the area. You can park at Kohl's on Fremont and walk over. Or, if you can get to Valley Blvd without using Fremont you may be able to find parking in the neighborhood next to the event.

(2)  Joe Cano will be video taping this event.   He will be documenting as usual and anyone that wants to ask the targeted questions to the Metro Representatives need to signal Joe in advance so he can position the camera.  Question that can be asked of the Metro staffers are 'what are your qualification?  Are they experts in particulate matter science and pollution related fields?  Are they in anyway affiliated with CH2M Hill?  Previous questioning of qualifications has revealed the people at these events are just out of engineering school or Public Relations people.  If Harry Baldwin or Leland Dolley (710 Coalition) are at the event, Joe will handle them.

Bonnie & Clyde of Alhambra

Posted by Joe Cano on Facebook, July 8, 2013

California Seeks to Break Freight Bottleneck


July 8, 2013

The U.S. Transportation Department says California's Devore Interchange is a critical freight link serving 21,000 trucks each day. Now the state has broken ground on a modernized Devore Interchange that will relieve freight congestion through this critical corridor.

Credit: U.S. DOT
Credit: U.S. DOT
The interchange links Interstates 15 and 215 and connects freight traffic from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach with critical points east. It also carries more than 1 million drivers per week and can back up as far as 5 miles due to excess volume.

As part of the Devore project, the I-15/I-215 interchange and adjacent interchanges will be reconfigured with an added lane in each direction. And, in addition to the new general traffic lanes, the project will also include a truck bypass lane in each direction that will further improve safety and reduce congestion for commercial vehicles as well as passenger cars.

Read more from the U.S. DOT, about this project to reduce the backups and speed up freight movements.

Roadshow: Drivers not pleased that California highways rank among worst in nation


By Gary Richards, July 7, 2013

Q If we are spending five times the national average on per-mile maintenance for our state highways and freeways, why are we ranking near the bottom on road quality? Why are our roads in such bad shape when we are paving them in gold, or is gold simply a poor paving material? Where is all that money going if it is not actually improving the roads? It strikes me that we have been throwing money at the problem to the point where we are paying five times the normal cost for repairs and not seeing results, so throwing more money at the problem would probably not improve things. I wonder if it is not time to turn down the money tap and look for holes in the money bucket.
 Jeff Masnaghetti
Palo Alto

A And ...

Q We need a follow-up article as to why California has the highest state gas taxes and is ranked among the worst in roads. My bet is that the government has spent all the money on nonproductive pensions. When they do add a road with the proclamation that they are spending our tax dollars to help us, it is almost invariably a politically correct carpool lane. When are we going to get politicians with brains instead of a bunch of idiots who take care of everyone but the normal, hardworking folks who just want to drive to work on a decent road?
Mike Nichols

 A I think I could be elected governor if I promised to fill every pothole in the state.

Q So we rank near the bottom in quality of roads, although we spend five times the national average per mile on our roads. I am certain the best solution is not higher taxes and fees. ... Highest taxes, worst roads, best weather. Need I say more?
Karl Pingle, Jack Levy and so many more

A No. Many others responded to the Reason Foundation report released last week that ranked California 47th in the quality of its roads. They wonder if the state spends its money foolishly and if that is to blame for potholes, cracked concrete and bumpy roads.

I believe this is the likely answer. Paving funds were scaled way back for almost a decade and our aging highway system fell into terrible disrepair. Most countywide taxes and state bonds approved by voters went for major construction work and not for keeping our roads smooth.

That is starting to change, and in 2009 -- the most recent year in this report -- the state spent 24 percent more to upgrade the system. Since then, almost every freeway in the Bay Area has been repaved. It'll be interesting to see how California ranks in the years ahead.

Q I know potholes are a problem everywhere, but Bear Creek Road is just getting worse and worse, and I know Santa Cruz County has no dollars to do anything about it.
Gregg S.
Boulder Creek

A You have that right. In Santa Cruz County, this link between Highway 17 and the San Lorenzo Valley is about 10 miles long. The upper two-plus miles west of Highway 35 was resurfaced three years ago and is in good condition. In 2008 pavement was repaired on the lower five miles and is in fair condition.

Your main beef is the two-mile middle portion, which needs resurfacing. The problem here is a lack of cash. No federal, state, or local funding is available.

On the Santa Clara County side, Bear Creek will be closed Monday through Thursday for chip seal work from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Q I know the Valley Transportation Authority is seeking dedicated bus lanes on El Camino Real in Santa Clara County. Do you know whether anything similar is being discussed for San Mateo County?
Cherie Zaslawsky

A Samtrans is beginning an 18-month planning process to study the idea, but nothing will happen soon.