By Rachel Young, January 14, 2014
Note from Sylvia Plummer: The Metro Planning and Programming Committee is on January 15, not January 22 as stated in the article below. It also will be held at the Metro Board Room, 3rd floor, One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, not in Paramount as stated in the article below.
A five-city collaboration to ensure an independent and accurate
assessment of the impacts of the controversial SR-710 freeway extension
picked up the financial support of Pasadena City Council Monday night.
Pasadena will join Glendale, La Canada-Flintridge, Sierra Madre, and
South Pasadena to each contribute $50,000 toward completing further
analysis of the specific environmental impact on the five cities
regarding the proposed project.
The SR-710 freeway proposes to link the current 710 freeway with the
210 freeway. One proposed alternative includes linking the freeways with
a tunnel under Pasadena that would break records for the longest
freeway tunnel infrastructure.
More than twenty members of the public voiced support for the study with no opposition at Monday’s council meeting.
“In terms of this 710 extension, the construction would require the
removal of 200 million cubic feet of dirt, for a total of 450,000
truckloads. That means 128 truckloads transported through our area every
single day, seven days a week for ten years,” Michael Cornwell said
during public comments.
Although Councilmember Steve Madison tried for a third time to take a
full-council position against the SR-710 tunnel proposal, he was met by
requests from fellow Councilmembers to wait for the Environmental
Impact Report, which will be released in March.
“People are terrified by this. It is a terrifying prospect that would
absolutely render Pasadena an entirely different city. It’s with no
small amount of irony that we started tonight with talking about events
that take place in West Pasadena every year that make us the epicenter,
the glow on New Year’s Day, this would absolutely destroy that. This is
like a dystopian nightmare,” Madison said.
When the draft environmental impact report is released in March, a
sixty-day comment period will ensue. The five-cities have asked that the
comment period be extended to 120 days.
“We are looking for factual predicate upon which to make the decision
and I believe it may be premature to take a position at this point,”
Councilmember John Kennedy said.
Wednesday, January 22, will be the day Metro votes about whether or
not to extend the comment period. The meeting will be from 1:30 pm –
3:30 pm at the Gateway Cities Council of Governments Offices 16401
Paramount Blvd. Paramount, CA. For more information visit
Mayor Bill Bogaard or a member of the Council will represent the City of Pasadena’s request for extension at the meeting.
“Really a matter of time…” Michael Beck said. “It’s up to Metro
whether they extend the timeline. If we have sixty day to do all the
analysis, there isn’t going to be time to take some analysis through to
The cumulative $250,000 will be contributed to five areas of
analysis: legal/CEQA consultant, transportation consultant, air quality
consultant, soli geology, and safety/security consultant.
The analysis will add to the report that will city staff will conduct as for other projects.