By Kyle Garcia, July 2, 2014
Supporters and opponents of a 710 extension are gearing up for actions in the next week. Protesters
against the 710 Freeway tunnel extension will hold Friday a rally in South Pasadena. On July 10, Alhambra will host its second annual "710 Day" celebration.
Protesters against the 710 extension argue that the construction of a tunnel connecting the 710 Freeway in Alhambra to the 210 Freeway in Pasadena will compromise community safety and pose health risks to the region. Residents and city officials from La Canada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Sierra Madre, Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena, San Marino, Monterey Park, and Los Angeles are expected to attend the protest on Friday, according to a statement from the No 710 Action Committee.
Alhambra's "710 Day" event will take place on Fremont and Valley Boulevard from 4-7 p.m., and will include games, live entertainment, food trucks, and informational presentations about the tunnel.
Councilman Luis Ayala encouraged residents to attend the event and learn more about the 710 Freeway extension. "I encourage all residents in Alhambra and any other city to become informed about the issue," Ayala said, "not just based on what any other side says."
City officials in Alhambra support closing the 710 Freeway gap with an underground tunnel. The tunnel alternative is the only extension that has secured funding and is expected to significantly reduce traffic on Fremont Avenue, said Alhambra Councilman Steve Placido in June.
“One in four cars that gets off the 710 on Valley goes down Fremont to the 210 in Pasadena," Placido said during a June 3 unveiling of pro-710 banners along Fremont. "That’s 12,000 cars a day that can be taken off the street."
The No 710 Action Committee says the tunnel will not solve a traffic problem, but cause another one. Opponents to the tunnel compare the proposal to projects in Seattle and Boston that cost billions of dollars more than estimated and have taken longer than expected to complete.
"California needs realistic projects that create jobs and not endless studies to nowhere," said the No 710 Action Committee statement.
Metro is currently conducting an environmental survey of the five extension alternatives and will report its findings in February 2015.