By Christopher Yee, July 4, 2014
Mary Ann Parada, 82, left, and Joe Shepherd, 56, are followed by a group
of parade participants opposed to construction of the I-710 Freeway
tunnel during the July 4 Festival of Balloons parade in South Pasadena
on Friday. The No 710 Action Committee and protesters against the
freeway tunnel marched during the parade.
SOUTH PASADENA – More than 150 people opposed to the completion of
I-710 marched in South Pasadena’s July 4 parade to rally support for
Following early-1900s cars bearing city leaders and a
float bearing AYSO soccer players, the demonstrators carried banners
that warned about environmental and traffic problems they said would be
created by the freeway completion.
The effort was organized by
the No on 710 Action Committee, a coalition of residents from across the
San Gabriel Valley and northeast Los Angeles that fought an
above-ground freeway extension and is now fighting the tunnel
alternative proposed by Metro and Caltrans.
two agencies for three years have been exploring five options to ease
congestion where the freeway ends in Alhambra. In addition to a tunnel,
which could cost up to $12 billion, options include expansion of
light-rail and bus systems and traffic signal optimization.
environmental document detailing the viability of each option was set
to be released this spring but was delayed until February.
the Fourth of July, we’re saying ‘Don’t tread on me,’” said committee
member Joanne Nuckols. “We want our independence, and we want a voice to
tell people that this really high-cost megaproject is a waste of
taxpayer money that won’t solve any traffic problems.”
in red T-shirts that bore the I-710 sign struck through also carried
signs indicating the cities and neighborhoods they came from. These
included Alhambra, Pasadena, San Marino, Los Angeles, Glendale, Highland
Park and Eagle Rock.
Tom Williams has lived in El Sereno since
1990 and been fighting the freeway for just as long. As a former
transportation engineer, Williams said he’s a fan of tunnels but can’t
support this one.
“It’s the wrong tunnel, the wrong place, the
wrong time and the wrong cost,” Williams said. “That’s why we’re out
here today. These kids need to know what their parents and grandparents
have been fighting against.”
Alhambra resident Sally Loose hadn’t
been involved with the No on 710 efforts until Friday’s parade. Her
7-year-old daughter, Hannah, saw banners about completing the I-710
hanging over Fremont Avenue in Alhambra.
After Loose explained
that the freeway completion would make it easier to get to Pasadena but
the construction could pollute the land and air, Hannah insisted the
entire family of five march in the parade.
“The kids really care,” Sally Loose said. “In (Hannah’s) words, she said she wants to protect the ecosystem.”
said the No on 710 Action Committee will gather at Alhambra’s 710 Day, a
one-day festival scheduled by the city Thursday to advocate for the
completion of I-710.