April 4, 2015
The Honorable Mayor and Councilmembers
City of Pasadena
100 N. Garfield Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91109
Re: City of Pasadena’s Position on SR-710 North Alternatives
Dear Mayor Bogaard and Councilmembers:
The West Pasadena Residents’ Association (WPRA) urges you to continue fighting the disastrous SR-710 freeway tunnel alternative proposed by Metro and Caltrans. Specifically, we ask you to:
1. Vote against the SR-710 tunnel alternative
- The Draft EIR/EIS demonstrates that this alternative does not improve regional traffic. It simply shifts traffic from one part of the region to another.
- This alternative is not cost effective. Instead of spending billions on an alternative that has minimal benefit, we should invest precious taxpayer funds on environmentally responsible public transportation options.
- This alternative will have very large negative and permanent impacts on Pasadena’s traffic, air quality, economy and quality of life.
2. Endorse the Pasadena Preferred Alternative recommended by the City’s SR-710 Alternatives Working Group.
We agree that a multi-modal alternative including light rail transit, expanded bus service, local street network improvements and bicycle transit, is the preferred alternative.
3. Endorse the Connecting Pasadena Project.
The CPP is a citizen-driven effort to develop a vision for revitalizing the SR-710 stub, a barren 35-acre area seized by the State for extension of the SR-710 freeway.
4. Demand that Metro and Caltrans provide a cost benefit analysis for the proposed SR-710 Project for public review.
- Caltrans has publicly promised to provide such an analysis, including during the California Transportation Commission meeting on December 11, 2013.
- Cost estimates used in the DEIR released March 6 are general and very puzzling. The SR-710 tunnel estimate is half the cost per mile of its proposed Sepulveda Pass tunnel.
There are no contingency provisions, even though failures and cost overruns on such projects are the norm.
5. Demand that Metro and Caltrans study the environmental impacts of a tunnel-boring
machine (TBM) failure.
machine (TBM) failure.
- Failures of drilling equipment and tunnel flooding and collapses have plagued almost half of the world’s large tunnel projects reviewed.
- The spectacular failure of the Seattle tunnel’s TBM is a recent and real-world example of how TBMs can and do fail. Such a failure would have severe environmental consequences and significantly increase project costs.
6. Agree that Pasadena’s Measure A should not constrain councilmembers’ ability to speak and vote on this critical issue.
Specific proposals for connecting SR-710 are before us. At the time of the Measure A vote, the SR-710 project didn’t include tunnels, tolls and trucks. Furthermore, in 1999, one year before the measure was placed on the ballot, the United States District Court for the Central District of California ruled that both the EIR and EIS upon which Measure A was based, were inadequate and issued an injunction against the 710 freeway project (City of South Pasadena et. al. v. Slater (U.S.D.C. Central CA 1999) 56 F.Supp.2d 1106).
WPRA Board Member/ Past President
Audrey O’KelleyWPRA Board Member/Past President
WPRA Board Member/Past President
Pasadena Mayor and City Council
Assemblymember Chris Holden
Senator Carol Liu
Congressman Adam Schiff