Joins the 'Beyond the 710' Coalition with Cities Opposing Tunnel
June 5, 2015
The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Historic Communities of the 710 as its newest National Treasure on Sunday.
The National Trust is joining the Beyond the 710 coalition to call on Caltrans, Metro of Los Angeles, and other key decision makers to embrace a progressive, forward-thinking model for transportation planning that is suitable for the 21st century needs of the Los Angeles metro area. The Historic Communities of the 710 encompasses several historic neighborhoods and communities in the San Gabriel Valley, including Glendale, Sierra Madre, Pasadena, South Pasadena, La Cañada Flintridge, Alhambra, and the El Sereno neighborhood of Los Angeles.
The National Trust has decades of experience working for better transportation solutions in Southern California. As early as 1989, the Trust named South Pasadena, Pasadena and El Sereno to its annual list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, shining a national media spotlight on the devastating threat a highway project posed to area historic communities. And in 1999, the Trust’s legal advocacy helped secure an injunction that stopped the proposal to build a surface route that would have demolished hundreds of historic homes and cultural sites.
Now, the Trust continues this three-decade legacy, partnering with the coalition supporting Beyond the 710 to advocate for a series of economical, 21st century transportation solutions that consider the needs of the region as a whole. Rather than focusing solely on moving people in their cars, the alternative solution that the Trust and Beyond the 710 support instead encourages a range of mobility options that will provide people of all ages and backgrounds with more flexible, accessible transit choices. This approach is in alignment with the current policies of Metro, which has embraced more progressive regional transportation planning that includes an expanding regional network of light rail, one of the largest bus systems in the country, and a rapidly growing network of bike and pedestrian options.
“Rather than returning to a highways-first, 1950s approach to transportation planning that inflicts harm on thriving, historic communities, the Trust and our partners are offering a forward-thinking, less costly alternative that helps sustain these special places and better reflects the current needs and wishes of area residents,” said Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “The cost of the proposed freeway tunnel—in dollars, air pollution, health care costs, quality of life factors, and damage to the historic fabric of multiple communities—is simply too high.”
“The National Trust for Historic Preservation is proud to join the cities, institutions, and organizations supporting ‘Beyond the 710: Moving Forward’ as committed advocates for more effective and equitable regional transportation solutions suited to the 21st century needs of this dynamic, diverse, and growing metropolis,” said Meeks. “Today, we are announcing Historic Communities of the 710 as our newest National Treasure—our signature advocacy program focusing on critically important and threatened historic places across the country. The National Trust supports and advances policies that promote urban livability, and we firmly believe that a transportation plan focused on the needs of the entire region will yield a much better solution for the residents and business owners who live and work in some of the oldest, most historic communities in Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley.”
Recently, the National Trust has been conducting seminal research into the factors that make 21st century American cities thriving, diverse and livable places. The findings clearly show that people want to live in places that feel like someplace. Across the country, new residents—especially younger people—are drawn to the unique character and experiences that can be found in older and historic urban neighborhoods. This historic fabric plays a critical social and economic role at the local level, creating jobs, strengthening neighborhoods, spurring revitalization, expanding prosperity, and improving quality of life for urban residents.
National Treasures are a portfolio of nationally-significant historic places throughout the country where the National Trust makes a long-term commitment to finding a preservation solution. As the Presenting Partner of the National Treasures program, American Express has pledged $6.5 million to help promote and enable the preservation of these cultural and historic places.