August 24, 2015
The San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments on Thursday approved a transportation priority list that did not include the SR-710 tunnel. Instead, the SGVCOG adopted a report that noted that possible funding for a tunnel could come from a future and undefined public private partnership.
“The SGVCOG’s action confirms what we’ve always known,” said Terry Tornek, mayor of the City of Pasadena and the city’s representative to the SGVCOG. “The tunnel project is deeply flawed, politically unpopular, and presents so many environmental, health, legal, engineering, and economic concerns that it cannot be funded, let alone actually built,”
The SGVCOG’s action is part of a process set up by the Metro board to gather a set of priority projects from each Council of Governments in the county that might receive funding from a new measure to raise the sales tax. That measure is expected to be on the ballot in November 2016.
Exclusion from the SGVCOG priority list makes it highly unlikely that the tunnel will be on the final county-wide project list, many observers say.
“The many supporters of the Beyond the 710 proposal, including the City of South Pasadena, continue to encourage Caltrans, Metro and the members of the SGVCOG to look beyond the terrible idea of the tunnel and study a modern mobility approach to congestion in the western San Gabriel Valley such as that represented by the Beyond the 710 proposal,” said Diana Mahmud, South Pasadena mayor pro tem and the city’s representative to the SGVCOG.
The Beyond the 710 Proposal shows that congestion can be relieved and economic development promoted by removing the freeway stubs at both the I-10 and I-210 freeways. The Proposal, announced on May 28, 2015, has started a robust community discussion about how to bring about a mobility solution that benefits everyone and destroys no one’s community. The Proposal can be found at http://bit.ly/1hk0o9u.
Beyond the 710, along with numerous cities, government agencies, elected officials, community organizations, and prominent individuals, recently submitted formal comment letters highly critical of the SR-710 environmental review process and encouraging a new approach along the lines of the Beyond the 710 proposal. Many of those comment letters are available at the Beyond the 710 website.
Beyond the 710 is a project of the Connected Cities and Communities, comprised of the cities of Glendale, La Canada Flintridge, Cities of Glendale, La Canada Flintridge, Pasadena, Sierra Madre, and South Pasadena, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Natural Resources Defense Council.