To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Short SR-710 Article

From Sylvia Plummer, April 5, 2015

Here's a humorous short SR-710 story from The Transit Coalition-Weekly Transit E-Newsletter:

Will the Proposed 710 N. Freeway Tunnel Accommodate Big Rigs Safely? March 31, 2015

The debate about extending the 710 North Freeway is now about 60 years old. Business interests want it and the community presents strong opposition. Those concerned about building the tunnel ask for simple things like cost benefit analysis and projected numbers and can never seem to get any answers, which leaves more questions unanswered. The 6.3-mile freeway tunnel could cost maybe $5.65 billion or maybe $10 billion. Then, the question about whether this tunnel can handle trucks and what would the additional costs be? One group that is pushing the project, but seems to believe that truckers would pay a toll of $14 each way from trucking firms that are known to avoid even paying their drivers. Stay tuned for the next episode of "As the Tunnel Bores", which ranks high in community churning. There are more public meetings rolling out to continue the discussion.

Pasadena Mayoral Runoff Debate

From Sylvia Plummer, April 5, 2015

Tuesday, April 7th @  7 pm
Pasadena Convention Center

There will be a debate between the two mayoral runoff candidates, Pasadena City Councilmembers Jacque Robinson and Terry Tornek.  The WPRA, a co-sponsor of the event, has provided some of the questions.  The debate will be moderated by KPCC Radio's AirTalk host, Larry Mantle,  This event will be televised live of KPAS (channel 3 on Charter and 99 on U-Verse).  It will also be streamed via cityofpasadena.net/media and pasadenamedia.tv.
The runoff election will take place on  Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Two More Public Hearings

From Sylvia Plummer, April 5, 2015

Two more Public Hearings have been added for a total of four.  Be sure to attend at least one.  You can come in at any time and leave at any time.  Map viewing will also take place during the Public Hearing time schedule.  These are not meetings.
Schedule of Public Hearings

Sunday, April 11

Map viewing: 10-11 a.m.
Public hearing: 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.
East Los Angeles College, Rosco Ingalls Auditorium,
1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Montery Park

Tuesday, April 14

Map viewing: 5-6 p.m.
Public hearing: 6-9 p.m.
Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green St.

Wednesday, May 6

Map viewing: 5-6 p.m.
    Public hearing: 6-9 p.m.
La CaƱada High School auditorium,
4463 Oak Grove Dr., La Canada

Thursday, May 7

Map viewing: 5-6 p.m.
Public hearing: 6-9 p.m.
Los Angeles Christian Presbyterian Church,
 2241 N. Eastern Ave., LA

This Week's Call to Action

 From Sylvia Plummer, April 5, 2015

We need people to call, email or write the Pasadena City Councilmembers before the April 13th City Council meeting.  Then in a separate email or letter sent a copy to the City Clerk - Mark Jomsky - to be put on the record.  Ask Mark Jomsky to put on the record for the April 13th City Council meeting regarding SR-710, also ask that your letter or email be distributed to all the Council members.  Mark Jomsky's email address:  mjomsky@cityofpasadena.net  
What is happening April 13th @ 6:30pm at the Pasadena City Council Meeting? 
There will only be one topic for the meeting, the SR-710.  No other business will be discussed. A staff report will be given on the SR-710 Pasadena Working Group Recommendations.  There will be a vote by the City Council on whether or not to accept or approve the Working Group Recommendations. 
I have personally hear from Steve Madison's office and was told that Madison will bring up a Resolution for the City of Pasadena to oppose the SR-710 tunnel(s).

Talking Points for your emails:
  1.  You support the Working Groups recommendations.
  2.  Ask them to support a  Resolution for the City of Pasadena to oppose the SR-710 Tunnels. 
  3.  Tunnel is prohibitive and a waste of resources that could be used for Public Transit projects.
  4.  Measure A issue - Some Councilmembers apparently continue to express concern that a vote to oppose the tunnel would go against the voters of Measure A to complete the gap with a Freeway surface route.  Measure A never said anything about a tunnel or a toll.  The 710 gap issue can be solved using other options.

Here is a link to the Working Group's Report and Letter which have been added to the City of Pasadena's SR710 site: 

Below is a letter from the WPRA to the Mayor and City Councilmembers regarding the City of Pasadena's Position on the SR-710 North Alternatives.  This should give you some ideas as well.

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.
  • 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).


Geoff Bill 
WPRA President 
Bill Urban
WPRA Board Member/ Past President

Audrey O’Kelley 
WPRA Board Member/Past President

Michael Udell
WPRA Board Member/Past President

Pasadena Mayor and City Council
Assemblymember Chris Holden
Senator Carol Liu
Congressman Adam Schiff

Here are the email addresses for the Mayor, City Councilmembers and City Manager:

Plan to attend on April 13th:  The City Council Meeting will be held at the Pasadena Convention Center in the Ballroom, a very large venue.  A large turnout at this meeting will make a difference.  The Council does respond to numbers. We need an audience .