Purpose

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

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Bertha’s woes grind on: cost rises, tunnel delayed until 2019

 Bertha’s problems will cost Washington state an estimated $223 million in cost overruns, and further delay the Highway 99 opening — until early 2019.

 http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/berthas-woes-grind-on-more-delay-higher-cost-for-highway-99-tunnel/?utm_source=referral&utm_medium=mobile-app&utm_campaign=ios

By Mike Lindblom, updated July 21, 2016



 The southbound deck of the Highway 99 will be built, here, between two massive walls. This is the view looking north.  (Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times)


 The southbound deck of the Highway 99 will be built, here, between two massive walls. This is the view looking north.


 OLYMPIA — Tunnel-machine Bertha’s two-year breakdown will further delay the Highway 99 tunnel’s grand opening until 2019 and saddle Washington state with an estimated $223 million in cost overruns, lawmakers were told Thursday.

The overruns are driven largely by the need for the state to keep its staff and engineering consultants on the project longer than expected, as well as by rising land, labor and materials costs for final road connections after the tunnel is finished.

Taxpayer costs could go higher still. The state’s figure assumes the prime contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP), fails to win court battles against the state. STP’s claims exceed $200 million.

For now, Roger Millar, acting transportation secretary, told the Legislature’s Joint Transportation Committee he will ask for $60 million in the next two-year transportation budget, to keep enough cash flowing.

A 2019 opening would mark a full decade since former Gov. Chris Gregoire chose the deep-bore tunnel option and lawmakers approved the tunnel bill sponsored by then-Sen. Ed Murray, now Seattle mayor. Gregoire dismissed critics such as then-Mayor Mike McGinn, who warned that a clause in the bill put Seattle taxpayers at particular risk for paying for overruns.

Nothing about that was mentioned Thursday.

The extra costs almost certainly would be paid by the state’s drivers in gas taxes, more transportation-fund debt, or by tolls and fees.

In separate discussion this week, the state toll division said it would study a peak toll of up to $2.50 each direction — higher than a past committee’s suggestion of $1.25 each way.
Millar said he doesn’t know yet where $223 million would come from, adding that state leaders have time to prepare and don’t need to make decisions in a panic.

That amounts to a 7.1 percent overrun in the state’s total budget to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
State losses aren’t a completely new revelation. Last fall, WSDOT disclosed that it expected to lose $78 million to delays, according to a letter in an insurance lawsuit. If the state were to recover insurance money, that could reduce Millar’s new, higher $223 million estimate.

The 1.7-mile, four-lane tunnel was originally supposed to open to drivers by the end of 2015, to replace the old and seismically vulnerable viaduct.

The $3.137billion cost included the tunnel, connecting ramps, a port-truck overpass, rebuilt Alaskan Way surface street, and viaduct demolition. On Thursday, Millar issued a higher figure: $3.374 billion. (This includes a new $14 million expected from Seattle, to compensate for utility replacements.)

State and contractor officials had refused to discuss cost and schedule figures for several weeks — saving the bombshell news for the Washington State Department of Transportation’s bosses in the Legislature.

Millar said the numbers were prepared for an annual report due this month to the Federal Highway Administration, which supplied one-fourth of viaduct replacement money.

Lawmakers mostly seemed to take the news in stride.

Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Curtis King thanked Millar, who became WSDOT chief only last year, for being forthright and giving lawmakers ample time to act.

King, R-Yakima, compared the pending 7 percent overrun with a study showing that megaprojects exceed their budgets by an average 28 percent. “It could have been a lot worse,” he said.

“I appreciate the fact that we are talking about $200 million, and not the ‘$2 billion’ I hear on the airwaves regularly,” added House Transportation Committee Chairwoman Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island. “It is not a shock that if we have a three-year delay we have some costs, and putting it out there, for the public to know that we are being very transparent about it, is great.”

Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, said the increase is still very hard for taxpayers to accept, because they were told in 2009 there wouldn’t be overruns. “How are you ever going to earn the trust of the taxpayers …?”

Orcutt later said he blames the contractors — not WSDOT — for either ordering a flawed machine, or operating it incorrectly.

As for the tunnel-boring cost, the state last year passed $1 billion in total payments toward the $1.35 billion STP contract. Chris Dixon, project manager for STP, last week would say only that “cash flow’s definitely a concern, but it’s not going to stop us from finishing.”

He spoke Thursday at the Olympia hearing about Bertha’s performance, and quickly left the Capitol campus, saying he needed to catch a plane.

Delay grows longer

Bertha has finally been digging consistently this summer, at a pace of close to 40 feet a day since April 29. It restarted Monday after a three-week maintenance stop to inspect and replace some cutting teeth.

Dixon said Thursday it would emerge at South Lake Union next summer — slipping further beyond the hope for December that his boss, Tutor-Perini Corp. CEO Ron Tutor, expressed to shareholders this spring.

The overall three-year delay includes more than two years to reach and repair the buried machine near Pioneer Square. In addition, contractors added what state officials called a more conservative pace for the remaining two-thirds of the dig from Sodo to South Lake Union, including two more maintenance stops.

Linea Laird, chief engineer for WSDOT, said the state and contractors are cooperating, and believe it’s smarter to keep working steadily on the project, rather than have a funding impasse that drives up costs in the long run for everybody.

In its claims, STP blamed a steel pipe, left over from state groundwater testing, for the damage to Bertha, which led to grit penetrating into the rotary bearing assembly. The state replies it’s far-fetched to argue an 8-inch-diameter pipe could ruin a massive machine.

STP and Hitachi Zosen, which built the giant drill in Japan, fronted the money to accomplish an unprecedented repair job and strengthening last year.

King said the 57-foot-wide tunnel could someday qualify as “the eighth wonder of the world.”
Its final costs remain an open question

Saturday, July 16, 2016

‘Beyond the 710’ has best plan to end Pasadena’s freeway stalemate: Terry Tornek

http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/opinion/20160715/beyond-the-710-has-best-plan-to-end-pasadenas-freeway-stalemate-terry-tornek

By Terry Tornek, July 15, 2016

 A 710 Freeway stub in Pasadena. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Staff Photographer)

 A 710 Freeway stub in Pasadena.



Last month marked the first anniversary of the public release of Beyond the 710, a proposal to resolve the nearly 50-year stalemate over the north end of the 710 freeway. The proposal (www.beyondthe710.org) could solve the problems of the current 710 configuration, improve connectivity for all the affected communities and provide exciting opportunities to better use newly freed-up land.

While there are still obstacles to implementing a vision for the 710 that works for everyone, we can celebrate that the Metro board of directors has taken a major step forward by voting to place the proposed sales tax ballot measure on the November ballot with a provision that makes clear the funds generated by the new measure will not fund a tunnel that would plow through and decimate our communities.


As leaders of the cities that are most opposed to the tunnel proposal, I and the undersigned now encourage the board to separately instruct its staff and Caltrans to add the Beyond the 710 proposal to the current 710 north study. We see this as a path forward to ending the stalemate between those bearing the brunt of the 710 Freeway bottleneck traffic and those who fear the tunnel as an existential threat to their communities.

And this fear is justified. The tunnel presents significant health, financial, engineering, seismic, water, public safety, traffic and legal problems. Studies have shown that the tunnel would create cancer hotspots at the exhaust vents. Just as important, the massive, multi-year project would have little positive effect on traffic and commute times and in fact create new severe traffic congestion and thus air quality impacts in other areas.


Further, while the cost of the 4.5-mile tunnel is estimated between $5 billion and 10 billion, we all know that if it was ever built, the costs would most likely be much higher.

At the same time, our leaders recognize that the existing freeway “stubs” present real problems for the surrounding communities. At the north end, the stub is a huge gash in the fabric of Pasadena. On the south end, the 710 freeway funnels and dumps its traffic onto Valley Boulevard and does not provide good connectivity to the surrounding communities.


But the Beyond the 710 proposal converts these problems into real opportunities. It proposes to remove these freeway stubs, replace them with four-lane great streets, and use the freed-up land to build new parks and greenspace, transit, bikeways, residential and commercial development, and affordable housing, and provide extra room for local institutions such as Cal State Los Angeles.

On the north end, this approach would reconnect and heal Pasadena. But it’s the south stub transformation that would really be magical. Replacing the stub with a grand boulevard would better disperse local traffic, making it easier to get where people want to go and relieving congestion that currently burdens Alhambra and other nearby communities. The price tag is 10 percent of the cost of a tunnel.

And that’s why our cities, along with organizations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, believe that Beyond the 710 is indeed a path to moving beyond the stale debate over the tunnel.

The Metro board needs to step up and direct planners to formally study the proposal. It would serve as a clear signal to voters that Metro is taking a truly balanced approach to the issue, and would encourage them to support of the ballot measure in November.


Voters must be assured that Metro works for them. By demonstrating the vision necessary to resolve this issue, we’re confident that we can move forward and ease congestion throughout the county while preserving the quality of life our residents treasure.

Terry Tornek is mayor of Pasadena. This column was also signed by mayors Paula Devine of Glendale, Jonathan Curtis La Canada Flintridge and Diana Mahmud of South Pasadena; Sierra Madre Councilman John Capoccia; Glendale Councilman and Metro board member Ara Najarian; and South Pasadena Councilwoman Marina Khubesrian.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Good News for No 710 Tunnel Advocates at Key Meeting

No Funding to Pay for Tunnel

 http://south.pasadenanow.com/good-news-for-no-710-tunnel-advocates-at-key-meeting/

By Dr. Bill Sherman, July 14, 2016



 
 The Metro Board meeting of June 23 was very interesting and important for the No 710 Tunnel advocates.

The Board was to consider the wording and provisions of the Proposed Transportation Ballot Measure for the November 6, 2016 election.  This has been called Measure R-2, but will probably be renamed measure M.  This measure will raise the Sales Tax in Los Angeles County by ½ percent to 9 ½ % with no ending date.  The Measure must be passed by 2/3 of the voters in Los Angeles County.

The Anti Tunnel People had threatened to oppose the Measure if the Tunnel was in the provision or the language could be manipulated to pay for a tunnel.  The Board heard us and included the clause: “No Net Revenues generated from the Sales Tax shall be expended on the State Route 710 Gap Closure Project”. This is almost an iron clad promise to not fund the Tunnel with Measure M monies.

The wording in the proposed ballot measure is the third recent decision from governmental bodies that seemingly are anti-Tunnel.  The San Gabriel Council of Governments (COG) in March had the opportunity to send to the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) a list of projects they wished to include in the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP).  This is a plan that sets out potential projects for the next 20 years.  The COG which is composed of 31 cities in the San Gabriel Valley decided to not place the tunnel on their list of possible projects.   The SCAG in April, when the RTP was finalized, did not name the tunnel as a project in their plan.

These three boards all seem to be backing off on their support for the Tunnel.  They are saying that there are more important transportation needs in Southern California than the Tunnel.
Pro Tunnel factions in the past have said that Measure R passed in 2008 mandated the construction of the Tunnel.  This is not true, but the pro-tunnel people claim it.  If Measure M is passed anti Tunnel groups can then say that the Tunnel has been rejected by the residents of Los Angeles County.

The evaluation of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) is stalled in Metro’s hands.  After it was released in July of 2015 there were 2500 comments sent in covering 8000 separate topics.  Metro has said that they will not finish reviewing or responding on these comments until the fall of 2017. After the review is completed a “preferred alternative” will be selected and sent to the Metro Board for an up or down vote.  The DEIR has cost 70 Million dollars to date and the cost continues to rise.  The original budget was 40 million.

It is not to say though that the DEIR was worthless. The study told us to expect 180,000 vehicles a day entering and exiting the portals from the two tunnel variation.   The DEIR was called inadequate by the United States Environmental Protection Agency because it did not give data on air quality at the portals. The Health Risks were not assessed either. The traffic on the 210 and the 134 will be made worse.  There will be little improvement in Alhambra and South Pasadena in traffic congestion. 
The Study does not address serious concerns about tunneling across major earthquake faults and creating a break in the water tables between the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles. There will be a toll to use the tunnel, at least $5/trip or more for passenger vehicles. The cost was placed at 5.6 Billion, but this is much too low.  There has been some opinions from responsible parties that the money for construction will never be found.    There have been community proposals for utilization of the areas at the existing North and South stubs of the 710.  These are promising.

It is the anti- tunnel people’s hope that the tunnel will be killed by the Metro Board or other responsible parties before the preferred alternative is selected.  At the end of the day the decision to kill the tunnel will be a political one.  Let us hope our elected officials will have the courage to end this boondoggle once and for all.

Video by Joe Cano: A negative impact.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Southern California gets a big, fat $0 from Feds for freight, road improvements

http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/general-news/20160711/southern-california-gets-a-big-fat-0-from-feds-for-freight-road-improvements

By Steve Scauzillo, July 11, 2016


An aerial view of the Port of Long Beach, Downtown Long Beach, and The Queen Mary as seen in 2011.

 An aerial view of the Port of Long Beach, Downtown Long Beach, and The Queen Mary as seen in 2011. 

Southern California transportation agencies were shocked Monday to learn they were getting zero dollars from the federal Department of Transportation in the first round of a newly approved freight-movement grant program.

Instead, the DOT gave out $759 million for 18 projects from Seattle to Louisiana but nothing for projects located within the six Southern California counties.

Locally, grant applications from the port of Long Beach and the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority were denied, several sources confirmed. The Port of LA had one project denied, a $35 million zero-emissions cranes project.


“I think it is a shock because this is an area where you would expect a lot of that money to come in,” said Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of the Southern California Association of Governments.

SCAG’s 2015 regional transportation plan identified $75 billion in projects, including adding truck lanes to the 60 Freeway, improving the interchange at the 57/60 freeways in Diamond Bar and building grade separations allowing trains to travel freely on bridges over cars and trucks.

The Port of Long Beach applied for two rail extension projects, one an intermodal rail yard in the new harbor terminal and the other, called the Terminal Island Wye, in a different part of the port. Both were denied, said Lee Peterson, spokesman. These would have allowed more direct container-to-rail processing, cutting back on truck trips and reducing air pollution. “We’ll try again next year,” he said.


A proposed $142 million railroad underpass in Montebello was denied $35 million in federal funding, while a $78.4 million Durfee Avenue Grade Separation project in Pico Rivera lost out on $25 million in funding, explained Paul Hubler, director of government and community relations at ACE. The two projects have local funding but need federal dollars to start construction, he said.

SCAG said it was working with various agencies in Southern California to submit new applications for the 2017 funding allocation of the Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies (FASTLANE) program, which will distribute about $5 billion for freight-related projects over five years.


Southern California’s twin ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles carried 117 million metric tons of goods in 2014 for a value of $396 billion, according to SCAG. Most of the goods from the ports are transported by trucks along congested freeways. SCAG estimated Southern California has 70,000 lane miles or roadways with the 710, 605, 60, and 91 freeways carrying the highest volumes of truck traffic in the region, averaging about 25,000 trucks per day in 2013.

To not move forward with projects that cut back on truck trips carrying goods from the ports seems like a mistake, SCAG officials said.

“This shows a huge need for freight infrastructure here,” said Sharon Neely, a transportation consultant for SCAG. “We are certainly surprised and disappointed that Southern California did not receive a grant.”

The DOT received 212 applications for projects totaling $9.8 billion, “more than 10 times the available funding,” said Clark Pettig in an email. The DOT awarded projects that would have “significant regional and national impacts by reducing congestion, expanding capacity, using innovative technology, improving safety, or moving freight more efficiently,” wrote Pettig.


The ports of Boston; Coos Bay, Ore.; Savannah, Georgia; New York and Portland, Maine received funding. Two grade separations projects in Washington state received awards.

Congress has two months to review the 2016 FASTLANE grants before the project grants are approved, Pettig wrote.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Video by Joe Cano: NO710 & Pasadena School Board

Here are the results of our 710 tunnel poll

http://alhambrasource.org/news/here-are-results-our-710-tunnel-poll

By Phoenix Tso, July 11, 2016


 710 Day 2016 in Alhambra. Photo by Phoenix Tso.




Almost 400 Alhambra Source readers have answered our poll asking if they support the building of a tunnel to connect the 710 freeway in Alhambra to the 210 freeway in Pasadena. Around 83 percent of those who answered oppose the prospective tunnel, while around 16 percent support it.


One respondent called the prospective tunnel "a hugely extravagant scheme to encourage more trucks to block up an already overused 210," while another wrote, "Cal Trans needs to pay more attention to the experts' facts relating to health, hazards and realize the detriment to all traffic and residents."


On Sunday, the City of Alhambra put on their 4th annual 710 day, with carnival rides, food trucks and information booths to promote the building of the 710 tunnel. Mario Manzanilla, 60, who has lived in Alhambra for more than 20 years, called the tunnel "long overdue," saying, "We finally have a viable solution to completely the 710. If we continue this route [of doing nothing], it's going to get worse."
 
 
Alhambra is part of a coalition of San Gabriel Valley cities that are pushing for the tunnel extension, along with Monterey Park, San Marino, Rosemead, and San Gabriel. Cities that oppose the extension include Sierra Madre, South Pasadena, La Canada Flintridge, Glendale, and Los Angeles.
 
 
Officials have discussed extending the 710 freeway since 1959, according to a 2012 Metro report. Caltrans and Metro have studied the idea of a tunnel to complete this extension since 2006, and published a draft environmental impact report last year that the public could comment on for a limited time.

Summary of SR710 recent activities and events

From Sylvia Plummer, July 11, 2016

This somewhat long email will bring you up to date on recent developments.  It is divided into four sections so that you can take your time reading each separately, and included are links to relevant documents and video.  The SR710 Tunnel project is complicated, is tied to the proposed ballot Measure R2 and also related to actions being taken by our Cities and School Districts.
We need to remain vigilant until we kill the tunnels!.

1.      Metro Board of Directors expected to vote in favor of placing proposed ballot measure on November ballot

At its Thursday, June 23rd meeting, the Metro Board of Directors is expected to consider whether to put a ballot measure before voters.  

A revised spending plan for a potential November sales tax ballot measure was released Friday by Metro and would accelerate more projects, allow more transit projects to become rail, include more overall projects and increase funding that goes to local cities and unincorporated areas for their own transportation improvements.  The potential ballot measure — previously referred to as Measure R2 but now called the Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan — would ask voters to consider a new half-cent sales tax in Los Angeles County and continuation of the existing Measure R half-cent sales tax in perpetuity or until voters decide to end the taxes. The idea is to create a sustained funding stream for mobility projects crucial to the region’s mobility, economy and quality of life.

UPDATE:  Measure R2 will appear on November ballot.

Updated 6/23/16  At today’s Metro Board meeting, the Directors voted to place the ordinance on the ballot in November. 

------------------------------------------------
2.      No 710 Action Committee and Alliance cities succeed in inserting language in Measure R2 ordinance to prevent use of Measure R2 revenue for SR 710 tunnels

Some of you may have read coverage touting the fact that the SR 710 tunnel alternative was NOT contained in the expenditure plan for Metro’s potential ballot measure, R2.  Metro would use a balance of approximately $700 million from 2008 Measure R and a public private partnership (PPP) as the primary funding source for the $6 - $10 billion needed to build the SR 710 tunnel alternative should it emerge as the locally-preferred alternative when the Final EIR is released (expected in 2017).   There is little doubt that this was a strategic move on the part of Metro to avoid risking passage of Measure R2 due to inclusion of the highly controversial and divisive tunnel alternative. 

However, last Fall, during the early stages of development of Metro’s potential ballot measure and expenditure plan, No 710 Action Committee member and attorney, Richard Helgeson, uncovered language in the proposed measure that would permit tax revenue collected from Measure R2 for projects, such as the SR 710 tunnel alternative, originally contained in 2008’s Measure R.  From December through February, the No 710 Action Committee brought this to the attention of the Metro Board on multiple occasions and submitted a letter detailing this provision.  During a meeting of No 710 Action Committee representatives with Metro CEO Phillip Washington, we discussed this issue further and it was suggested by the CEO’s staff that we submit specific language for the Measure R2 ordinance that would eliminate the loophole and preclude use of R2 funds for the SR 710 tunnel alternative. 

Mr. Helgeson drafted language and submitted it to Metro.  In addition, the Cities of South Pasadena and La Canada Flintridge suggested similar language.   We are very happy to report that language has been inserted in Measure R2 ordinance that states:

“No Net Revenues generated from the Sales Tax shall be expended on the State Route 710 North Gap Closure Project
 
This language does not prevent the tunnels from being built.  There is still the very real possibility that the tunnels will be named as the locally-referred alternative in the Final EIR.  The inclusion of the language simply means that voters who wish to support Measure R2 and the worthwhile projects it contains can be confident that no revenue from that Measure will be used to fund the SR 710 tunnels.

---------------------------------------------
3.      Pasadena Unified School District changes its position on anti-tunnel resolution

The Five Star Coalition is comprised of 5 school districts – Burbank, Glendale, La Canada Flintridge, Pasadena and South Pasadena.  In March, the Pasadena Unified School District abstained from voting to approve a Five Star Coalition Joint Resolution opposing the tunnel.  The Joint Resolution can be viewed here:  http://pusd.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=15&clip_id=592&meta_id=91404.  The other four school districts in the coalition all voted in favor.  Because the bylaws of the Coalition require unanimity, the Coalition was unable to use the proposed Joint Resolution as planned.


Recently, the West Pasadena Residents Association submitted a letter requesting that the PUSD Board put the issue on their agenda again for further discussion and reconsideration.  The Board agreed, and that meeting was held last Thursday, June 16th.

The No 710 Action Committee and the WPRA worked very hard to bring speakers to the meeting.  In all, we had 13 people there to address the Board, including:  Dr. Ed Avol (USC Keck Environmental Health), Sarah Gavit (Pasadena resident and WPRA Board member), Kenyon Harbison (new president of WPRA), Claire Bogaard (No 710), Mic Hansen (No 710), Joe Cano (No 710), Andrew Blumenfeld (former president of LCF Governing Board), Jill Fosselman (Pasadena resident), Kendis Heffley (Westridge School), Jon Primuth (South Pasadena School Board), a  PTA officer from Blair, Elena Phleger (Sequoyah School) and Jan SooHoo (No 710).  

Video of the June 16th meeting, including the comments of our speakers, can be viewed at (relevant section begins at 1:39):


Our group made very articulate and convincing statements that convinced 5 of 7 Board members to decide that they DO want to support the Joint Resolution.  Their representative to the Coalition will notify the Five Star Coalition at its next meeting that PUSD is now on board.  


Perhaps it seems like a small step, but our cities can also use this Joint Resolution of School Districts representing over 70,000 students in their campaigns to stop the tunnel, and the adoption of the Joint Resolution aligns and solidifies the position of the School Districts with that of their cities.
UPDATE:    5-Star Coalition Unanimously Passes Resolution Against 710 Freeway Tunnel after Pasadena Unified changes its mind
 
On June 23, 2016 the Five-Star Education Coalition (5SC) comprised of representatives from the school boards of Burbank, Glendale, La Canada, Pasadena and South Pasadena unanimously voted to pass a resolution which opposes any construction of a 710 Freeway tunnel extension:

"The 5SC does hereby oppose any of the Tunnel Alternative variations: single-bore or dual-bore, toll or no toll, truck or no truck, express bus or no express bus, to extend the SR-710 freeway from Valley Boulevard in the City of Los Angeles to the 210 freeway in the City of Pasadena, and instead supports the development of a fiscally and environmentally responsible alternative."

----------------------------------------------
4.      Pasadena City Council deliberates Mayor Tornek’s recommendation to vote to repeal Measure A


At the Pasadena City Council meeting on June 13th, no vote was taken, but in this case, it was a good thing.  Several very positive things emerged.  All members of the Council expressed their opposition to the tunnel.  There is no longer any ambiguity about unanimity of Pasadena’s City Council in opposing the SR 710 tunnel alternative.    There did seem to be some confusion and disagreement about the legal ramifications of Measure A.  Some Councilmembers firmly believed that they are already free to do whatever it takes to fight the tunnel, but others feel their hands are still tied by Measure A.  Because there are newer Councilmembers who are not as well versed on Measure A’s legal ramifications, and to clear up the ambiguities, they decided to hold consultations with their legal advisors before moving on this issue any further.   
The second issue discussed was the timing of a vote on the repeal and the need to carry out a public education campaign.   Several Councilmembers thought that putting the repeal vote on the November ballot was too risky.  Some thought that it would not leave sufficient time for public education and that people will be preoccupied with the Presidential race and would not give a down ballot item serious thought and consideration.  After discussion about timing and costs, it was decided that it may be better to take the repeal to voters in March during their Municipal election, or even to hold a special election.  They will continue to explore these options, and then bring the issue back at a future City Council meeting. 
Video of the Monday, June 13th City Council meeting can be viewed at (beginning at 2:25):
The move to repeal Measure A, called Restore Our Rights, now has a Facebook page and a website where you can follow developments in this issue. 

 You can view the website at: http://www.restoreourrights.com/
 
The Facebook page is at:  https://www.facebook.com/restoreourrights/

UPDATE:  Pasadena City Council Tables Discussion of Measure A Repeal, Issue Won't Be on November Ballot
 
A Special election is tabled for more discussion at undetermined time.  Read more at:
 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Friday, July 8, 2016

READER POLL: Tell the Alhambra Source what you think of the 710 tunnel extension

http://alhambrasource.org/news/reader-poll-tell-alhambra-source-what-you-think-710-tunnel-extension

July 7, 2016

Sunday is 710 day, an event sponsored by the City of Alhambra to raise awareness of the 710 freeway extension from Pasadena to Alhambra, a measure that has been debated around the San Gabriel Valley for years. Among the proposals to close the gap between the 710 and the 210, Alhambra city officials support a tunnel to connect the two freeways. But the Source wants to know what Alhambra residents think of the proposed tunnel extension. Participate in our poll below, and feel free to elaborate on your response in the "other" box as well.

You can also tell us what you think in the comments, and on our Facebook and Twitter.

(You'll need to go to the website to vote.)