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

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Holden Takes 710 Tunnel Off the Table

His bill, AB 287, would prohibit state from building 710 tunnel extension


By Eddie Rivera, February 9, 2017


In a dramatic development in the 50 year-old battle over the extension of the 710 Freeway and the construction of a tunnel to fill the corridor gap between the I-10 and I-210 Freeways, State Assemblymember Chris Holden has introduced a bill which, if passed, will completely remove the possibility of a tunnel to extend the freeway.

“In light of California’s landmark climate legislation that mandates the rapid reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions, it is clear that the State Route 710 tunnel project is a misguided and obsolete solution,” said Holden at a press conference this morning at the South Pasadena Metro Station.

Joining Holden in announcing the bill—AB 287—were Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek, and Councilmembers Andy Wilson and Steve Madison. along with leaders from a number of San Gabriel valley cities, including South Pasadena and Sierra Madre.

The bill would establish the I-710 Gap Corridor Transit Study Zone Advisory Committee, with representatives from Pasadena, South Pasadena, Alhambra, Los Angeles, Caltrans and Metro. The committee would also include legislators representing the 710 Corridor Gap Communities.

Said Holden, “This committee will be tasked with recommending the most appropriate and feasible solution for the 710 Corridor gap that effects the San Gabriel Valley. The committee will review a wide range of traffic calming, green space and mass transit options for the 6.2 mile gap and recommend a viable community supported solution that creates jobs for the San Gabriel Valley.”

The bill specifically prohibits the State Department of Transportation from building the 710 Tunnel.
Speaking to the cost of the proposed tunnel, Holden said, “Constructing a tunnel could cost up to a billion dollars per mile. Compare that to the recent extensions of the Gold Line which cost less than a billion dollars for 20 miles.”

“It’s really important that (Assemblymember Holden) has added his powerful voice to the rising chorus of voices that continue to object to trying to impose this early 20th-Century solution to this 21st Century problem,” said Mayor Tornek. “The important thing is that it’s not enough to just say ‘no’ to something, you have to say, ‘What do we do?,’ and his bill contemplates taking a look at the alternatives, and simply objecting to something we are not even considering anymore.”

“It’s nice that people like Chris are finally waking up to this problem,” said Jim Miller of the No 710 Action Committee. Asked what the bill would mean to the work that his committee has done, Miller said, “After fifty years, it may be over.”

Thinking beyond the 710 issue, and discussing the larger transportation issues in the San Gabriel Valley, Holden also suggested extending the Metro light rail system to create a loop that connects cities beyond the San Gabriel Valley, into communities like Downey and Whittier.

Added Holden, who cautiously anticipated swift movement of his bill, “Before any final recommendations are made, we have the opportunity to set a precedent for what transportation can be in California. Our state led the way by building one of the most advanced freeway systems in America, and we should lead the way now by taking a 21st Century approach to addressing our transportation needs.”