PASADENA (CBSLA) — The 710 Freeway extension project is officially dead after six decades of debate over lengthening the busy interstate route from Alhambra to Pasadena. Caltrans announced Wednesday that it had finalized a report endorsing local street improvements instead of a freeway tunnel.
“After many years of discussion, the greater Pasadena, South Pasadena and Alhambra community can move forward with important local road and transit improvements to help more people get to where they’re going while keeping communities connected,” Caltrans Secretary Brian Annis said.
Click here to view the Connected Cities and Communities (C3) media release.
Click here to view the LA Metro Board May 25, 2017 motion.
After years of controversy, 710 Freeway tunnel is dead. Millions will be spent on street improvements
"The fight over how to connect the stub ends of two freeways has spawned anger and litigation for decades, pitting neighbor against neighbor in the San Gabriel Valley and nearby areas.
On Thursday, the proposed 710 Freeway tunnel — most recently the leading option — effectively died.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board voted unanimously to withdraw its support and funding for a five-mile, $3.2-billion tunnel through El Sereno, South Pasadena and Pasadena connecting the 710 and 210 freeways.
Instead, the board voted to spend $700 million on a range of transportation fixes to ease congestion and other problems arising from traffic spilling onto the streets of Alhambra at the 710’s abrupt northern terminus." READ MORE
The Draft EIR/EIS’s short term analysis has provided misleading interpretations that the Tunnel Alternative will relieve congestion and improve air quality.
Analysis of the long term impacts of induced demand(extending the analysis to 2050) would show that the Tunnel Alternative would increase vehicle miles traveled and result in the freeways becoming congested again.
Ultimately, the Tunnel Alternative would merely shift congestion to other areas.
90% of motorists would receive no travel-time savings, or their travel time would worsen, with the Tunnel Alternative.
The few who would benefit from the Project would receive a travel-time savings of just 2.5 minutes.
These nominal changes do not justify the Freeway Tunnel Alternative’s $5.6 billion price tag.
The Southern California Association of Governments has even called the Tunnel Alternative “the worst case scenario”.
The Draft EIR/EIS did not include a Traffic and Revenue Study.
The Draft EIR/EIS’s use of a $4 toll in their analysis is unrealistic because of the reliance on a PPP to cover over 50% of the cost of the Tunnel Alternative.
The Purpose and Need Statement for the Draft EIR/EIS is outdated and focuses on the solely on the movement of cars instead of the movement of people.
Recent legislation, including AB 32/SB 375/SB 743, has shifted the focus of transportation planning to the improvement of mobility for individuals across all modes of transportation.
Experts including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and South Coast Air Quality Management District have determined that the Draft EIR/EIS’s analysis is deficient.
The San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments has identified significant numbers of “Transit Dependent Populations” in the cities of Alhambra, Monterey Park, San Gabriel, Rosemead, Temple City, and El Monte that would not be served by the Tunnel Alternative.
The Tunnel Alternative would ignore these individuals and create an inequitable mode of transportation that is only accessible to those able to pay the toll.
The Draft EIR/EIS showed that the Light Rail Alternative would result in the greatest number of long-term jobs of all of the build alternatives.
Metro Board to make historic decision whether to approve motion to recommend TSM/TDM alt instead of Tunnel
Background: On May 17, 2017 the Metro Ad Hoc Highway, Congestion and Road Committee approved a motion to recommend the TSM/TDM Alternative to Caltrans as the Locally Preferred Alternative; and reallocate the remaining Measure R funds to projects within the San Gabriel Valley subregion. While the vote will not kill the Tunnel Alternative outright, it is a step in the right direction to put an end to the SR-710 extension project.
For more information regarding the history of the SR-710 and the City of South Pasadena's recent efforts, please visit: http://www.southpasadenaca.gov/index.aspx?page=57
"Residents of Copenhagen enjoy the highest rates of longevity - living longer and healthier than those in any other city in a longevity study published a few years ago. Active living is a key reason why," says Dr. Marina Khubesrian
LA Times article by Dan Weikel - "The 2017 Sustainable LA Environmental Report Card for Energy and Air Quality handed the region that mediocre grade based on what it calls a failure to reduce fuel use, increasing commute times and some of the worst smog in the nation.
On the upside, researchers noted that local cities are developing crucial sustainability plans, air quality is at its best in 40 years and county voters recently approved a sales tax measure to build more public transit.
UCLA’s environmental report card, released Thursday, is an assessment of the region’s energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and air quality."
CLICK HERE to read the Los Angeles Times article