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L.A. City Council Votes to Oppose All Proposed 710 Routes

Above ground or below, the L.A. City Council now opposes all 710 extension options.

Citing "horrible" on the part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), Los Angeles City on Tuesday urged the council to support a resolution opposing all currently proposed plans to extend the 710 Freeway through Northeast Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley.

The council heard the message sent by Huizar—as well as the dozens of Highland Park, El Sereno and South Pasadena residents who attended Tuesday's meeting—and unanimously supported the resolution. 

Introduced by Huizar on August 17, the anti-710 motion originally only opposed five of the six above and below ground routes Metro is currently considering. Those include, a tunnel that would be built below the neighborhood. Another proposed tunnel, F-2, would be built below the neighborhoods of Glassell Park and Mount Washington.

On Monday, Huizar expanded his motion in a tunnel that would run parrallel to Huntington Drive below South Pasadena and El Sereno—an option he had yet to take a stand on. 

"What's different about resolution today is that we added F7. Originally we had proposed to oppose the illogical routes that made no sense, but we had been told anecdotally that the tunnel route may actually help El Sereno, the community that had been most impacted, since right now the 710 ends at Valley Boulevard and a lot of that traffic goes onto small streets. Soto and Huntington are used as alternatives right now, so you do have added traffic. They are impacted there," Huizar said. "As we heard about horrible outreach that Metro did. I started to have some doubts about whether we could get that appropriate information as to whether the tunnel was the right thing to do."

Huizar said that Tuesday's resolution was meant to place the burden on Metro and Caltrans to prove that a tunnel below El Sereno would be beneficial to commuters and residents.

Doug Failing, Executive Director of Highway Projects for Metro, has lauded Metro's outreach efforts, noting the numerous community meetings held in local communities regarding the 710 in the last year-and-a-half.

Janet Dodson, of the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council, said Huizar's decision to add route F-7 to the resolution was a "big deal."

"We didn't expect it, and he did it," Dodson said. "We were trying to figure out why he hadn't taken a stance against the F-7, and there was no good reason. He did the right thing."

President Michael Larsen told Eagle Rock Patch that he's "proud of Huizar's bold opposition" to the 710 freeway's extension. The Councilmember's decision seems to be based on what the people want, Larsen said, adding that Huizar's stance is a major boost to the anti-710 movement and a feather in the Councilmember's political cap.

. Metro will consider the staff recommendation on 9 a.m. Wednesday, August 29 at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority in the Board Room.

Metro has been considering the proposed routes while they prepare to commence a lengthy environmental impact study, which would allow them to build the project. In the past, the agencies' efforts to extend the SR-710 by surface route have been thwarted by the Federal Highway Administration, which has prompted Metro and Caltrans to consider several above and underground options in this latest round.

Metro and Caltrans say the 710 extension would alleviate traffic in neighborhoods, and point to voters' passage of Measure R in 2008, which authorized $40 Billion in funds for traffic projects in L.A. County, as proof of broader support for their efforts.

A strong contingent of 710 opponents attended Tuesday's meeting to criticize Metro's efforts and to urge the city council to stand with the cities of South Pasadana, Glendale and La Cañada in officially opposing the 710 extension.

"This massive, polluting, overpriced, five-mile toll tunnel filled with trucks will not reduce congestion or pollution and it will not bring jobs to Los Angeles," Dodson said during the public comment period.

Richard Schneider, of the South Pasadena City Council, said his city's fight against the 710 had long been a "lonely battle," and urged the Los Angeles City Council to join the effort.

"It's been a lonely fight over the decades, but times are changing. We now have allies in the city of Glendale and the city of La Cañada and many communities of Los Angeles," Schneider said. "We've always had it in El Sereno, but now we have it in Highland Park, Garvanza, Glassell Park, Eagle Rock and Mount Washington. We hope in the near future we will have the official support of the Citty of Los Angeles, as well."

ChickenBoyFan August 30, 2012 at 04:22 PM
TOLLS!!! As in,"NOT FREE!!!!! As in TOLLS that are paid to investors, as in NOT US! Try China, with it's need to move goods, and the money to fund most of the 10 YEARS OF CONSTRUCTION ON STEROIDS! You will not be able to use the "un" free way/tunnel. You will not be able to afford the $5+ to go 4.5 miles. THE TOLLS GO TO PAYBACK THE INVESTOR!! As in NOT US!! What is everyone not hearing??? It's for TRUCKS. Fact check around the world. In other countries where these things have been constructed, they have been nothing but trouble. TRY THE LARGEST DIAMETER TUNNEL IN THE WORLD!! Tunnels around the world have been built to move PEOPLE. This one is for GOODS MOVEMENT ONLY. METRO will not confess to this. The measure R fund is a giant wedge of "government cheese". METRO and their BFF, Caltrans will not stop gnawing away with the bogus "studies/EIRs'(our money) until there is nothing left, and we will have nothing to show for it.VOTE NO ON MEASURE "J", the RE-DRESSED VERSION OF THE MEASURE R EXTENSION!! You know how they play
Jimmy Iaei August 30, 2012 at 11:53 PM
If the 710 extension would have been in Watts or Pacoima it would have been done already. But the rich white people in So Pas have the $$$ to fight this and make the surrounding areas suffer. The right of way was purchased years ago - Caltrans still owns the houses. It is the ultimate form of NIMBYism. Let others suffer so we can stay isolated in our little white enclave. They don't even want a tunnel as it might spill their lattes. As far as that hack Huizar, Villarbabosos little buddy, he is only pandering to voters - not thinking of the region as a whole. Let's look at the tough issues he and the rest of Council have tackled. Street maintainence, keep LADWP in check, budget issues, flight of business....NOT! Instead he takes on the vital issues of: plastic shopping bags, shut down pot dispenseries, try to ban sales of pets, condoms for porn actors, and now this pandering to dreamers who think we can live hugging trees, riding bikes, and walking to work. Bikes are nice, sure, ever carried a ladder, compressor and a 100 lb. tool box to work on one? Work in El Segundo and live in Eagle Rock - try riding public transit and see how long you last? Live by the Rose Bowl and have a jobsite in San Pedro? Today hmmm....maybe Fremont, or Oak Knoll, Arroyo Park way, Ave 64, Alhambra Road. Of course people living on those streets are not affected.
MD August 31, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Jim, With all due respect, it's easy criticize the people affected by these proposed 710 routes, who are fighting them, but I'm pretty sure if you're neighborhood was in the crosshairs for a freeway expansion, you'd be dishing all kinds of NIMBY too. As far as all that talk about wealthy south pasadena bike riding hippies -- maybe you should find a new career if you are bitter about having to haul heavy toolboxes and ladders. Wanting to protect neighborhoods with children, promote green forms of transportation and stop a freeway connection that will only benefit the business lobby is very much the "right thing to do". Finally, Huizar is doing exactly what an elected official is supposed to do -- represent his constituency. Furthermore, instead of being a troll on some blog, why don't you get up and do something about all the issues you are complaining about. Peace.
Jimmy Iaei August 31, 2012 at 07:14 AM
I lived in East La when the 5 was built, right over the top of our house. It's easy for you to live off the work of others as a keyboard intellectual but I suggest you live up to your own hype. Tomorrow I want you to sell your car, shut off your electricity, eschew all products you own made from hydrocarbons, and earn a living as a crossing guard protecting children. Then get some tools out and build your own green residence. Then you will truly live as you preach. Since I have lived in Eagle Rock longer than you have been alive I do have a stake, one that is from from being represented by the mayors little buddy Huizar. Peace be with you fellow troll....
Insey September 07, 2012 at 02:29 PM
I suggest LA put ALL the money and effort they're spending on expanding or modifying any freeways into expanding and building new subway lines. Let's try to catch up to every other big city in the world where no one needs a car to get around.

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