Saturday, February 04, 2006

710 Freeway

Pasadena Star-News - 710 Backers Suffer Setback

The 710 Long Beach Freeway, which runs from near the shore in Long Beach north to Alhambra, has long been left "unfinished" because it was supposed to cut through the middle of the small city of South Pasadena and connect to the 110 Pasadena Freeway and then the 210 Foothill Freeway and the 134.

I grew up in South Pasadena, and a lot of us opposed this "completion", because it would have radically changed and nature of our suburban small city. You have to understand that South Pasadena, CA started with a spirit of protection and isolation. It was one of the earliest cities to incorporate in the County of Los Angeles, and part of the reason to keep the town "dry" instead of booze-selling, like Pasadena. It has long had its own school district, fire department, and police department.

Anyway, having driven on the 710 Freeway fairly regularly for my entire adult life, I know full well that "completing" the freeway will NOT solve traffic woes. This is quite apparent as I get on the northern end of the freeway in Alhambra and head south. Since the freeway just started up from a surface street, it shouldn't have heavy traffic, right? WRONG! The 710 soon crosses the 10 Freeway and the 60 Freeway, and regularly backs up to a crawl. How would having 110, 210, and 134 traffic from the north help that at all? It would make it worse!

As for the northbound side, many trucks head northbound on the 710 from the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, because the 710 crosses the 405, the 91, is the terminus of the 105, then crosses I-5 before it gets to the 60 and 10. The trucks can transition to all of those freeways. If they could keeo going straight to the 210, many would.

>>ROSEMEAD - A committee of San Gabriel Valley cities has rejected a call to rank the Long Beach (710) Freeway extension as the top priority for the region.

Instead, committee members voted to continue a policy of listing all unfunded transportation projects without rank, rather than risk further dividing the region over the controversial project.
The decision was a major setback for officials from Alhambra, Rosemead and Monterey Park, who had lobbied to place the 4.5-mile extension at the head of the line for any funds that flow from a public works plan proposed by the governor.
Opposition to the freeway extension is strongest in South Pasadena, the city through which it would run. There are also interest groups in Pasadena and several foothill cities that have fought the project out of fear it will draw truck traffic from the Long Beach port onto the Foothill (210) Freeway.

One possible solution to the impasse is an underground road that prohibits truck traffic. Longtime freeway opponents have agreed to consider the proposal.<<


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