More Measure R Drama: Towns File Suit Against 210-710 Tunnel Project

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The Pasadena Star News reports that the drama surrounding Measure R continues to make twists and turns as two municipalities filed suit against the Measure seeking to strip funding for the tunnel extension of the 710 Freeway that would connect it to the I-210.

The towns of South Pasadena and La Ca ada Flintridge filed separate suits claiming that it is illegal to fund a project that doesn’t have a set route and hasn’t undergone an environmental review.  Both towns also say they are for the proposed sales tax increase, even if they want this part of the proposal stripped out.

The suit may actually be a boon for Metro’s ballot measure.  Environmentalists and other transit advocates frequently point to this project as environmentally wasteful and a reason not to support Metro’s plan.  However, Metro is a political animal, and it’s unlikely that if they lost the lawsuit they would put more money into green projects, the support of the Auto Club of Southern California’s support for the project is based on the 20% of the budget going for highway projects.  Taking some of that funding away could sway their support.

Photo: Big Mike Lakers/Flickr

  • We’ll have the right kind of sales tax initiative when the AAA and automobile dealers are fighting to stop it from passing.

  • And that sales tax measure will fail to even get one half of the vote, since 95% of the residents of Los Angeles County have access to a car, 85% of the residents use them to get to work, and 70% of all residents drive alone to work. Failure to please the automobile lobby is just a recipe for failure. (Have you noticed how much time on TV is devoted to car ads?) The AAA has more members than there are transit riders in Los Angeles County, and unlike transit riders, they can send as much advertising to their membership on their mailing list as they wish. And historically, the AAA has not minded a good percentage of funding going for transit. It has given in the past, gratis, its ACSC maps (which used to be some of the best paper maps in the world, at times equaling the Thomas Guide) to Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, Culver Citybus, and Foothill Transit for them to overlay their routes onto them. All they asked for is some long playing bottlenecks to be resolved, and Metro obliged by throwing some money to roads.

    Until transit gets a 25 or 30% share countywide (so that the average person knows a family member of close friend who is a transit rider, and doesn’t consider them nuts), don’t anger car drivers unnecessarily. John and Ken’s million listeners, the Auto Club’s six million members, and the owners of the 12 million cars in LA County should not be underestimated.

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