Friday StreetPoll: 710 Gap Project

First Round: Let's Rename the 710 Gap Project

  • Nuckols: SR 710 LA’s Big Dig (24%, 60 Votes)
  • Dean: The Golden Freight Freeway (24%, 60 Votes)
  • Najarian: 710 Money Pit (20%, 52 Votes)
  • Jones: Toll Hole (13%, 32 Votes)
  • Bergstresser: 710 Freight Truck Corridor (9%, 23 Votes)
  • Parada/Faigrin: 710 Northern Segment Project (6%, 16 Votes)
  • Vallianatos: The 1920's Road Project (3%, 7 Votes)
  • Glub: The Alhambra Corridor Freight Toll Tunnel Project (or maybe a freeway or transit) (2%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 255

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As promised, here’s our poll, based on your suggestions, for an “official Streetsblog name” for the I-710 Extension Project.  We’ll do this “L.A. city election style.”  If no project name gets a 50% vote by the time next Friday rolls around, we’ll have a runoff between the top two names.  The winning name will be the one we use on Streetsblog for the rest of the project study.

  • JRider

    I liked “710 Gap Closure” the best. It’s a project involving the 710 and closing a gap.

  • F

    JRider: “710 Gap Closure” implies that there’s a gap in the 710. That’s just not true, the 710 is only on one side of the project area. Therefore at best this is a “710 Extension”.

  • Tim Buchheim

    Actually, there is a half mile segment of the 710 north of the gap. It no longer has any I-710 signage up, as that would only confuse people, but it’s there.

  • I have to admit I’m not really fond of most of these.

    I’m not crazy about the name that officials have been using for the project either, as I do agree with the assertion that “gap” implies something is missing.

    As a journalist, I prefer neutrality in naming, although I also recognize the political power that names can have in “controlling a message”.

    In any case, my neutral impulses got the best of me and I voted for “northern segment”

    But I do think “extension” would make the most sense.

  • Sorry F: It’s a gap closure; the freeway has been in every freeway plan in Los Angeles since the very idea of a freeway system came to exist. An “extension” implies an afterthought. No freeway in Southern California fits with this idea, not even the newly built Route 210 Freeway in San Bernandino County, which was in the books for decades despite being under a different number (Route 30).

  • Anonymous

    Whatever your views on the Route 710 project’s merits, “gap closure” is a legitimate, correct, and neutral description for it. As Tim commented above, the state route has two discontiguous sections, with a gap in between, which would be eliminated.

    You can confirm this by looking at the Caltrans District 7 “Log of Bridges on State Highways,” January 2011 edition, page 85 (PDF page 95):

    Notice the gap between postmiles R027.47 and T032.08. Officially, the northern end of Route 710 is at its junction with Routes 210 and 134, at postmile R032.73.

  • Adam Villani

    Yeah, I’m all for prioritizing transit over this, but (a) it’s closing a gap, and (b) if there’s one new freeway I’d like to see built in Southern California, this is the one. Precisely because it’s not expanding into undeveloped land and its lack of existence has the effect of clogging up surface streets around it. You can support smarter transportation policies and still make allowances for some freeways.

  • No Need

    No need for the 710 Toll Hole.

    A “gap” implies emptiness.

    There are vibrant communities there.

  • John Kvammen

    Caltrans created a “gap” where none existed when they built the 210/134 interchange. They built the “stub” to manufacture a need for a “gap” closure. 

  • Joanne Nuckols

    Thanks John for saying it like it is. A Caltrans District Director consciously made the decision to build the two stubs of the 710 to create an artificial/perceived need to ultimately “finish” the fwy. His intent was to “flood South Pasadena (SP) with traffic” so that we would surrender and want the freeway to relieve all the traffic. Instead, SP and her allies, including the Sierra Club, filed a lawsuit requiring an EIR/EIS and any more construction and purchase of homes in the corridor was halted by an injunction in 1973 that was renewed in 1999 and is still in place.

    Currently the traffic counts at the stubs ranges from 45,000 in LA to 65,000 in Pas. A study by Pas in the 90’s shows that most of this traffic is local. Caltrans and Metro’s estimates of traffic if fwy/tollway completed would be three times that and be level of service F the day it opens.

    So Caltrans is to blame not SP. And as No Need says, there are vibrant communities in between that a lot of us think are worth saving.

  • Joanna: “So Caltrans is to blame not SP. And as No Need says, there are vibrant communities in between that a lot of us think are worth saving.”

    Isn’t that precisely why Caltrans is pursuing the tunnel option now, to preserve those very communities you talk about?

    As for John’s assertion that the stub in Pasadena was built to “manufacture” a gap, note that the LA freeway SYSTEM was built in pieces, and in the meantime lots of freeway interchanges were built in anticipation that other freeways in the system would be finished. This was how the I-5 and Route 2 interchange was built. A more modern example is Route 90 at Route 405. Stubs are common in planned-out freeway systems.

  • Joanne Nuckols

    Numan, yes some “straight line syndrome” engineers at Caltrans are to blame for the artificially created need for a freeway. So Pas took advantage of newly created CEQA and NEPA in ’73 to force them to do an environmental impact report before plowing through El Sereno, So Pas and SW Pasadena. It took them four drafts and 25 yrs before they finished and that document was found to be deficient, new injunction in place stopping any forward movement and five years later the feds rescinded the approval. Neither the state or feds have an approved project.

    Now to the idea of the tunnel. At first blush and for anyone that doesn’t do their homework, it seems like a good idea. BUT, it is not for many reasons. The cost…SCAG estimate is $11.8 billion. Bad air is concentrated in tunnels and current scrubber technology only filters particulate matter, not gases. Portals at either end (next to CSULA and Huntington Hospital) plus a mid-point ventilation shaft of 100′ tall next to So Pas High School (as proposed in the 2006 Feasibility Assessment by Metro) have tremendous negative environmental impacts as far as air quality. The dirt removal alone is staggering. Etc.

    And, most important after all the above, it will only bring more traffic. There is no factual evidence what so ever to prove that it will solve the congestion problem. So bottom line, why build it! Extending the Gold Line and other transit lines would be a much better use for all that money.