Pasadena Forum on L.A.’s Big Dig Proposal

When
September 18, 2012   7:00 pm   

Pasadena City Councilman Steve Madison will moderate a panel discussion regarding the status of the SR 710 study and the proposal for a tunnel extension stretching underground from El Sereno to Pasadena. Speakers will include Metro representatives as well as the following regional experts:

• Dr. Rob McConnell, USC, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine, Division of Occupational and Environmental Health, Keck School of Medicine Co-principal Investigator, Community Intervention Project on Childhood Asthma, regarding health problems and freeway exposure.

• Dr. Ken Hudnut, Geophysicist, regarding the geological challenges of tunnel construction.

• Susan Mossman, Pasadena Heritage, regarding possible demolition and damage to historic properties.

• Dr. John Seinfeld, California Institute of Technology, Louis E. Nohl Professor & Professor of Chemical Engineering, regarding freeways and pollution issues.

• Ara Najarian, Glendale City Councilman and Member of Metro Board, regarding project funding and the proposed extension option.

Short statements from the panelists will be followed by questions collected from the audience. Community residents from the No 710 Freeway Extension coalition, including Spanish-language speakers, will be available for interviews and questions with the media.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

What: El Sereno SR 710 Community Forum When: Wednesday, September 19 at 6:30pm Where: 4818 Klamath Place,

Los Angeles, CA 90032

Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar will co-host a community meeting with Metro regarding the status of the SR 710 study and the proposal for a tunnel extension stretching underground from El Sereno to Pasadena. Councilman Huizar recently spearheaded a resolution unanimously approved by the Los Angeles City Council to oppose all 710 extension alternatives, including the F-7 tunnel route. Community residents from the No 710 Freeway Extension coalition, including Spanish- language speakers, will be available for interviews and questions with the media

Background:

In late July Northeast Los Angeles residents learned that their communities are in the direct path of routes being considered for a 710 freeway extension. Since that time community opposition to the 710 extension options has intensified. In neighborhood council meetings, in one-on-one conversations in streets, and across social media platforms, the message from Northeast Los Angeles and Pasadena residents is clear, “Not here, not anywhere!”

Citing community opposition, on August 13, the Pasadena City Council voted unanimously to oppose three of the proposed freeway extension routes1,2. In his letter dated August 22, Assemblyman Portantino strongly urged the California Transportation Commission and California Department of Transportation to cease all activity relating to the advancement of the 710 extension. 3

Just prior to the August 24 Los Angeles City Council meeting, Metro announced that it had eliminated seven routes from its 710 freeway extension study, including the hotly contested surface freeway connecting the 710 and the 210 freeways and two separate plans for a highway along Avenue 64. A 4.5-mile tunnel connecting the 710 to the 210 remained under consideration.4

On August 28 community residents crowded City Hall to urge Councilmembers to pass a resolution introduced by Councilman Jose Huizar opposing all 710 freeway extension routes, including the F-7 tunnel option. The resolution was unanimously approved by the Los Angeles City Council.5,6

The F-7 route proposes the 710 gap – the area between Valley Boulevard in Alhambra and California Avenue in Pasadena – be closed by a 4.5 mile tunnel stretching from El Sereno to Pasadena. Prior to the Los Angeles City Council Meeting in August, Charles Miller, Garvanza resident, submitted a letter to the Los Angeles Transportation Committee, summarizing community concerns with the tunnel options.7 Residents cite fiscal, safety and environmental concerns with the proposed tunnel route.