Metro Board Votes to Kill 710 North Freeway Tunnel

Metro passed the Fasana motion effectively killing the SR-710 North freewau tunnel. Map via Metro
Metro passed the Fasana motion effectively killing the SR-710 North freewau tunnel. Map via Metro

This morning the Metro board of directors voted to approve a motion that effectively kills the $6 billion 710 North freeway tunnel project. Under a motion introduced last week by board chair John Fasana, the Metro board supported putting several hundred million project dollars towards soundwalls, resurfacing, transit, signals, and bicycle and pedestrian improvements instead. These will be in the cities of Pasadena, South Pasadena, Alhambra, La Cañada Flintridge, and the 90032 zip code, which is mostly the neighborhood of El Sereno within L.A.

Since last week, Fasana retooled his motion to ensure that projects in the central region (for this project, largely El Sereno and East L.A.) receive a fair share of funding.

Streetsblog readers likely know that, since the 1960s, there has been disagreement about closing the gap in the 710 freeway, with some pressing to finish the freeway and others fighting against it. See today’s L.A. Times for a recap of the long history of the project.

The issue brought out a large number of people offering public comment. Two hours of public testimony saw a majority of voices against the tunnel, although numerous speakers supported it. Representatives of the cities of Monterey Park, Alhambra, and Rosemead spoke in favor of the tunnel. Representatives from South Pasadena, La Cañada Flintridge, and Sierra Madre spoke against. Numerous residents from El Sereno and East L.A. opposed the tunnel and urged that their areas get a fair share of any 710 North funds that would be reallocated.

There was no board opposition to the motion, though several boardmembers acknowledged that the decision does have winners and losers. Some boardmembers acknowledged that communities at the stub ends of the freeway are facing adverse impacts from high volumes of traffic they experience. Long opposed to the tunnel, Glendale Councilmember Ara Najarian nevertheless said that “no one should gloat about this.”

  • Vooch

    start removing a couple of miles of the 710

  • Eric Maundry
  • Sam Max

    Next step, build 710 to the edge of So Pas and dump the traffic there. Problem solved.

  • Vooch

    how about reallocating a few motor lanes to cycling ?

    After all Pasadena was where the first Cycling Superhighway was created

    a certain poetry in that

  • Sam Max

    Wow. this has got to be a sarcastic comment, but sarcasm doesn’t really go well without the proper facial expression.

    SARCASM —> Let’s make half bike lanes and the other half walking lanes, that will solve the problem with the commute.

  • Vooch

    stone cold serious

    most trips are well within cycling range, especially if a few motor lanes on the 710 are reallocated to bicycles.

    congestion is bound to be reduced since cars take up at least 10x the roadway space versus bikes

  • antiqueshopper

    That is an infantile statement. A 1973 federal injunction stopped any more construction and that was renewed in 1999. The surface freeway is dead and so is the tunnel proposal, starved of any money besides being an environmental disaster for Pasadena and LA and major traffic inducer which would quadruple the traffic at Valley into Alhambra.

  • Bernard Finucane

    For most of this road you could just reduce the speed limit to 40, remove the shoulders and median, narrow the lanes to 10 ft, and you would have plenty of room for non-car traffic.

  • Sam Max

    Yo NIMBY!
    Have you sat at the corner of Valley Blvd. trying to turn onto Fremont at 5:30 PM on a weekday? It’s a nightmare with cars stacked up at the intersection for literally several blocks, sometimes almost to the exit ramp. So, how would extending the 710 past valley Blvd. into South Pasadena or Pasadena quadruple traffic at Valley in Alhambra? At least make some sense if you’re going to try and sell your BS. Just tell the truth, that you don’t commute through that area, so you don’t care about making the congestion better in that area.

  • Vooch

    True oh so true, could do the same for the San Diego Freeway & Santa Monica Freeway.

    It’s been my experience that driving speed on the Santa Monica freeway average less than 7MPH, meaning it’s faster to ride a bike, even at a slow bike commuter pace.

  • Vooch

    induced demand

  • Having covered this project for years at SBLA, I was so excited to see the stories announcing that the committee hearings and passage of these Metro motions. A lot of people worked really hard to protect not just their communities, but air quality from throughout the region, from this awful and scary project. Hats off to everyone at NO710.

  • calwatch

    The TSM/TDM option has the 710 ramps going to Mission Road. This seems reasonable to provide a direct connection to the Alhambra complex, currently being used as remote parking for Cal State LA until the market supports a few hundred condos on the lot, and Downtown Alhambra.

  • Bernard Finucane

    Right, and at those speeds the wide lanes make no sense whatsoever.