“New America Foundation” Columnist Calls for 710 Expansion


Via LA Observed

Journalist and New America Foundation Senior Fellow Joe Matthews has a unique idea for how President Obama can rebuild the country’s infrastructure and stimulate the economy: build the I-710 Freeway Extension:

The 710 is the main transportation artery out of America’s largest
port, the Port of Long Beach. It’d be a big boost for commerce if the
freeway didn’t abruptly end before its destination. Truckers are
instead forced onto other freeways, clogging traffic – and slowing the
business and personal lives of others. And with the country requiring
an economic boost, there’s no better time than right now to get
construction started. This isn’t a bridge to nowhere-it’s a vital
transportation link in the middle of a metropolitan area. And you want
to talk shovel-ready? The 710 has been waiting for shovels to finish it
for 50 years.

If you’re wondering how a representative of a group that claims to "invest in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States," can push a massive road expansion project when progressive thinkers understand that highway expansion has failed as a long-term answer to congestion, you’re not alone.  And let’s also be clear, if Matthews is serious about this project being a part of the president’s stimulus plan, then he’s talking about the widening plan that would devestate downtown South Pasadena to say nothing of the environmental damage and welcome mat for truckers.

To make this whole opinion piece even more bizarre, the New America Foundation is pushing rail as an alternative to highway expansion in the country’s freight plans. 

Matthews calls for Change We Can Believe In, when it comes to this highway project.  To paraphrase Joe Biden; pushing a project dubbed by environmentalists as "One of the Worst Highway Projects in the Country" against the will of the locals ain’t change.

It’s more of the same.

Photo: Big Mike Lakers/Flickr


Metro lukewarmly approved the $6B 710 Freeway widening, though expediting only early action projects for now. The top image is the existing ("no-build") configuration. "Preferred alternative" 5C would add two new general purpose lanes to most of the 710 Freeway between Long Beach and the City of Commerce. Image via Metro staff report

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