710 Tunnel: “The Dark Backward?”

21 May

710 Tunnel: “The Dark Backward?”

 You may have read in Pasadena NOW and in the Star-News this week that Mayor Tornek plans to seek council support and ask Pasadena voters to repeal Measure A, the 2001 initiative requiring the city to “be in favor” of the 710 extension (tunnel).



Such repeal would allow leadership in the City of Pasadena a much-needed place at the table in determining acceptable impacts from regional transportation projects through the city.

“Absent repeal, the city’s hands are chained to the 2001 vote and 710 regional transit interests, even in the face of new facts, technologies and transit innovations.” 

Putting this repeal effort in perspective is the recently released (April 2016) North County Multimodal Integrated Transportation Study (Final Report) proposing a freight transfer facility in Antelope Valley (42.7 million square feet of new facilities on 19,000 acres, p108) for distribution of domestic/international freight from the ports of Long Beach/Los Angeles.


The report addresses San Gabriel Valley cities indirectly, as follows:

1) The I-210 (through Pasadena) connector to SR-14 is projected for unacceptable performance levels by 2035, requiring a total of 20 lanes in both directions (p12);

2) Map of “major pavement distress” shows graphically the expectation that San Gabriel cities will forfeit land, autonomy and identity in connecting the ports to the transfer facility. (p27);

3) Maps of data for drive-times (p85), population density (p87) and household forecast-2035 (p89) show San Gabriel Valley cities as massively populated transit need opportunity areas;

4) Needs assessments recommend “new connections to the San Gabriel Valley and alternatives to the I-5/SR-14 interchange. (p77)

The report acknowledges cargo transport from the ports will continue to rely on trucking until rail is built in “spurts . . . and phased over a long gestation period.” (p153) 

Pasadena and other San Gabriel Valley cities will get slammed during this long gestation period.

Much has changed since Measure A passed in 2001.  Transit projections to 2035 show enormous vehicle and truck growth, much originating at the ports.

Should the City of Pasadena be shackled into the future by a 2001 vote influenced by politics of the time, politics now frequently viewed as obsolete, profligate and detrimental to the city’s general welfare?

Note: Measure A appeared on the March 6, 2001 ballot as follows:

Shall an Initiative Ordinance of the City of Pasadena be adopted to declare the policy of the City of Pasadena to be in favor of completing the 710 Freeway extension between the 1-210 and the 1-10 Freeways, and to declare that such policy could not be changed or repealed without a vote of the people?

San Rafael Neighborhoods Association is opposed to the tunnel/completion of the 710 and supports 21st century solutions that increase flow of traffic and goods rather than clogging our roads and freeways with more trucks and gridlock.

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