First published in the July 8 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.
The California Transportation Commission voted unanimously last week to approve Caltrans’ relinquishment to the city of Pasadena the state’s right, title and interest to the northern end of the failed 710 Freeway extension.
The city was also authorized to receive $5 million from Caltrans for the State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) project in Pasadena, which covers the area of the northern stub of the project from Columbia Street to Union Street.
“I am ecstatic with the CTC action today,” state Sen. Anthony Portantino said in a statement. “The city is rightfully back in control of this important land.”
Portantino wrote a bill, SB 7, which authorized Caltrans to negotiate the deal. The bill, now a law known as the Housing and Jobs Expansion and Extensions Act, extends expedited California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) judicial review for small-scale housing developments.
Portantino said he is “grateful to the hundreds of activists who spent 60 years fighting the 710 Freeway and to the city of Pasadena for proposing a positive, modern vision for the stub.”
“After decades of uncertainty regarding the future of the 710 stub, today’s action marks a historic moment in the city’s long sought goal of re-envisioning and rebuilding what was once an integral and vibrant part of Pasadena,” city officials said in a statement.
Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo testified at the hearing, saying, “Today’s action is a first and very important step in being able to re-imagine the corridor, rebuild the city, reconnect neighborhoods and look to the future of mobility and community,” according to a city statement.