Interim City Manager Elaine Aguilar called it an “historic day” for South Pasadena, trumpeting the efforts of many residents and lawmakers who have been at the forefront of the decades-old fight against the 710 Freeway extension.
One of those, state Assemblyman Chris Holden, once called it “a misguided and obsolete solution” to a regional transportation issue. He believes the region will benefit more by making use of mass transit options over closing the 4.5-mile gap, just outside the Alhambra border at Valley Blvd. to the 210/134 interchange in Pasadena, with a freeway tunnel.
Locally, a unanimous vote by the Metro Board last week finally “puts an end to the tunnel,” said South Pasadena City Manager Elaine Aguilar, new on the scene since taking over just two weeks ago for the departing Sergio Gonzalez, who now holds the same position in the City of Hermosa Beach. “The tunnel would have had a devastating impact on our community.”
Instead of a tunnel, Metro officials want to allocate funds set aside for a freeway to construct multi-model projects that will “enhance mobility for the region,” she said. “It’s a combination of more bike lanes, light rail, making cities more walkable instead of a tunnel or freeway.”
Here’s what others had to say:
“I love seeing the reactions of my constituents when I tell them the 710 freeway is dead for good – shock, disbelief, then relief and joy as the news sinks in! I’m ecstatic that we can now feel safe to free up all that time and money to focus on our General Plan Update and invest in making our city safer, healthier, more sustainable for the upcoming future. It’s been a true privilege and honor for me to lead this effort, work closely with so many wonderful allies and leaders in our County, and to see the resoundingly successful outcome of our team effort. I believe that with this vote to move forward with a safer, healthier, feasible, community enhancing alternative, everyone in LA County wins! And that’s what this doctor ordered!
South Pasadena City Councilperson Marina Khubesrian
“Finally, the decision makers have come to their senses. I would have liked it better if they had all realized that the extension was not a feasible transportation alternative, but at least they had the wherewithal to figure out the money.”
Former South Pas Mayor Harry Knapp
“The Lord gave South Pasadena the strength and tenacity to conquer 710 Freeway. The first South Pasadena City Resolution was in 1947. It died in 2017. It took a while. We got a win. Thanks everybody.”
“As a School Board member, I am thrilled about the LA Metro Board’s vote that puts the health of our community and our students first. I am glad that we can finally move #BeyondThe710 and pursue more environmentally sustainable transportation solutions for our community thanks to the efforts of many including the C3 Coalition, Beyond The 710 and the No 710 Action Committee. I want to give special thanks to our city council and particularly Councilmember Dr. Marina Khubesrian whose leadership was instrumental in bringing this to pass.”
School Board Member Suzie Abajian
“Metro’s vote to drop the 710 tunnel alternative was a historic moment for the western San Gabriel Valley. With this action, all stakeholders in the region will be able to move forward in developing plans that will relieve traffic, connect communities, protect neighborhoods, promote smart growth, reduce air pollution and GHG emissions, and truly help people get to their jobs, schools, shopping and recreation.”
Former Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard
The first South Pasadena City Resolution opposing the 710 was passed in 1947 and so many have not stopped their efforts since that day. For those who are no longer with us–their efforts have ‘paved the way’ for this victory. We applaud your efforts!