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710 Freeway extension: Residents speak out in Pasadena

August 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The controversial 710 Freeway extension was the subject of a heated public meeting Monday night.

Close to 400 people turned out for the special City Council meeting at the Pasadena Convention Center. Critics spoke out against some of Metro's proposals to fill that missing gap from Alhambra to Pasadena.

"We are here to preserve our neighborhood from a government agency coming in and proposing to put a freeway through and not asking or telling anyone about it," said Ron Paler of Pasadena.

In the works for nearly 60 years, there are close to a dozen different options on the table, including several possibilities for a tunnel.

"We're taking a fresh look at it. The transportation landscape has changed. The transportation attitudes have changed. And this particular study is a comprehensive, multimodal look at all of the transportation modes and perhaps some hybrid alternatives," said Michelle Smith with Metro.

Metro said it's working on narrowing down the possibilities and hopes to have a final list of alternatives by this fall. Angry residents said they have never been given the chance to express their opinions. Most people in the crowd oppose any 710 Freeway extension.

In a show of solidarity, the Pasadena City Council voted to take formal action, opposing three of the main alternatives, including an arterial road along Avenue 64, a highway along Pasadena Avenue and a tunnel connecting the 10 Freeway to the 134 Freeway.

The council plans to present its formal opposition to the Metro board at its next meeting in hopes that the political pressure will have some impact on the proposed extension of the 710 Freeway.


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