The Board of Directors of Metro meet on Thursday and will consider opening a new set of studies on how to improve traffic on the 710 gap between Alhambra and Pasadena and whether the agency should support Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s 30/10 initiative to secure federal funds to fast-track the building of Measure R projects.
The position taken by the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments on both matters is interesting for a couple of reasons.
First, the 710 gap is in their own backyard. So it’s worth noting that the San Gabriel Valley COG supports the studies. It’s also worth noting that officials from South Pasadena and La Canada-Flintridge have also voiced strong concerns in the past about attempts to close the 710 gap and how that would impact traffic on other area freeways.
Second, the San Gabriel Valley COG supports a version of the 30/10 initiative that would also include an expanded list of projects, including the Gold Line Foothill Extension from Pasadena to Claremont (the mayor’s version includes the portion of that project funded by Measure R, from Pasadena to Azusa) and highway projects.
I think this is interesting because it neatly frames the discussion among the agency’s Board of Directors that is likely to occur on Thursday: namely, which projects should be on the 30/10 list?
The Mayor’s original proposal included 12 mass transit projects. It appears as if there’s widespread support on the Board of Directors for adding some highway projects so that 30/10 provides something to different corners of Los Angeles County. The policy question will be how much in loans and other financing tools can 30/10 reasonably expect to get from the feds and, should the money be secured, how many different projects should it be divided between?