In 2008, Los Angeles County voters approved the Measure R sales tax increase — and, along with it, a long list of transit and road projects to be funded by the half-penny sales tax hike. One of those projects: improving traffic in the area of the 4.5-mile gap in the 710 freeway between Alhambra and Pasadena.
On Feb. 15, a series of 18 public meetings will begin and continue through the end of March. Metro is billing the meetings as a chance to have a “conversation” with the public about the 710 gap, its history and possible solutions. The meetings, too, are the start of a new process to study what project — if any — might help traffic.
Some quick background: The 710 freeway opened between Long Beach and Valley Boulevard on the Alhambra/Los Angeles border in 1965. The goal, at the time, was to complete the freeway to Pasadena but controversy and lawsuits stopped it from happening, leaving a 4.5-mile gap between the 710 and a planned junction with the 210 and 134 freeways in Pasadena.
Not surprisingly, traffic has diverted to other roads, including surface streets in Alhambra, Los Angeles, South Pasadena and Pasadena.
As with any issue carrying the weight of decades of history and controversy, the 710 gap can be an emotional topic. It is important to note that Measure R allows Metro — the lead agency on any project that may follow — to have a fresh opportunity to engage the public on finding solutions to this issue.
The flyer below has a list of the meeting dates, locations and times.
The first meeting at each location will focus on “transportation: where have we been and where we are going” and will look at transportation systems in the region.
The second meeting will provide an overview of the state and federal environmental study process intended to project communities from project impacts.
The third meeting will then review the “scoping” process that leads to a list of project ideas, as well as the issues involving the 710 gap that need to be studied. Scoping is the beginning of the environmental review process that could lead to a proposed project.