Earlier this month, the California State Senate passed SB 416, a bill sponsored by La Cañada Flintridge Sen. Carol Liu, which will speed up the sale of state-owned land long ear-marked for the 710’s northward spread. The bill has yet to make it to Governor Brown’s desk, so, in purely technical terms, anything can still happen. But all indications are that a surface 710 route will not be the newest addition to the topography of Pasadena or any of the nearby neighborhoods that have been living in abject dread of the threatened project for years.
LA County Metro is in the midst of compiling a draft environmental impact report for what can be done to improve the existing 710 – and it contains no mention of a 710 surface extension. “There is no surface route being studied,” Metro spokesperson Helen Ortiz-Gilstrap tells us. “That is off the table.”
Instead, Metro will weigh five alternatives, which include a freeway tunnel connecting the 710 in Alhambra to the 210 in Pasadena, improved light rail commuter options, new rapid bus lines, improving surface street signaling to help smooth commuter traffic, or doing absolutely nothing at all.
“No decisions have been made,” says Ortiz-Gilstrap. “We are looking at all five alternatives equally.”
Metro’s assurances will probably do little to assuage paranoia over an impending 710 putsch. But, if you ask us, this thing is dead in the water.
Story by Matthew Fleischer in Pasadena Weekly’s Pulse 9/23/13
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