Thursday, August 23, 2012

No Build Anywhere

Hey kids! Let's put on our poodle skirts and saddle shoes! It's the 1950's again and Caltrans wants to build a freeway!

Let's go Retro!

"Stop 710 through San Rafael area."
"Stop 710 Through Avenue 64."

I'm pretty sure you'll find similar wording on signs in El Sereno, South Pasadena, and Highland Park. Perhaps Caltrans thought they could divide and conquer, but folks are wising up. The sign I saw today at the 134 San Rafael Avenue off-ramp said, "710 NO BUILD ANYWHERE.

I took the above photo facing north on Avenue 64 at 5:09:46 pm on August 15th. That's rush hour on a Wednesday. Obviously we're getting along fine without a 710 freeway extension and the Pasadena City Council seems to agree. That's because this freeway extension, so close to the Arroyo Seco (where the Rose Bowl stadium sits), would ruin much more than Avenue 64. Pasadena property values? Not!

Even our State Assemblyman doesn't want this thing. Nobody wants a 710 freeway extension except shipping companies, and they don't live here.

But seriously, folks, is Caltrans really considering a freeway? Are they really not talking about a faster, less-polluting, light rail system for transporting goods from the port of Los Angeles? Is everybody who works at Caltrans still rolling their non-filter cigarette packs up in their t-shirt sleeves? Wearing coonskin hats? Combing their hair into a ducktail while they shake their hula-hoops?

What century is this?

If you'd like to add your voice, you can join the No 710 Freeway Extension Facebook Page. Please feel free to leave other links and suggestions in the comments.

And speaking of outdated schemes: tomorrow is the last day for public comment (until 5pm) regarding Pasadena's "Multi-Benefit/Multi-Use" Project Initial Study (aka, "building a soccer field in Hahamongna watershed"). Here's a toolkit to help you register your comments. It takes only a few minutes and your words matter.


Shell Sherree said...

You folks have had more than your fair share of dubious development proposals, Petrea. All the best with this latest one.

Patrizzi Intergarlictica said...

I really love it when you get snarky.

dive said...

No Build Anywhere pretty much sums up the state of the construction industry these days, Petrea.

Transport planners don't come equipped with the luxury of a brain. If someone points out to them that rail can carry much more capacity in a less polluting manner than road they'll go ahead and build a road anyway. Perhaps you should suggest a canal to them; at least it would look nice.

Speedway said...

Although you don't have the resources there, river transport is even more efficient. One barge can transport as much tonnage as 60 semi-trucks or 15 rail cars.
Water transportation also reduces highway traffic, fuel consumption, air pollution, wear and tear on highways, and the number of tires sent to landfills. In the Ohio River valley, the barges provide most of the coal for the power plants. When you think of how many railroad cars and trucks would be on the highways, then you can see that it would be impossible to maintain that system. It also illustrates how much we need to find alternative sources of power because we rely so much on coal for our electrical power.

LOLfromPasa said...

I'm on it! Now this is getting a bit close to home. I lived not far from Avenue 64. I can't find a map to see what is proposed...will keep looking.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks for your comments, folks. I've been out all morning. I hope you check into the Facebook Page, it's being updated constantly.

I'd really rather not deal with this at all, or Hahamongna. I just find it so shocking what some people are willing to do for money.

Susan Campisi said...

I feel the same way, Petrea. I'd rather not deal with protesting soccer in Hahamongna or the 710 extension, but I can't ignore either one. I sent my Haha comments earlier this week. Next up a piece of my mind to Caltrans.

Ms M said...

Another bad plan foisted on your community? I often wonder what has happened to common sense when it comes to "ideas" like these. I hope there's enough opposition (and funding) to stop the build!

Petrea Burchard said...

It's really tiresome, isn't it, Susan? Sometimes I feel like politics is a brick wall.

Ms. M, there may just be enough opposition this time, and apparently some good sleuthing going on because now Caltrans has been threatened with court action for criminal activity. I guess they messed with the wrong Arroyo.

Margaret said...

To Petrea!

Speedway said...

It seems these projects illustrate vision of the tunnel kind, where the perpetrators can only see their goals, to the exclusion of the people who will actually be affected. Otherwise, how could it be that someone wants to build a soccer field on a flood plain, near a soccer field that is underused?

Somewhere along the line, the people who are protesting the idiocy may be accused of "blocking progress," "denying people much-needed jobs," or "hugging trees" when in truth they are trying to prevent thieves from lining their pockets with the taxpayers' money for something that will have a bad effect over the long term.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

The latest from Metrotran recommendations from the 42 original proposals.

• No Build
• BRT 6 refinements – Los Angeles to Pasadena
• LRT 4 refinements – East Los Angles to Pasadena
• F-7 (freeway tunnel) – Connecting north and south termini of existing SR 710

But I think this time they played their hand stupid. By creating panic on a large scale they've caused us to go out and educate ourselves. As a result were ready to run THEM out on a rail. We want this thing (conceptually) buried.

Three cities want this - Alhambra, Monterey Park and San Marino. Make your own conclusions - but start by following the money

Petrea Burchard said...

I'm surprised anybody wants it. I'm tempted to say okay, let's run it through their towns. But then it would have to go through Duarte to meet the 210, and I wouldn't wish that on Duarte.

Adele said...

All of this stuff is appalling.

Trish said...

"they" have been talking about a 710 extension for something like 50 years? And still no one in the affected areas is interested? Go figure!?!

I've never heard anyone living in an area where a freeway was constructed say "oooh, cool, we've got this GREAT backyard noise and pollution!". Ask the folks off the 105 about all that! Even in "the poor sections" the freeways haven't helped anyone but big business move their stuff. No big bump to the community with easy access (no one who lives near a freeway can EVER get on one easily) or better traffic flow in the neighborhood, or all those cars stopping for fuel or other purchases that the local community can use towards local tax base.

I agree that traffic in LA is awful. One of the reasons I moved is because of the traffic. But mowing down neighborhoods isn't the solution.

How about solar or electric powered barges going up and down the flood canals? (yeah, I know, bridges need to be built, water needs to be found...). Or use the rails that are already around and reduce the impact of trucks clogging roads except right off train tracks? SoPas used to have lots of freight move thru it.

I think what needs to happen is what should have happened years ago. Ask the towns that are impacted. No, not San Marino, unless they are volunteering to have the 710 run down Huntington. Ask the ones who would have a new freeway where Mrs Gillette used to live. Really, the only reasonable solution.


Petrea Burchard said...

Trish, they've been talking about it for ages, then all of a sudden they said, "Okay, we're gonna do it!" And as far as asking the towns that would be impacted, they asked and they got an earful--way more than they expected. It took very little time for these towns to unite against Caltrans, investigate and discover potential criminal activity, and threaten legal action. Caltrans has already begun to back down. We are now waiting to see what happens next.