La Cañada Flintridge Weighs In on 710

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For nearly 40 years, the debate over a proposed extension of the 710 Freeway has raged on, with Pasadena residents staunchly opposed to a freeway that would cut through their city and nearly 1,000 homes that lie in its proposed path.

The latest in the fight against the extension is a formal resolution adopted by the La Cañada-Flintridge City Council, which is trying to form a Community Liaison Council (CLC). The La Cañada Chamber of Commerce sent out email messages to those who spoke against the 710 extension, urging for help to form a 20-member CLC within the La Cañada area, which would provide feedback and make La Cañada’s voice heard in the 710 debate.

La Cañada-Flintridge mayor Stephen A. Del Guercio expressed the need for a CLC in the area.
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“If we cannot get enough representatives to participate, representatives from our community will be grouped with those from other communities, possibly with different or even opposite perspectives, and our voice on this issue could be lost,” he said.

While some believe the extension could help relieve traffic problems, Mayor Del Guercio stated otherwise, also citing the high cost and detrimental environmental effects as reasons for the city’s opposition.

“We oppose the extension because it will cost untold billions of dollars and will not result in a meaningful improvement in traffic conditions,” said Del Guercio in an email. “Even according to SCAG’s own ‘Missing Link’ truck study, the tunnel extension will open to gridlock at its junction with the 210 freeway and will spread traffic gridlock to surrounding communities. This increased traffic will have serious adverse effects on La Cañada, Pasadena, Glendale and other nearly communities, including significant air pollution which has been documented to cause serious health effects for our residents. There will also be serious environmental effects as a result of the construction activities related to boring a tunnel of this size and disposing of excavated materials.

“Since the project will cost billions of dollars, will not have a meaningful beneficial effect on traffic congestion regionally, and will result in health impacts to our residents and the children of streets adjacent to the I-210 Freeway, the City is opposed to the SR-710 Extension.

“I, as mayor, along with my colleagues on the City Council, must do whatever we can to oppose grossly wasteful government-sponsored projects that have no proven or likely benefits and, in fact, will negatively impact the region as well as the health and quality of life for those who reside or work in affected areas.”