710 Freeway and L.A. Transportation Issues Discussed

Anthony Portantino, left, with guests Ara Najarian, Robbyn Battles and Sergio Gonzalez.
Anthony Portantino, left, with guests Ara Najarian, Robbyn Battles and Sergio Gonzalez.

Glendale City Councilmember/MTA boardmember Ara Najarian, Crescenta Valley Town Council President Robbyn Battles and South Pasadena City Manager Sergio Gonzalez tackled the issues of the 710 tunnel and transportation on a recent episode of “The Question is With Anthony Portantino,” a public policy talk show.

“It is important to educate the public on the enormous cost of the 710 tunnel and the lack of accurate and impartial information floating around this project,” said Portantino.

Portantino added that he was pleased to have Najarian share his knowledge and Battles and Gonzalez bring a local north and south perspective on the impact this project would have on the southern cities and foothill communities.

The program content is timely since questions and concerns continue after the MTA commissioned an already delayed Environmental Impact Report after conducting a series of community meetings. The MTA also voted down efforts by Najarian to conduct a cost benefit analyses on the project before moving forward. As costs of a similar project in Seattle skyrocket, local advocates continue to call on MTA and Caltrans to embrace 21st century solutions to local transportation needs.

“Anthony Portantino has the courage to ask the hard questions concerning the 710 freeway, the future of our communities and transportation funding,” said Najarian. “I am happy to have had the chance to give straight answers on these critical issues.”

Glendale, La Crescenta, Los Angeles, South Pasadena, Sierra Madre and La Cañada have all taken formal opposing positions to the 710 tunnel project.

“I’ve lived [in the foothills] all my life and I’ve seen the negative impact on the quality of life increased traffic continues to bring,” said Battles. “It’s time for smart growth and planning, not build it at all costs, especially when the dollar and impact costs are so high.”

“The Question Is With Anthony Portantino” airs on Charter California on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday nights at 7:30 p.m.