Dozens of reporters and tv cameras gathered in front of the headquarters of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) for the announcement of a new coalition formed to fight a proposed 5-mile SR-710 freeway tunnel that would be constructed under some of the oldest and most historic neighborhoods in East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley. A number of cities, organizations and grassroots groups have banded together with the National Trust to support Beyond the 710, which is strongly opposed to the tunnel and is promoting a new approach to regional transportation options.
Car-centric LA is rapidly becoming more accepting of other modes of transportation, with an expanding light rail network, one of the largest bus systems in the country, and a rapidly growing hundreds of miles of bike and pedestrian routes. The Trust and the other members of Beyond the 710 believe continuing these policies is a much more economical, more effective, and much less destructive solution to the region’s transportation needs. By focusing on strategic projects that help move people--rather than just move cars--we can get people where they want to go. And we also avoid the tremendous risks associated with what would be the largest tunneling project ever undertaken in the US. A project that would take nearly a decade to build, cost billions to construct, crosses four fault lines, and runs underneath dense residential and commercial districts that are filled with historic districts and individual landmarks. You only need to look to the catastrophic failure of similar project in Seattle to understand why the SR-710 is such ill-conceived project.
Because of these serious risks to the overlying historic communities, and our on-going support for policies that make cities more livable, accessible and affordable, the National Trust officially joined the Beyond the 710 campaign and named this one of our National Treasures.
To continue the momentum from yesterday’s press event, NTHP staff and our partners from Pasadena Heritage, No 710 Action Committee, and other supporting organization will don our new “Beyond the 710” t-shirts this Sunday to ride in the Pasadena Ciclavia, an incredibly popular event when city streets are closed to cars for the day and turned over to biker, skaters and walkers.