December 11, 2015 (Los Angeles)- The 710 Coalition supports the release of the draft 2016 Regional Transportation Plan / Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP / SCS) by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG).
The Regional Council’s approval to release the draft 2016 documents does not supersede the existing adopted 2012 RTP. Tunnel opponents continue to misrepresent the truth about the actions that occurred. “The public deserves to know the truth. Our Coalition will not stand by and allow opponents to disseminate false information,” said Rosemead Mayor Margaret Clark.
The draft RTP continues to include the SR-710 North extension as part of the "State Highway" (freeway) system. The project continues to be described as a tunnel in both Metro's current 2009 Long Range Transportation Plan and the Measure R Los Angeles County ordinance adopted by over two-thirds of voters in 2008. In addition, the draft RTP accelerates the project completion date five years from 2030 in the 2012 RTP to 2025.
Opponents of progress refuse to face the facts! Caltrans reports that three of the top 10 most severe afternoon bottlenecks in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties are near the SR-710 North Study area. If the 710 Gap is not closed by a new tunnel, then congestion at major traffic arteries between the 210 and 10 Freeways will only get worse. Gridlock on surface streets brings major environmental and public safety risks to our communities in the San Gabriel Valley. If we complete the 710 Freeway and close the gap, we’ll improve traffic and air quality in the entire region.
Pasadena voters overwhelmingly approved completion of the 710 Freeway at a public vote in 2001. “Twenty cities in Los Angeles County have declared their support for the 710 North tunnel along with Chambers of Commerce, School Districts, and State and local elected officials who all recognize the need to close the gap” said Garvey School District Board President Henry Lo. “The Coalition looks forward to continuing to work with Metro and Caltrans to advance this important voter-approved project and finally close the missing link in our regional freeway system.”
Recently, the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (COG) approved formal support of the tunnel option studied in the draft environmental review documents. The COG originally included the 710 North gap closure as one of the projects that should be funded if another countywide transportation sales tax passes. Recognizing that a minority of the COG opposed the 710 project, the 710 Coalition voluntarily removed the project from the funding list to support unanimity in the region.
The final environmental impact statement/report (FEIS/FEIR) for the SR-710 North tunnel is currently being completed and the draft environmental documents clearly show the SR-710 North tunnel option as the best alternative, reducing cut through traffic in local neighborhoods, improving air quality, and meeting the purpose and need for the project.
About the 710 Coalition
The Coalition was formed in 1982 and represents communities united to see the 710 freeway completed as soon as possible. It is made up of businesses, school districts, cities, and individuals united under a common umbrella of action and information. The 710 Coalition's member organizations represent millions of people in Southern California. The member cities are: Alhambra, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel, and San Marino. For a complete list of supporters and more information about the 710 Coalition please visit us at our website: http://www.710coalition.com/.
Media Contact: Celine Cordero (562) 673-7979