710 Coalition Touts Support - Applauds Metro as DEIR Comment Period Closes
August 5, 2015, San Gabriel Valley – After 56 years of discussion, study, public votes, and detailed analysis, the 120 day public comment period regarding the 710 Freeway North Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIR/EIS), which was released on March 6th by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) , came to a close today.
“Caltrans first proposed the 710 freeway extension in 1959. Metro officials should be applauded for their efforts to ensure that the community was well informed about the process and issues,” said Alhambra Mayor Luis Ayala. “The 710 tunnel will connect the current northern terminus of the 710 to the 210 in the San Gabriel Valley. Closing the gap and building a tunnel will reduce gridlock on surface streets and reduce commute times,” Ayala continued.
The tunnel option creates the maximum reduction in commute times of all options studied and will result in 17% fewer cars and trucks stuck in traffic congestion. Projections show that the population in Los Angeles County will grow 33% from 9.8 million in 2004 to 13 million in 2040. Traffic in the San Gabriel Valley alone will grow 37%. If we don’t do something, we’ll be trapped by gridlock!
The 710 Coalition, a group in support of extending the 710 via a safer, environmentally preferred underground freeway, continues to gain supporters. Local elected officials, cities, residents and labor organizations continue to officially join the 710 Coalition to support completion of the freeway.
“Our Coalition is strong and growing. Local residents, labor, and community organizations throughout the Los Angeles Region are paying attention – they realize that the tunnel is the best and only option for completing the 710 freeway,” said Ron Miller, Executive Secretary, Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council.
When measured against how things are now, a tunnel to complete the 710 is projected to:
- Reduce cut through traffic in local cities
- Remove over 80,000 daily trips from the local street system which was NEVER intended to bear this level of traffic, a reduction of 8.5%
- Reduce regional cut-through traffic from 24% of all cars on local streets (or approximately 1 of every 4 vehicles) to 10% (or 1 in 10 vehicles)
- Fewer congested intersections
- Connect our freeway system for shorter commutes
- Result in 14,000 fewer car and truck miles driven daily
- Create the best solution to reduce congestion
The 710 tunnel also receives broad based public support. Recent polling indicates 2-to-1 residential support for the freeway tunnel (56% favor vs. 27% oppose in Los Angeles County, and 59% favor vs. 30% oppose in cities near the proposed project). The 710 Tunnel highway project was approved in 2008 when two-thirds of Los Angeles County voters approved Measure R, the 0.5% transportation sales tax. The project is also is part of both Metro's current Long Range Transportation Plan and the Southern California Association of Government's (SCAG) current Regional Transportation Plan. Construction of the freeway tunnel will create 40,300 high quality jobs, with average earnings of $63,000 per year. A vote on the project is expected in late 2016.
About the 710 Coalition
The Coalition was formed in 1982 and represents communities united to see the 710 freeway completed. 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/.