Here is a quote from a recent Pasadena Adjacent article related to today's topic that really opened my eyes to some perspectives I hadn't thought a lot about before.
"As a citizen of Garvanza/Highland Park, I'm not only against the inclusion of my neighborhood in the nefarious 710 extension, but ALL 710 extensions. I believe, after listening to today's radio broadcast, the interview in the Pasadena Weekly, the Romana Community gathering last Monday, and the questionable way this has been fast tracked ... we can only conclude that our community has been recruited into a game of ill will "Corpo Speak." A cleverly played hand in order to turn one community against the other, once race against another, rich against poor; and whatever else you can throw against the wall to divide and conquer us. My hope, through action, is to see a united front for all those communities you have placed in your cross hairs. No on the 710 Extension."
I have come to believe that Metro may very well be scaring the crap out of certain Pasadena neighborhoods with their "surface route alternatives" in order to make the 710 Tunnel seem like an acceptable compromise. The massive turnouts at various meetings, including one in particular with the Pasadena City Council, have shown that any targeted neighborhoods will react and let their opposition be known, and loudly. And, as we saw in Pasadena, elected officials will support them.
The responses from some widely quoted officials, elected or government employed, have been to oppose certain Metro proposed routes for the 710 Extension. But how many times do you hear anything from these folks about opposing the linking of the 710 Corridor with the 210 altogether? Something that would funnel massive truck and auto traffic from one of the most polluted stretches of freeway anywhere right into our portion of the San Gabriel Valley?
Here is a particularly obvious "divide and conquer" take on the situation from Chris Holden, as quoted in an August 14th article published in the Pasadena Star News (click here):
Pasadena City Councilman and State Assembly candidate Chris Holden urged Metro to divulge which routes are "simply dead on arrival."
"I'm asking Metro to cut to the chase and bring down the temperature," Holden said. "Because for all of us to have to go through this kind of anxiety unnecessarily is cruel and unusual punishment.
Holden also said Monday he was not necessarily opposed to all options for the 710 extension.
In other words, after winding up certain neighborhoods about the possibility of their being consumed by the 710, you then let them off the hook. Thereby allowing these particular neighborhoods the sense of having won their battle. Something that effectively leaves those still in the path of Metro's wave of freeway terror with fewer motivated allies left to help them fight their particular fight.
The paid consultant charged with conning people into supporting the 710 Extension, Nat Read, also seems to have bought into the "divide and conquer" strategy, and pretty much says so in an August 18th Star News article (click here).
... Nat Read, chairman of the 710 Freeway Coalition, said he thinks the anger in Pasadena will simmer down once the San Rafael routes are eliminated as possibilities for the final project.
"This has happened in neighborhood after neighborhood - everywhere alternative routes were suggested," Read said. "Once the process goes forward and that route is no longer considered, then there isn't anything to get agitated about."
The "process" in this case apparently being first threatening key influential neighborhoods with being plowed under to build a freeway, then allowing them the sense of having escaped a terrible fate. Which to me is about as coercive and cynical a strategy as any government entity has ever rolled out here. And you do have to ask exactly what these surface "alternative routes" are an alternative to. With the only answer available being the 710 Tunnel. The tunnel having been the goal of Metro (and Caltrans) from the very start, and apparently remaining so even today.
What we need to remember is that this fight is important to everyone in the area. If you think the 210 Freeway is crowded now, or the air quality isn't so hot, just wait until Metro begins dumping massive gouts of 710 "Cancer Alley" Corridor diesel truck traffic from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on us. Environmentally you will think you're now living in Bell, Paramount or Cudahy. Just because an extended 710 Freeway won't be going right next your house, or maybe even under it, doesn't mean you won't be suffering from some of the deadlier consequences.
Fortunately there are those who have seen through this. Pasadena City Councilman Steve Madison sees the "no build" option as being the only acceptable one. Plus you can add to that select list the entire town of South Pasadena, whose elected officials now believe the goal of this "process" is to once again make them the target. Again, from the August 18 PSN:
City Councilman Philip Putnam said Wednesday he thinks the city should be wary that a recent opposition vote by the Pasadena City Council against some of the 710 Freeway extension alternatives could push the chosen route back into South Pasadena.
Which, if true, would mean everything is back to square one. Except this time with much of Pasadena having been conditioned to believe that the tunnel is an acceptable alternative to the 710 Extension being built in their backyard.
As Sierra Madre begins to consider how best to show our opposition, and what exactly it is that we need to be opposed to, it must be kept in mind that no matter where this thing gets built, the final result will be a 210 Freeway choked with massive truck traffic out of the ports, and environmental conditions far worse than any this town has ever seen. Our quality of life here will suffer greatly.
Accept no alternatives. The only real choice is to build no 710 Extension at all.