Thursday, August 23, 2012

Today's Pasadena Star News Op-Ed Column: "Metrotrans Conspires on the 710"

(Mod: Several of the fine people who comment on this blog asked me to write a column for the Pasadena Star News regarding my theories about the God forsaken 710 Tunnel. So, agreeable person that I am, I did just that. The following is in today's paper edition and on their website as well. You can access this article on the PSN site by clicking here. When you are there be sure to read the Anthony Portantino interview on the 710 Tunnel. It is hard hitting and, in my opinion, he'd make one hell of a blogger.)

I want you to know just how fond I am of conspiracy theories. And not just because they are invariably more interesting than the more pedestrian forms of information available to the common man, but often they turn out to be correct as well.

I know it is the wont of local government types to proclaim that their detractors amongst the blogging and open government advocacy set are concocting conspiracy theories when they attempt to uncover what exactly is being done with such inconsequential things as the taxpayers' hard earned cash and civil rights. But isn't that just a symptom of the problem? When local government agencies are more concerned with how they are going to appear to Sacramento and L.A. County bureaucrats, along with government employee unions and large special interest lobbyists, the public that funds them becomes less the people they answer to and more a marketing problem.

A fine example of a conspiracy theory that could be far more reality-based than anything put out lately by Caltrans or Metro (or, as we have chosen to call them here, Metrotrans), is the suspected tactic being used to coerce the building of the 710 so-called connector tunnel. Something that has been about as locally popular as the various respiratory illnesses it would enable amongst those residing within the Pasadenas.

You may recall that a few months back Metrotrans began to hold various dog and pony shows throughout the area touting their openness to all sorts of possibilities for 710/210 connector routes. The happy notion they hoped to convey was that they weren't married to the 710 Tunnel, and wide open to all sorts of alternative route ideas as well. And they wanted to hear all about your thoughts on the matter.

Of course, once the alternative routes were put down on paper and circulated throughout the Pasadena Archipelago, people literally freaked out. How could anyone even dream of putting an 8 (or is that 10) lane freeway through my neighborhood? And how could you even think of bulldozing my house to build so horrible a thing? That is what people said.

And history was made. Local community organizations were formed, meetings held and, once the opportunity was presented to the people, the appropriate City Council meeting was flooded with hundreds upon hundreds of angry citizens. The result being that hero Pasadena City Councilpersons unanimously proclaimed their opposition to the 710 Extension going through whatever neighborhoods were represented at that evening's meeting.

But was this really an unintended consequence for Metrotrans? I have a few doubts. By allowing each of these neighborhoods to individually fear the 710 reaper, their original intent, putting the tunnel through South Pas and out onto the 210 Freeway, can now potentially be seen as a more acceptable possibility. To cite a quote from Anthony Portantino to the Star News, "I don't like pitting neighborhood against neighborhood." Which is exactly what was done here. And for very specific marketing purposes.

Look, I don't want the ecologically vile 710 "Cancer" Corridor connected to the 210. I don't want the air quality here in Sierra Madre reduced to that of Bell or Cudahy. And I certainly don't want this done so that cheaply made imported goods trucked out of the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles can get to the shelves of big box discount retailers just a little more efficiently.

Which is actually my favorite conspiracy theory. You really have to wonder who is calling the shots here. Is it our government, or those faraway folks who are lending them all of that money?

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

63 comments:

  1. Wasn't Bart Doyle involved in trade with China or some sort of scandal involving Chinese investment for the "homeland security"?
    I'm sure he was, and it was written up in the papers with the investigation of the Transit Village.

    Is there any connection here?

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  2. It is a shame that our tax dollars go to fund such idiots. It is also a shame that we seem to be powerless to stop it.

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  3. China has not been good for America:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0VjwU8cWEw

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  4. South Pasadena used to call itself "America's most endangered community." I think that now applies to us all.

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    1. They might still be in the bull's eye of the target.

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    2. OK. It is a tunnel. They're the bullseye. We're the under the tail egress.

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    3. Give new meaning to the term "pass through the system.

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  5. Tattler, this is great. More readers will be informed about how they are being manipulated, first by Cal Trans, and second, by China.

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  6. People in California are FINALLY getting sick of these scandals and waste of our tax dollars. The policies used in Sacramento are unsustainable.
    Over development is unstainable.

    7:32 is absolutely correct. We are all becoming endangered communities.

    I'm confident California will vote down new taxes, just like Sierra Madre did.

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    Replies
    1. Say no to Measure R. Starve the Metro beast.

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  7. In China, citizens can't say "No."
    This fight must come as a nasty shock.
    Isn't there an acceptable and efficient light rail alternative already designed?

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  8. Last night there were approximately 1000 people gathered on the lawn at Church of the Angels, just outside of the San Rafael neighborhood discussing strategy to fight the 710 extension. To say that local residents are ticked off, would be an understatement. The meeting was sponsored by the local neighborhood associations. These residents, most of them homeowners, are organizing in a big way to fight any routes that would disrupt their neighborhoods. A quick trip down Ave. 64 will show you that the residents are serious. The number of banners and signs out on lawns and a huge banner greeting you right off of the San Rafael exit of the freeway says it all.

    It is shocking to me that a gathering of this magnitude, and with speakers who were so well informed, did not make the first page of the Pasadena Star News.

    If Metro wins, 910,000 cars will be dumped on to the 210 Freeway, and one can only imagine the sea of trucks if THE PEOPLE do not fight this. Modern rail would be a much better solution.

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    1. Portantino kicks major Caltro bootie on the front page of the Pasadena Star News today. This is starting to look less like a "process" and more like a rebellion.

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    2. We need to organize a demonstration.

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    3. That is great news 7:50.

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    4. Looks like Holden landed on the wrong side of this one. I hope the voters can see the light and vote for Lowe, she came out early and strong against the tunnel.

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    5. Holden is right out of the LA County Democratic Party establishment. You know he will never come down on our side on anything. We're just here to be taxed and pushed around.

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  9. Every city along the 210 corridor, both east and west, would be well advised to join in to stop this environmental travesty.

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  10. C'mon y'all- 'environmental tragedy'... 'cancer alley', really? The same trucks and cars are already making their way across LA County now. They're just doing it with more stoplights through other people's neighborhoods. Aside from the Few people in the room who are true environmentalists, this argument rings tinny.

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    1. Like your head tinny, right? Nobody takes the 610 anymore? The 10? The 57? Do you honestly think putting mass amounts of diesel truck and car traffic on the 210 through Pasadena is going to help anyone? What happened to all that talk about building for the sustainable future? Nobody here wants it. Sometimes democracy works.

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    2. Thank you, Steve. You can be counted on to bring a different perspective to any conversation. How do you know how many "people in the room" are true environmentalists? I suggest it's far more than your platitude would suggest.

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    3. Caltrans admits that cancer and emphysema rates are higher at the mouths of tunnels. They admit it. They lead with it, as though it is an acceptable cost of doing business. "Yeah, some of you will die, but....."

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    4. Cancer is green.

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    5. 8:24 must be a consultant. Nothing he said made any sense, and is
      not applicable to the matter at hand anyway.

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    6. If you like the slow and go, and stop and go, on the 210 on Saturdays & Sundays, you will LOVE the full-time crush! The 210 will emulate the 405 after the ill-begotten 710 extension is done.

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    7. I'm not against the idea of the 710 tunnel connection. But I am definitely against graft.

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    8. I think it's safe to assume that neither you nor anyone you care about would live by the mouths of the tunnel you are not against?

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    9. I used to live live two blocks from the Entrance to Holland Tunnel. Not a bad spot actually.

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    10. You're kidding, right? I grew up in Jersey City and the Holland Tunnel is situated in the middle if a wasteland. Maybe you were smoking too much of the crack they sell there?

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    11. 6:11 must have lived in Hoboken.

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  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  12. Off topic: the city eblast says there is an opening on the Library Board of Trustees. Follow the link to the city web site, and it says there is no opening.
    Assuming there actually is an opening, since the current trustees are all of the same stripe, it sure would be nice if a different perspective were brought into the mix.

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    1. I heard that Colin Braudrick resigned.

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    2. I think he did resign. We are very lucky he was not elected to the City Council. We were very unlucky MaryAnn was not RE-ELECTED.
      This was the fault of some very bad people who smeared her, some very bad people, a few of them live in the canyon, and are very close to Joe Mosca.

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  13. Perhaps a plan to transship containers via rail using existing right of ways to a distribution center in the underutilized depots East of LA would be the least environmentally destructive. Remember the railroad? Those vehicles hooked together on steel tracks that were around before freeways?
    Perhaps all those foreign exporters could pay for it..

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    1. Container freight travels by train all over the country. It is clean, efficient and cost effective. Why Caltrans and metro are pushing for a widened 710 and a tunnel through the heart of the Pasadena area is a big mystery.

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    2. No mystery: Caltrans doesn't build railroads.

      "The State of California, Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is responsible for the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of the California State Highway System, as well as that portion of the Interstate Highway System within the state's boundaries. Alone and in partnership with Amtrak, Caltrans is also involved in the support of intercity passenger rail service in California, and is a leader in promoting the use of alternative modes of transportation. The current framework of Caltrans was set down by Assembly Bill 69 in 1972."

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    3. Good. Then lets get Caltrans out of the process and involve someone who works with trains. Problem solved!

      In the end the problem turned out to be a territorial and aggressive bureacracy who attempted to push the worst solution to the problem on Pasadena and environs because that is where their responsibilities lay. How California!

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    4. The railroad is already there, alameda corridor, rail line through city of industry along the 60 freeway goes by all those huge warehouses in Ontario. Are they not using it? Is some one high up in the trucking business making contributions to those politicians.

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    5. Alameda Corridor East is in start up phase of construction, contractors and sub-contractors have been awarded contracts.

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    6. Did not the 210 used to be the AT&SF?

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  14. Just vote NO on the Measure R extension. Done. Finished.

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  15. Hey Crawford, only 3,300 or so until there's ONE MILLION Tattler hits. Party time!!

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    1. Please assure us that ad revenue won't influence your eagle eye!

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    2. I tried to keep the rates reasonable. They are scaled to consultant prices.

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    3. Sure you didn't set those rates in pesos?

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    4. Mod, I think those should be weekly rates, not monthly.

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  16. Those at the SRNA meeting last night emphasized opposition to any 710 freeway, anywhere! I think the speakers conveyed to the crowd the environmental disaster a tunnel would be both for the city of Pasadena and for surrounding communities, not to mention the region. http://sunroomdesk.com/2012/08/23/hundreds-at-san-rafael-neighborhood-association-meeting-on-opposing-sr-710-extension/

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    1. You can see what our future with the tunnel will look like if you travel down the 710 towards Long Beach. We'll become a part of that.

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  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. If you are going to call people out on what you believe are their intellectual shortcomings, you should at least attempt to spell correctly.

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    2. Looks like you've hit some "dirt" sore spots, again, John Crawford!
      Some of these downtown investors never get over it.
      We won Measure V. You lost.

      You pro-development, pro-big centralized government, pro-big taxes, you hate slow growth, individual freedom, you hate us, this is very well known. Well, we hate you too!

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    3. Can't we all just get along? Time for a "Kumbya" moment.

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    4. How tedius would that be?

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    5. I'm a slow growth advocate, but I don't hate the opposition.

      And Rodney King, 5:26, apparently couldn't just get along with himself. Sad reports from that autopsy.

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    6. 3:54 has too much H8torade and fluoride in his water supply.

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  18. Metro has pruned its possibles to:
    "Still on the table are:

    A no-build option, which includes 50 small improvement projects throughout the study area;

    A solution that would incorporate Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) into the study area. The option will also encourage ride-sharing and off-peak travel;

    Light rail that would follow a route from the East Los Angeles Civic Center Station through Monterey Park and connect to the Gold Line at the Fillmore Station;

    A bus line that would connect from the Atlantic Station on the Gold Line to Pasadena via Atlantic and Fair Oaks avenues;

    A freeway tunnel connecting the 10 and 210 Freeways between Alhambra and Pasadena.

    A multi-lane interstate above ground freeway connection is no longer under consideration, officials said."

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  19. Mr. Crawford I'd like to get in contact with you to provide you a memo I think would like re:"Metrotrans conspires"  SGVT 08/23/2012

    "Which is actually my favorite conspiracy theory. You really have to wonder who is calling the shots here. Is it our government, or the faraway folks who are lending them all of that money?"

    please contact me at nests24775@mypacks.net

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