Monday, April 6, 2015

Sylvia Plummer: The Latest Stop the 710 Tunnel News

From the folks who brought you the SF Bay Bridge
Mod: I've been gathering together Sylvia Plummer's excellent reports on the fight to save the San Gabriel Valley from what would be ecological devastation should the 710 Tunnel ever be built. And as you know, the pressure to do so from various billion dollar bureaucracies such as Metro and Caltrans (along with those who are pushing their buttons) has been intense these last few months. The EIR is in, and while they still can't seem to be able to tell anyone how much this tunnel will cost us, they want to push it on through anyway. Here is all of the latest:

1.  This weeks Call to Action

We need people to call, email or write the Pasadena City Councilmembers before the April 13th City Council meeting.  Then in a separate email or letter sent a copy to the City Clerk - Mark Jomsky - to be put on the record.  Ask Mark Jomsky to put on the record for the April 13th City Council meeting regarding SR-710, also ask that your letter or email be distributed to all the Council members. Mark Jomsky's email address:

What is happening April 13th @ 6:30pm at the Pasadena City Council Meeting?

There will only be one topic for the meeting, the SR-710.  No other business will be discussed. A staff report will be given on the SR-710 Pasadena Working Group Recommendations.  There will be a vote by the City Council on whether or not to accept or approve the Working Group Recommendations.

I have personally heard from Steve Madison's office and was told that Madison will bring up a Resolution for the City of Pasadena to oppose the SR-710 tunnel(s).

Talking Points for your emails:
- You support the Working Groups recommendations.
- Ask them to support a Resolution for the City of Pasadena to oppose the SR-710 Tunnels.
- Tunnel is prohibitive and a waste of resources that could be used for Public Transit projects.
- Measure A issue - Some Councilmembers apparently continue to express concern that a vote to oppose the tunnel would go against the voters of Measure A to complete the gap with a Freeway surface route.  Measure A never said anything about a tunnel or a toll.  The 710 gap issue can be solved using other options.

Here is a link to the Working Group's Report and Letter which have been added to the City of Pasadena's SR710 site (link).

Attached is a letter from the WPRA to the Mayor and City Councilmembers regarding the City of Pasadena's Position on the SR-710 North Alternatives.  This should give you some ideas as well.

Here are the email addresses for the Mayor, City Councilmembers and City Manager:

Plan to attend on April 13th:  The City Council Meeting will be held at the Pasadena Convention Center in the Ballroom, a very large venue.  A large turnout at this meeting will make a difference.  The Council does respond to numbers. We need an audience.

2.  More Public Hearings

Two more Public Hearings have been added for a total of four.  Be sure to attend at least one.  You can come in at any time and leave at any time.  Map viewing will also take place during the Public Hearing time schedule.  These are not meetings.

Schedule of Public Hearings

Sunday, April 11
Map viewing: 10-11 a.m.
Public hearing: 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.
East Los Angeles College, Rosco Ingalls Auditorium,
1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Montery Park

Tuesday, April 14
Map viewing: 5-6 p.m.
Public hearing: 6-9 p.m.
Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green St.

Wednesday, May 6
Map viewing: 5-6 p.m.
Public hearing: 6-9 p.m.
La Cañada High School auditorium,
4463 Oak Grove Dr., La Canada

Thursday, May 7
Map viewing: 5-6 p.m.
Public hearing: 6-9 p.m.
Los Angeles Christian Presbyterian Church,
2241 N. Eastern Ave., LA

3.  Pasadena Mayoral Runoff Debate

Tuesday, April 7th @ 7 pm
Pasadena Convention Center

There will be a debate between the two mayoral runoff candidates, Pasadena City Councilmembers Jacque Robinson and Terry Tornek.  The WPRA, a co-sponsor of the event, has provided some of the questions.  The debate will be moderated by KPCC Radio's AirTalk host, Larry Mantle,  This event will be televised live of KPAS (channel 3 on Charter and 99 on U-Verse).  It will also be streamed via and

The runoff election will take place on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

4.  Short SR-710 Article

Here's a humorous short SR-710 story from The Transit Coalition-Weekly Transit E-Newsletter:

Will the Proposed 710 N. Freeway Tunnel Accommodate Big Rigs Safely?

The debate about extending the 710 North Freeway is now about 60 years old. Business interests want it and the community presents strong opposition. Those concerned about building the tunnel ask for simple things like cost benefit analysis and projected numbers and can never seem to get any answers, which leaves more questions unanswered. The 6.3-mile freeway tunnel could cost maybe $5.65 billion or maybe $10 billion. Then, the question about whether this tunnel can handle trucks and what would the additional costs be? One group that is pushing the project, but seems to believe that truckers would pay a toll of $14 each way from trucking firms that are known to avoid even paying their drivers. Stay tuned for the next episode of "As the Tunnel Bores", which ranks high in community churning. There are more public meetings rolling out to continue the discussion.

5.  Some Good News Articles:

San Gabriel Valley cities clash over 710 Freeway options (link)

Should a 710 Freeway tunnel allow trucks and will it be safe? (link)

Stuck in Seattle:  The Aggravating Adventures of a Gigantic Tunnel Drill (link)

Mod: Anthony Portantino wrote a letter to Caltrans and Metro asking them exactly how much the 710 Tunnel would cost. He never got an answer, probably because Caltrans doesn't work that way. Rather when they run out of cash they'll just propose another sales tax hike. State Senator Carol Liu has since followed up. Here is her letter.

Mod: Lots of good information. It would be great if a Sierra Madre contingent could make it to that special 710 Tunnel meeting the Pasadena City Council is having on April 13. That ballroom is big, and it is important that people who are concerned about this awful project be heard.


  1. I wonder if any of the $50K the city approved for the NO on 710 is bei g used for this? Can the city give us an update to the citizens of Sierra Madre on the usage of these tax dollars?

    1. Here is an article that goes into what the $50K is being used for, and who is a part of it.

    2. Interesting - Per the Star News link, Glendale joined Pas, So Pas, La Canada & Sierra Madre. Woo hoo!

    3. It is good when cities band together to work on a common interest.

  2. Be sure to respond, everyone counts!April 6, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    The public is encouraged to submit written or electronic comments prior to July 6, 2015 through the following options:

    By U.S. Mail to Garrett Damrath, Caltrans District 7, Division of Environmental Planning, 100 S. Main St., MS-16, Los Angeles, CA 90012

    Online through

    State clearly YOUR PPREFERENCE for one of the 5 options developed at length in the draft EIR (not just NO on 710 tunnel) and why it's the best for your area:

    (1) a no-build alternative
    (2) a roadway tunnel without exits (the 710 extension option)
    (3) a light rail line connecting East L.A. with Pasadena
    (4) a bus rapid transit line from Montebello to Pasadena
    (5) Transportation System Management/Transportation Demand Management (TSM/TDM)

    Massive Draft EIR documents are here

  3. Finally learning how to navigate this site - sign in before you comment...
    I live on the western edge of the SanGabriel Valley - great view and I have been using Duarte as part of our transport alternative to the mess CalTrans and MTA call the 710 Gap Closure or SR-710 North Extension...which does not help anyone in the SGValley and is Mike Antonovich's legasy project and probable future employer...LACo-SanBern.Joint Power Agency for the High Desert Corridor Project - LACo and SanBern's alternative to Ricerside dominance - Colton Logistics Center...
    Focus on the DEIR - it is the only thing that is going to court and written comments are the only things that will get us there... along with some money.
    If you have never done it before - DO IT FOR THIS is worth it.
    710 project will be selected as a 8-lane tunnel of 5+ miles with 180,000 vehicles averaged for every day of the year and probably about 210 vehicles if averaging over the weekdays....WITH many trucks??
    2lanes out/in bound x 1400 trucks /hr x 24 = 60-70,000/day every day - BUT the DEIR does not tell you that so we back-calculated and reversed engineered and got about 46-55,000 trucks / day - DEIR says they use a 2.0passenger car unit/truck and eventually come up with the 180,00 so we have say 50,000 trucks - 25K each way on one lane...then lets assume that 40% will try to go to/come from east = total 25K or 12,5K each way 24hrs a day every day...

    So what does Duarte get 500 truck east/west bound every hour - only 8 5ft box/container trucks every minute...
    So we have a SGValley truck number(s) of 1/8sec, 8/minute 500/hr, 25000/day - every day
    So how any cars - 180,000 - 50Kx2=100K = 80,000 lets say 50% east and 50% north

    So Duarte can expect an additional 25,000 trucks and 45000 cars passing Myrtle Ave interchange every week day and maybe 25,000 trucks and say 30,000 cars every weekend day - got to have the annualized averages

    So is it good for the SGValley - yeah maybe for the SR-60 and I-10 corridors but my friends in Duarte and even Claremont are going to be learning how to drive a truck or drive around them...Lots of Look

    If you need help on making comments - ask at the No710 El Sereno FBpage we will help - if you need Face-To-Face get 3-4 others and we will come....including Sunday pm...

    We are also just passing our $10K fund level for fighting this monster in court say Febr.2016...
    Join/help the opposition of the 710 and make a new transportation model - including The Tangerine Line from Duarte-Whittier-SantaFe Springs-Long Beach and GoldLine to Ontario...

    1. Mr. Williams, where can I send a donation?

    2. Contact me at - 501C3

  4. Some of the most well-organized and tough people anywhere are fighting the 710 tunnel. They have no idea what they are up against. They should stop wasting the taxpayer's money and give up now.

  5. Portantino just received a response today from the CTC promising the missing cost-benefit analysis by the end of April. It is, unfortunately, dated April 1.

    1. Uh oh. Who is going to believe that?

  6. Mr. Portantino's letter did not ask for the true cost. Rather, it asked for the results of the cost-benefit analysis. There is a difference. This analysis takes into consideration not only the cost of the project, but also factors in the documentable benefits and should help determine if a project is worth the cost. Both Caltrans District 7 Director, Carrie Bowen and Metro (then) Head of Highway Programs, Doug Failing, both stood before the California Transportation Commission in Dec. of 2013 and assured the commission that the cost-benefit analysis would be released concurrently with the DEIR. It was not. In response to questions from electeds and the public, Metro has twice told us "It will be available at the end of the week." Unfortunately,it did not materialize either time. This analysis should have been done before the Environmental Impact Study was ever begun. Ara Najarian, sitting Metro Board member, and other electeds tried over and over again to make this happen, but the rest of the Metro Board resisted. Instead, over $40 million has been spent to produce a very flimsy DEIR, and we still don't have the answer.

    1. Cost is important. So is all of the rest. Caltrans is used to just sticking it to the taxpayer.

  7. I wish Andre "Pay to Play" Coleman could co-moderate a mayor's debate with Larry Mantle.

    1. Good point. Pay To Play gets to sell the gold medal

    2. The world's most powerful Pennysaver.