That sparked a wave of renewed protest from local stakeholders, who said the perception that plans for a 710 connector was too far flung and expensive didn’t match with what was happening in political circles.
Already, $780 million in Measure R sales tax revenue has been earmarked for the connector. And last week, the MTA instructed officials to explore private partnerships for additional funding.
“We need to dispel those myths for people who are against the idea of a tunnel, but who are not willing to take action and let their voices be heard because they think that it’s just such a remote possibility of being a reality,” said Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian, who as chairman of the MTA Board of Directors has publicly opposed the proposal. “The tunnel and connector are at the most advanced stage that they’ve ever been.”
Last year, Glendale joined La Cañada Flintridge in officially opposing the tunnel, which city officials say would bring tens of thousands of trucks into the region.
A number of northeast Los Angeles community organizations — in Mt. Washington, Glassell Park and Highland Park, among other neighborhoods — have also mobilized against the tunnel.
Meanwhile, the majority of San Gabriel Valley cities continue to push for the extension as a way to improve the traffic and pollution associated with the 710 dead end in Alhambra, which spits thousands of cars onto city streets and other area freeways.
“All those cars are going 30 mph, clogging up our streets, putting all that pollution in the air by our schools,” said Alhambra Mayor Steven Placido.
Still a long way to go