Is There a Gold Line at the End of the 710 Tunnel?

The Glendale News Press ran an article June 19 on the dilemma the proposed Long Beach 710 freeway tunnel has posed for two elected officials in Glendale and La Cañada Flintridge. A discussion of the merits of the 710 extension is quite out of our jurisdiction here at I Will Ride, so you might be wondering how is this related to the Gold Line Foothill Extension? We’ll get to that in a moment.

As a councilmember for the City of La Cañada Flintridge, Dave Spence opposes the prospect of the 710 extension bringing more traffic toward the neighborhoods in his city. The same can be said for Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian, who opposes the project on the same grounds. However, Spence is also a member of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, and the COG’s board supports the 710 extension. Meanwhile, Najarian – a name you might have seen quite frequently if you followed our live coverage of the Metro meetings @iwillride on Twitter – is a member of the Metro Board of Directors. On July 1, he will likely take over as chairman of the Metro Board, a body that controls funding over the 710 project, which is expected to cost several billion dollars.

That’s the dilemma. What’s their solution? Well, according to the News Press, it’s the Gold Line:

“Even so, Spence and other officials, including Najarian, say the money [proposed for the 710] could be better spent on rail transit, such as the continuation of the Gold Line [Foothill Extension] from Pasadena.

“‘If the money proposed for the tunnel were made available for the Gold Line [Foothill Extension] it would get people off the freeway by 2013, that’s a much better solution,’ [Spece] said, adding, ‘It just doesn’t make sense to spend that amount of money to get level-F results.’”

Sounds good.

Link to full story: Tunnel idea forces local officials to juggle


  1. Rich Alossi says:

    Kill the 710 project.

    As a matter of fact, why is Metro spending billions on carpool lanes and highway widening? The money from Measure R is better spent on real transportation solutions, like the subway, Green Line to LAX and the Gold Line to Azusa (and Whittier).

    Take people out of their cars, and you’ll see less need for widening freeways, destroying communities and causing untold environmental damage.

  2. Nat Read says:

    It’s critical that we not let the L.A. power faction divide the San Gabriel Valley to make our projects easier to fight. Our three priorities are extending the Gold Line, completing the 710 Freeway and grade-separating the Alameda Corridor East. Each come from separate budgets so they are not competitive financially, and aren’t competitive politically unless we fall to internal bickering and take pot shots at other SGV projects. We need the Gold Line for reasons familiar to all who frequent this site. As the community/government outreach person for the original Blue Line (now Gold Line) Project Management team I could go on for hours about the importance of this line. As a former officer and VP of American High Speed Rail Corp. I can wax on indefinitely about the benefits of rail overall. But rail is not, nor will be, the 100% solution in L.A. It doesn’t go everywhere we need to go and cannot be an alternative to trucks for our needed local food and sustaining supplies. As a rail advocate I celebrate the fact that Los Angeles is investing more in new rail transit than any metro area in the U.S. As a transportation advocate I note that, surprising to outsiders, Los Angeles ranks almost dead last among metro areas in freeway miles per capita. The 710 tunnel is needed because our basic L.A. County freeway grid doesn’t work without it. Take 4.5 miles out of ANY freeway and see the regional chaos it causes! MTA’s computers show it to be the Number One priority for regional congestion relief, with no close second. Environmentally, the 710 tunnel will reduce air pollution more than any other So. Calif. highway project, by far, and will reduce the use of precious fossil fuels by 35,700 gallons per day. Extend the Gold Line! Finish the 710! Complete ACE! Enhance transportation in the San Gabriel Valley.

    Nat Read
    Chair, 710 Freeway Coalition

  3. Matthew West says:

    This tunnel is going to help the grid of the region. I’ll never forget my cousin telling me that the inland valley always needed another north and south freeway between the 15 and 605. This never happened but it should have. The north south congestion between these two freeways will be horrendous in the future. The 710 tunnel will be a signifigant improvement to the region’s transportation system and must be built. I always wondered why the freeway stopped and they let homes be built along the future freeway corridor. This decision has caused nothing but havoc in the local economy and gridlock in the streets. Thank you for your leadership and common sense.

    P.S. A must read right up your alley. Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California by Frances Dinkelspiel. He is one of my cities founders and created modern Los Angeles.

    Matthew West
    Rancho Cucamonga.

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