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Metro Staff Recommends Cutting 710 Surface Route Proposals

The Metro recommendation is to eliminate a surface route completion of the 710 Freeway and focus on a tunnel, no build, or public transit solution.

Following a over the possibility of new surface construction along the 710 Freeway corridor, the Metropolitan Transportation Agency is recommending that its board kill off the idea of a surface freeway extension that would connect the 710 to the 210 or 134 freeways.

According to Metro's blog, The Source, the agency's staff is recommending that the board vote to consider the following possibilities for future projects in the 710 corridor:

Bus rapid transit, light rail, a freeway tunnel, an alternative focused on expanded bus service, intersection and hot spot improvements, ridesharing and telecommuting and intelligent technology system improvements, and a no build option.

The Metro board next meets in September to consider whether or not to accept the staff recommendation - until the board has done so, there is still the possibility that the agency could choose to pursue a surface route.

The surface routes which Metro staff are recommending to be eliminated from consideration include surface routes that would have gone through Highland Park, Glassell Park and Mount Washington, Garvanza and San Rafael, and South Pasadena and El Sereno.

Opposition to those alternatives came from various local sources including the Pasadena City Council, South Pasadena and the Highland Park Neighborhood Council.

All the alternatives have come up as Metro has been working on completing an Environmental Impact Report statement, which would allow them to build the project. In the past, the agencies' efforts to extend the SR-710 by surface route have been thwarted by the Federal Highway Administration, which has prompted Metro and Caltrans to consider several above and underground options in this latest round. 

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