Perhaps the least popular figure Monday night was Metro’s 710 project manager, Michelle Smith. Smith was repeatedly jeered, heckled and booed by concerned residents during her power point presentation.- Photo by Terry Miller
By Terry Miller
To thunderous applause Pasadena city council voted unanimously Monday night to oppose three proposed routes for the 710 Freeway extension. “ LAMTA – It’s back to the drawing board!” said one resident after hearing council’s decision.
The council opposes a tunnel connecting the 10 Freeway to the 134 Freeway, a surface route that could have increased the width of Avenue 64 . #710freeway
City Council members questioned Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials about the proposed 710 Freeway extension routes Monday in front 800 extremely hot and angry residents many of whom displayed signs opposing the controversial extension that has been in the works in Pasadena for years. Some residents have claimed that council members didn’t listen to their objections. They heard Monday night.
The meeting got off to arduous start with residents who were in an overflow room due to the high volume of people, couldn’t hear the proceedings. The meeting was halted briefly while the situation was fixed, albeit temporarily. The malfunction happened once again about ten minutes later leaving Michelle Smith, the 710 Extension Project Manager, silent at the podium surrounded by very vocal residents holding “NO 710 Freeway” signs.
Metro has released a set of possible alternatives to fill the freeway ‘gap’ from Alhambra to Pasadena – part of its three-year EIR.
The issues are complicated, far reaching and very heated . Many in the community have said that the city council hasn’t been tough enough on the project or its planners at Metro.
“These alternatives would be like dropping a nuclear bomb on southwest Pasadena,” Councilman Steve Madison said Monday.
Arguably the least popular figure Monday night was Metro’s 710 project manager, Michelle Smith. She said Metro plans to go back to the drawing board and outreach efforts in the remaining years of the study.
Deeply dismayed residents made no bones about their feelings Monday and that, topped off with extremely warm temperatures, tempers flew in all directions often interrupting speakers on both sides.
Mayor Bogaard did his best to quell the incoming tide of discontent throughout the meeting.