Once So Chic and Swooshy, Freeways Are Falling Out of Favor

Several cities face pressure to tear down the 1960s-era mega-roads
and reinstate pedestrian-friendly streets. Jane Jacobs told you so!

One of the groups leading the new charge is Congress for the New Urbanism. Since 2008, it has published a biennial list called “Freeways Without Futures,” which names highways whose elimination would, according to its website, “remove a blight” from their cities. The 2017 edition includes Route 710 in Pasadena, Calif.

Pasadena legislator, latest to oppose 710 Freeway tunnel, introduces bill to kill project

Assemblyman Chris Holden introduced legislation that would prohibit building a tunnel to close the 6.2-mile gap of the 710 Freeway between the 10 and 210 freeways, the assemblyman announced Thursday.

This is the first time a piece of legislation would aim to kill the controversial project proposed by Caltrans. The freeway tunnel project would run through El Sereno, South Pasadena and Pasadena and has divided communities in the San Gabriel Valley.

“It is clear the 710 tunnel project is a misguided and obsolete solution,” Holden said.

Should L.A. Get Rid of the 710? The region could improve livability by blowing up some concrete

Since the dawn of civilization, humanity has discussed fixing the 710 freeway, which originates in Long Beach and abruptly ends in Valley Boulevard in Alhambra. Metro is currently considering a 4.5-mile tunnel underneath the area that would connect the 710 to the more sensible terminus of the 210 in Pasadena. The expensive proposal is mostly a non-starter for Pasadena, South Pasadena, and northeast L.A. locals. 

The nonprofit organization Congress for the New Urbanism has a different idea—tear down the short Alhambra stub north of the 10 freeway and replace it with a more people-friendly surface road. By doing that, the 710 would end at the 10, instead of an arbitrary street not adjacent to any major attraction.

Los Angeles Drivers on the 405 Ask: Was $1.6 Billion Worth It?

Los Angeles Drivers on the 405 Ask: Was $1.6 Billion Worth It?

LOS ANGELES — It is the very symbol of traffic and congestion. Interstate 405, or the 405, as it is known by the 300,000 drivers who endure it morning and night, is the busiest highway in the nation, a 72-mile swerving stretch of pavement that crosses the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles.

So it was that many Angelenos applauded when officials embarked on one of the most ambitious construction projects in modern times here: a $1 billion initiative to widen the highway. And drivers and others put up with no shortage of disruption — detours and delays, highway shutdowns, neighborhood streets clogged with cars — in the hopes of relieving one of the most notorious bottlenecks anywhere.

Six years after the first bulldozer rolled in, the construction crews are gone. A new car pool lane has opened, along with a network of on- and offramps and three new earthquake-resistant bridges.

But the question remains: Was it worth it?

New evidence of the dangers of living near highways

For years, Russell Eng has coached high school volleyball teams at Reggie Wong Memorial Park, which is conveniently located near public transportation in Chinatown.

It’s also near the interchange of two highways and exhaust vents for Big Dig tunnels, making the park one of the most polluted places in Boston.

Taking Out a Highway That Hemmed Rochester In

ROCHESTER — Almost 60 years ago, this upstate city finished digging a deep trench for a highway bypass, a lauded effort to help speed residents out of the central city and into its suburbs.

Today, Rochester is effectively burying that 20th-century devotion to vehicle efficiency and committing the old highway’s right of way to the city’s recovery.

Councilmember Steve Madison hosts a forum on alternatives to the 710 tunnel


A forum on alternatives to the 710 tunnel.

Hosted by Councilmember Steve Madison at the Pasadena Convention Center on September 15, 2016. Speakers include Paul Moore, Nelson Nygaard Consulting Associates David Grannis, , pointC, LLC & Stefanos Polyzoides, Moule & Polyzoides.

If you missed the forum you can view it at the link here. Click the title above.



Caltrans will soon sell homes seized for freeway extension but retain subsurface rights for possible tunnel

Caltrans once again intends to sell surplus property seized more than a half-century ago to make way for an extension of the 710 (Long Beach) Freeway to the 210 (Foothill) Freeway.  

However, Caltrans and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will retain the subterranean rights to those properties in order to build a proposed dual-bore tunnel, one with lanes going in each direction, from where the 710 ends in Alhambra to western Pasadena.

New Hotels, New Recreation Centers, New Ideas, Highlight Councilmember Kennedy's Community Meeting

The evening also featured a dramatic presentation led by architect Stefanos Polyzoides on the “Connecting Pasadena” project, a plan to fill the trench at the Northern end of the proposed 710 extension and create a brand-new new community flanked by Pasadena Avenue and the freeway.

“Freeways are the bane of our existence,” said Polyzoides. “No sane person thinks that freeways are a good transit idea,”