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Homeowners Cheer ‘Historic’ Vote Against 710 Freeway Extension

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Residents in Eagle Rock, Highland Park and other cities hailed a vote by the Los Angeles City Council Tuesday to oppose any extension of the Long Beach (710) Freeway a “very historic moment”.

KNX 1070’s Vytas Safronikas reports the City Council unanimously adopted a resolution opposing any freeway extensions that cut through the city.

“This is a very historic moment,” homeowner John Schafer said. “This is the first time the city of Los Angeles has gone on record opposing all 710 Freeway extensions, so we think this is great for the city of Los Angeles and great for the entire region.”

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been considering a series of options for alleviating traffic in the area where the 710 Freeway ends just north of the San Bernardino (10) Freeway near Alhambra and the University Hills area.

City Councilman Jose Huizar initially introduced a resolution opposing five proposed routes for extending the 710 Freeway, writing in the document that “an above-ground extension of the 710 North would do irreparable damage to the communities of El Sereno, Eagle Rock, Garvanza, Mt. Washington, Highland Park, Hermon and Glassell Park.”

The resolution was amended Monday by the council’s Transportation Committee to include opposition to a proposed tunnel connecting the 710 Freeway to the Foothill (210) Freeway.

Huizar said the vote sends a clear signal to Metro and Caltrans about just how involved residents are in the political process.

“We believe that relief is necessary for the congestion; the overflow of cars into Alhambra and El Serreno when the 710 ends at Valley, but there are other alternatives, and those alternatives include improving public transportation,” said Huizar.

Last week, Metro officials removed the five original proposed routes mentioned in Huizar’s motion from the table, although the tunnel is still among the options being considered.

Also still being considered are a light rail line from East Los Angeles to South Pasadena and a bus rapid transit line from East Los Angeles to Pasadena.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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