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Design for Degradation?

October 25, 1986

On Saturday, Oct. 18, View had a column by Sam Hall Kaplan, in which he discusses Proposition GG on the November ballot in South Pasadena ("A Historic Area at the Crossroads"). The measure asks if the City of South Pasadena should continue to oppose the completion of the Long Beach Freeway. It is advisory only.

Although I have long been a fan of Kaplan, I must point out that the freeway is now complete to Valley Boulevard in Alhambra, and Del Mar in Pasadena. Much of the traffic on these freeway ends now drives through South Pasadena on our city streets, and this traffic will continue to increase. Although no one really wants another freeway in South Pasadena, the freeway will and should be completed. Our neighboring cities also choke on this traffic on their city streets.

The argument in South Pasadena is basically whether the freeway should loop around the town on a Westerly route, or be built through the center of town. The so-called Westerly routes, all rejected by Caltrans, would take the homes of local residents, be a mile longer, be elevated to go over the hills, and require a much more nightmarish interchange than that on the Meridian route. The Meridian route would be shorter, require a less complicated interchange, and would be mostly below ground level.

Home values in the whole western area of town are depressed because of the uncertainty of the location of the final route.

Many homeowners simply want an end to this issue. Build and get it over with. For over 20 years the city has been dominated and torn apart by this issue, to the exclusion of all others.

NORMAN GETCHELL

South Pasadena

(Getchell is former Chairman of the Save South Pasadena Committee, proponents of the high-rise limitation initiative.)

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