I have some musings on the subject of completing the Long Beach Freeway through South Pasadena. I have listened to the debate over the years, and I understand some of the concerns of South Pasadena residents. I do not know if the ideas presented here are economically feasible.
The idea is to put the entire section of the freeway traversing South Pasadena below grade (except perhaps where it crosses the Pasadena Freeway) and put a deck on top that would support construction of substantial structures.
Once the freeway is completed, it would be totally hidden from view and would not obstruct surface streets. For this plan to work, the deck would have to be able to support streets, buildings and landscaping. The only evidence of the freeway would be air circulation devices that could be designed to be non-objectionable and attractive.
A deck will be very expensive. To offset the cost, every inch of the deck would be leased or sold (air rights) for any use compatible with the city's zoning regulations (the exception being the areas occupied by public roadways). The area could be used to build housing, retail stores, office buildings, public parks, aesthetic structures, such as fountains, or the area could be attractively landscaped.
The benefits are that the people of Southern California would finally achieve the full usage of this freeway, and South Pasadena would reduce the traffic on its surface streets.
M. DOUGLASS BARRY