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Compromise Suggested for Long Beach Freeway

October 26, 1989

Regarding Mr. (Arthur) Flemming's letter published Oct. 19, I am in agreement with the extension of the 710 freeway beyond its current terminus and assume that it was not originally extended due to the uncertainty of the route (through or around South Pasadena). Mr. Flemming raises a point which should be given adequate consideration.

The residents of South Pasadena, or at least a very vocal percentage, have lobbied to keep the freeway from bisecting their community. Although only 300-plus people were present for the anti-710 march, out of a city whose population is approximately 24,000, I believe the community's sentiment is that they would prefer no freeway to any alternative route.

If this is indeed the case, the freeway should be extended to a reasonable terminus in an effort to relieve the congestion on many of Alhambra's surface streets as well as those of neighboring communities. In Pasadena that point seems to have been reached, California Boulevard. I assume very few residents of that neighborhood would argue for extension to Columbia Street, roughly three-fourths of a mile further south, on the northern border of South Pasadena. For Alhambra the situation is somewhat different.

If the freeway was extended from its Valley Boulevard terminus, currently within the city of Alhambra, it would run through the East Los Angeles community of El Sereno, on the western border of Alhambra. It could be extended as far north as Kendall Avenue, on the southern border of South Pasadena, or more legitimately to Huntington Drive, a six-lane divided thoroughfare that can be traveled safely at 40 m.p.h.

Huntington Drive is nearly 1 1/4 miles further north than the freeway's current northern terminus and, I assume, could adequately accommodate the additional traffic with moderate planning and preparation. This would allow residents of Arcadia, San Marino, Pasadena and South Pasadena a route to bypass surface streets in Alhambra, San Gabriel, Rosemead and El Monte. The "thru" traffic would proceed north as it does currently, along Fremont Avenue or Fair Oaks Avenue, to the 710/210/134 on-ramps.

I am sure there are many other issues to be addressed regarding this proposal, and I certainly don't expect the residents of El Sereno to adopt it without skepticism. But, as a compromise to the residents and commuters in the aforementioned communities, I believe it should be given consideration.

STEVE SHELBURNE

Alhambra

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