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Traffic Will Get Worse With or Without the 710

December 07, 1989

I appreciated your article in the San Gabriel Valley section titled "1 City's Passion Is Another's Poison" on Oct. 15.

Using the figures in your article "Traffic Builds in Alhambra: So Does Anger," Alhambra City Manager Kevin Murphy quotes that Atlantic Boulevard has 27,000 vehicles per day, 1989. Without the freeway, by the year 2000 the number will be 73,000. With the freeway, the traffic on Atlantic Boulevard will be 49,000 cars per day, an 81% increase on an already crowded street. This, after the spending of possibly $1 billion for the 710.

Los Robles Avenue has 19,000 vehicles per day. Without the freeway, in 11 years it will be 56,000. With the freeway, the traffic on Los Robles will be 36,000 cars per day, an 89% increase on an already crowded street. Again, after the spending of possibly $1 billion.

My point is that after the spending of this $1 billion, we aren't any better off then we are today, we're worse. If the traffic is so bad today, then the figures Kevin Murphy gave only indicate how much worse it will get, either way. If we don't get people out of their cars, we are in bad shape. That is why we are pushing so hard for light rail and monorail. We recognize only a few care to save South Pasadena, fine. But everyone should be concerned with getting the most for our tax dollar and ending gridlock.

According to the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission's Rail Transit Project, they figure to complete the Long Beach Light Rail "Blue Line" in 1990, the Norwalk-El Segundo "Green Line" in 1993 and the Pasadena Line in 1996. According to their figures, the cost per mile for the Metro "Green Line" is $20 million. This means with the $1 billion it would cost to build those 6.2 miles of freeway, for the 710, we all could get 50 miles of light rail.

The 710 Freeway was planned and designed in the 1950s. It has proven not to be the solution to our regional traffic needs. Caltrans has stated that the completion of the 710 Freeway will not solve our traffic problem. If Caltrans has to spend that $1 billion, then spend it on something which will solve our transit needs in the 21st Century.

We understand Alhambra's feelings with their traffic problems, we are feeling the same with our traffic. Until we can get people out of their cars, Kevin Murphy's figures paint the complete picture. A minimum of an 81% increase on Atlantic and an 89% increase on Los Robles whether the 710 Freeway is completed or not.

We don't have a choice now. We are stuck in our cars, in our traffic, with nowhere else to turn. With light rail or monorail, at least we will have a choice. It won't happen until the 21st Century, but then neither would the completion of the 710.

STEVE ARNOLD

South Pasadena

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