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Completion of 710 Freeway Project: An Asset or a Curse?

February 16, 1992

Re: "Welcome Police and Fix Traffic for Alhambra" (Times, Letters, Feb. 2).

The fact is that South Pasadena had nothing to do with causing Alhambra's traffic problem. In fact, if other San Gabriel Valley cities had followed our example and established sensible growth policies, they would have no traffic problem.

Not long ago, the whole valley was a place where people lived in the homes their parents grew up in, watching the trees they planted grow into landmarks. Shopkeepers knew their customers by name, and neighbors resolved their problems over a pot of coffee instead of calling the police every time a dog barked.

Life is still like that in South Pasadena, but politically apathetic citizens in Alhambra and other San Gabriel Valley cities allowed their future to be shaped by avaricious developers and power-hungry politicians.

For more than a decade, they've been tearing out the houses and trees as fast as the bulldozers can move, replacing them with cookie-cutter apartment complexes and anonymous commercial buildings.

Now they act surprised that their once-charming region is becoming a mini-Manhattan, and they belatedly wonder what to do with all the new traffic. Their ironic solution is to sacrifice heretical, slow-growth South Pasadena by ripping its heart out on the altar of the automobile.

South Pasadena maintains a spirit of community that's hard to find in rootless Southern California. We're not about to let Caltrans destroy it for the sake of one more discount warehouse in Monrovia or another condo project in Monterey Park.

GENE and ROBIN FELLNER

South Pasadena

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