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710 Freeway Controversy

July 18, 1993

Each day I drive to work along much of the route of the proposed extension of the 710 Freeway through South Pasadena. To see the neighborhoods destroyed to allegedly take a few minutes off of someone's commute would be a crime in the first degree. Sam Hall Kaplan's article (Commentary, July 9) on the subject was incisive, well thought-out, without a doubt the truth. It's a shame that the committee that has decided to destroy South Pasadena didn't have someone on it with half of Kaplan's savvy and clear thinking.

BRIAN KORBELIK

Pasadena

*

I find Kaplan's comparison of the 710 Freeway extension to a flood interesting, but a bit extreme. South Pasadena is indeed a beautiful, small town. It reminds one of bygone days, when life was simpler. And yes, building the 710 Freeway through it would cause great damage to the community. Does this make South Pasadena special? Perhaps it does.

If the residents of South Pasadena did live a simpler life, shunning automobiles, then indeed it would be grossly unfair to route a freeway through their midst. But I have an uneasy feeling that it's not quite that way: How many residents of this quaint NIMBY city enjoy the convenience and safety of freeways that have damaged other towns in Southern California?

Perhaps we could find out by having the DMV issue special license plates to all vehicles registered in South Pasadena, so that such vehicles could be banned from using freeways in Southern California. If South Pasadenans demand special treatment for their city, they should not object to special license plates for their cars.

RALPH LEIGHTON

Los Angeles

*

Kaplan obviously is a Sam-come-lately to the issue of South Pasadena vs. the Long Beach Freeway.

He says freeway completion is being pushed by Caltrans and the Wilson Administration. He neglected to mention that completion also is being pushed by federal interstate highway authorities and the cities of Los Angeles, Pasadena and Alhambra.

In Sacramento, completion has been pushed not only by the Wilson Administration but by the administrations of George Deukmejian, Jerry Brown, Ronald Reagan and Pat Brown. The history of the missing link is a three-decade litany of duplicity and recalcitrance on the part of South Pasadena--to the detriment of the millions who need and use the freeways of Los Angeles County.

MIKE FERGUSON

Los Angeles

*

I am a 20-year resident of Alhambra and oppose the 710 extension because it will bring more cars into the smoggy San Gabriel Valley. I've witnessed the razing Victorian and Craftsman houses and a historic train station in the once-pristine neighborhoods of Alhambra for the construction of traffic-generating mini-malls, office buildings, high-density multifamily units, and a Price Club. If Alhambra residents want to fight congestion, they should examine their planning policies and build the 710 extension to Mission Road and widen Fremont.

The Alhambra city manager demonstrates total disregard and ignorance for the environment by saying the freeway will blend in with the architecture of South Pasadena. Alhambra should be working with South Pasadena to control congestion.

SANTIAGO ROJAS

Alhambra

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