A low-build alternative to extending the Long Beach Freeway (710) through South Pasadena using surface streets would force vehicles to drive farther, pollute more and add time to trips, according to a Caltrans report.
The report was written for state transportation commissioners, who will make a final decision April 26 on the 6.2-mile extension.
The surface -street plan proposed by South Pasadena, which opposes the freeway, calls for one-way streets, extra buses and construction of light-rail lines.
According to the report, the plan would cause vehicles each day to travel 29,000 more miles, emit 6,000 more kilograms of carbon monoxide and stay on the road for an additional 85,000 hours, compared with the proposed freeway.
Officials in South Pasadena, which opposes the extension, disputed the report's findings.
"Basically, Caltrans cooked the books," City Manager Kenneth C. Farfsing said. He said the report wrongly assumed the Blue Line would get no more travelers if the freeway were never built.
"Allowing the proponents of the freeway to analyze the alternative not surprisingly produced bogus results," Farfsing said. "It should have been done by an objective party.
South Pasadena is fighting the extension because it would divide the city in half and destroy homes.