Time to Restore South Pasadena’s 710 Freeway Veto Right

A bill that cleared the State Assembly’s Committee on Transportation Monday seeks to undo an obscure law that primarily restricts the power of one Southern California city from negotiating with the California Department of Transportation.

710 Freeway Gap

The South Pasadena Gap of the 710 Freeway

The law, first passed in 1982, allows Caltrans to go forward with some freeway projects without getting approval from local governments even when a project requires closing local roads. Through what Neon Tommy describes as a “dozen finely crafted provisions”, the law only applies to the city of South Pasadena. This law was crafted to allow Caltrans to complete the 710 Freeway by closing the “South Pasadena gap”, a project they’ve been trying to build for decades in the face of widespread public opposition.

Even with this onerous law on the books South Pasadena and nearby cities have continued to fight against the project in the courts,  and Caltrans continues to push the freeway forward – they are currently exploring prohibitively expensive tunneling options under the city, hardly a prudent use of limited state funds.

This years effort to repeal the law – AB 353 – isn’t the first time politicians have tried to repeal it, but previous attempts have been unsuccessful thanks largely to registered opposition by powerful lobbying groups like AAA and the California Trucking Association. It’s time to fully restore South Pasadena’s voice in 710 Freeway process and undo this narrow law.

3 thoughts on “Time to Restore South Pasadena’s 710 Freeway Veto Right

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  2. SEAN BUCKLEY

    I was raised in Altadena back in the 50’s and I think that South Pasadena is one of the prettiest communities in the Greater LA area. It should be able to remain without being scarred and destroyed by a freeway. I thought that LA was getting hip to the destruction done to the city and to the environment by its unlimited freeway building. Wake Up! and STOP this destruction of what little beauty remains in SoCal while giving everything to the AAA and the trucking lobbies.

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