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Don't let NIMBYs prevent construction of the 710 tunnel

Don't let NIMBYs prevent construction of the 710 tunnel
A 710 freeway entrance sign in Monterey Park leads drivers towards Pasadena. Currently the freeway ends at Valley Boulevard in Alhambra, several miles from Pasadena. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Despite strong opposition by local obstructionists, the need for linking the 710 Freeway to Pasadena has never been greater. ("Pull the plug on the 710 tunnel," editorial, May 23)

Today, travelers who have no business going through downtown L.A. are forced to stay on the 5 and 101 freeways, which go through downtown L.A., with no other options. Those savvy enough can take the 210 from the north through South Pasadena and Alhambra to get to the 710, a route that presents its own problems.

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With new technologies, we can now build this freeway as a tunnel and make it a win-win solution for both residents and regional travelers.

It is important that planners decide on which projects to build based not on their own views or the idea that these roads and highways exist in a bubble. This regional issue for motorists cannot be solved simply with bikes and trains, because a significant amount of travel will always require driving.

We must support projects that address critical needs and can demonstrate that users will benefit from them.

Numan Parada, Sylmar

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To the editor: The Times' editorial on the extension of the 710 Freeway omits a critical fact: The extension of the freeway, to the 210 in Pasadena, has been blocked primarily by the wealthy NIMBY inhabitants of South Pasadena, who did not want their idyllic community to be bisected by a freeway.

The working-class community of Pacoima (and others like it) had no such clout and was split in two by the 210 with nary a whimper.

Bob Lentz, Sylmar

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