Letters to the Editor: Don’t widen the 710 Freeway. Use the Alameda Corridor instead for port traffic

An aerial view takes in the 710 Freeway, with scattered cars, and the dry L.A. River.
The 710 Freeway in South Gate on Jan. 10.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Local government officials believe that the 710 Freeway needs more lanes. According to The Times, those officials are wringing their hands over a perfect storm of obstacles to a solution.

The real issue here is moving cargo containers from the ports of Long Beach and L.A. out of the Los Angeles Basin. Once a ship docks, its hundreds of containers are typically loaded onto trailers, and a truck hauls each one away. One container equals one truck on the freeway.

Twenty years ago, state and local public agencies built the Alameda Corridor, a dedicated rail corridor between the ports and east of downtown Los Angeles that runs roughly parallel to the 710. The Alameda Corridor offers infinite capacity for moving cargo to and from the harbors.


But traffic on the corridor is dwindling. Clearly, a great idea 20 years ago is ignored today. Taxpayers have a right to know what went wrong.

Why are there so many more trucks bustling around the harbor and clogging our freeways? What decisions were made by officials to ignore the previous generation’s investment (still being paid off), only to chase the “new solution” of more freeway lanes?

Joe Strapac, Bellflower


To the editor: As a longtime resident of Long Beach, I believe the 710 Freeway causes so much pollution because it is often like a parking lot, and all those idling cars and trucks spew more pollution than they would if they had better roadways with smoother traffic.

A better solution than widening the freeway is to keep pushing for non-polluting vehicles.

The ports of Long Beach and L.A. have already bought some electric vehicles, and just last month 100 hydrogen- and battery-powered trucks were ordered to continue this transition. The good news is that thousands of these trucks are being built over the next few years.

Doing nothing is causing more damage to the surrounding communities, and it puts the high-paying jobs supporting the ports at risk. Hopefully our politicians will end the delays and finally get something done.

George Torres, Long Beach