COMMUNITY COMMENTARY:

I want to compliment Brian Ellis for his excellent article (“Najarian must do what’s right for all,” June 6) in the Forum section. He was right on in his view that the 710 extension doesn’t only affect north Glendale, La Cañada Flintridge and La Crescenta.

I live in north Glendale and loathe every time that I am caught up in I-5 southbound congestion in East Los Angeles when going to Orange County. How wonderful it would be if I could just go down the 710 to get on the 5. If and when Councilman Ara Najarian assumes the chairmanship of the Los Angeles County Transportation Authority, he must also consider the needs of residents in Alhambra, San Gabriel and the “low income” portion of South Pasadena.

These residents suffer on a daily basis from all the surface-street congestion caused by vehicular traffic seeking to get from the termination of the 710 at Valley Boulevard to points east and north. How would the residents of Verdugo Woodlands feel if the 2 Freeway wasn’t completed? Or all of Glendale if the 134 Freeway wasn’t completed? It is selfish for one area to be opposed to the completion of the 710 Freeway at the expense of many other areas in the region.

Najarian’s dispute with state transportation officials that completion of the 710 Freeway would reduce overall pollution in the region is ill-founded. Stop-and-go traffic causes considerably more noise and air pollution than a freeway. Apparently, former Mayor Larry Zarian understands that and is not taking a position until all the impacts are defined.

I am not completely sold on a tunnel to complete the 710 Freeway. The state owns most of the right-of-way to complete the freeway as originally planned to be below surface as the 210 Freeway is through La Cañada Flintridge. It seems that a tunnel would far exceed the costs of the original plan, and those costs must be weighed against potential loss or relocation of historic dwellings in South Pasadena. Many homeowners in the Los Angeles area lost their homes to freeway development, and South Pasadena should not be an exception. However, since they tunneled under the English Channel, going under South Pasadena is certainly in the realm of a doable project.

I don’t believe that the residents of La Cañada and north Glendale need to be too concerned about a major increase of commercial traffic on the 210 Freeway in their areas. Most of the trucks from Long Beach and Los Angeles Harbor will most likely use the 210 eastbound to get to the I-15, thus relieving the truck congestion on the 10 and 60 freeways in the present configuration of the 710. Probably, the 134 Freeway through Glendale will experience more commercial traffic, as trucks would use this freeway to get to the 5.


 ALBERT HOFMANN is a Glendale resident.

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