COMMUNITY COMMENTARY:

Reporting on polling results generated by those with a vested interest in extending the 710 Freeway without disclosing the questions used in the survey might make for dry reporting, but it’s important (“Poll touts 710 tunnel,” July 10).

It is easy to skew results based upon how the questions are framed.

Would you prefer vanilla ice cream with a cherry on top or strawberry ice cream with a dead rat? Vanilla please.

Though polling among cats revealed they prefer strawberry by a margin of 2 to 1.

How would the polling be affected if respondents knew that every third vehicle on the 710 was a semi truck carrying shipping containers from the port of Long Beach? Or that the diesel fumes from these trucks would permeate the Inland Valley by routing them away from the Golden State (5) Freeway?

I suppose that given the choice between an above-ground freeway with endless eminent domain lawsuits or a nice clean tunnel, a tunnel sounds pretty good.

But that isn’t the only choice.

Freight can more easily and more cleanly be moved from the port via rail to distribution channels to the north and east.

It would relieve the burden of heavy trucks on local freeways, improve air quality, enhance traffic safety and provide much needed jobs to areas that desperately need them.

We can also put a rail plan together about 25 years before a tunnel gets built.

City Council members Ara Najarian and Laura Friedman are right on the tunnel. A survey conducted in the best interest of finding a long-term solution instead of one on behalf of someone with shovel in one hand and a government grant in the other would make more sense.

The public needs to get impartial information about what’s really at stake to make an informed decision.

This is not about building an easier route to the Long Beach Aquarium.

It’s about reviving a 50-year plan to move freight into the valley by putting a cherry on top.

In this case, I prefer chocolate.


 MICHAEL TEAHAN is a Glendale resident and president of the Glendale Homeowners Coordinating Council.

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