In favor of closing the 710 gap

Much of the Aug. 15 edition of the News-Press was devoted to coverage of the impassioned negative reaction of some local residents to a presentation by officials from the L.A. Metropolitan Transportation Agency who explained various proposals for an extension of the Long Beach (710) Freeway.

I would like to speak for the silent majority in the Los Angeles basin who do not think they will be adversely affected by an extension of the 710 Freeway. A 710 Freeway that connects with the 210 Freeway was to be an integral part of the freeway system planned some 60 years ago for the Los Angeles Metro Area. Without it, the I-5 Freeway and other major motorways in the area do not flow the way they should.

While those living near the 210 Freeway in the Crescenta Valley receive the benefit of less traffic, numerous other locations are burdened with more traffic because of the break in the 710 Freeway. For many years I drove the 710 daily to and from Long Beach. I can attest to the mess created on the I-5 by the 710’s dead-end in Alhambra.

City Councilman Ara Najarian and many others worry that an extension of the 210 would result in an increase of truck traffic on the 210. Yet every additional truck on the 210 means one less truck on the already jammed I-5, and that is a good thing, in my opinion. True, there would be more trucks on the 210, but the 210 was not meant to be a boutique motorway existing strictly for the convenience of local residents. I, for one, would be delighted if one of the proposed 710 extensions becomes a reality.

Gerry Rankin

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