Cal State L.A. hosts lively debate on 710 Freeway extension proposals

PBI debate

Cal State L.A. was the scene of a spirited debate Monday night as about 200 community members filled the Golden Eagle Ballroom for a forum on the proposed extension of the 710 Freeway.

The event was co-sponsored by The Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State L.A. and the League of Women Voters of Pasadena.

The four panelists fielded questions from the Pat Brown Institute’s Executive Director Raphael Sonenshein on issues including the safety of using a tunnel for vehicles to drive north, light rail alternatives and traffic logjams in neighborhoods adjacent to the freeway. 

The four panelists were South Pasadena City Councilman Michael Cacciotti, Duarte City Councilman and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board Member John Fasana, Alhambra City Councilwoman Barbara Messina and Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian.

The forum was the first public discussion following the recent release of the long-awaited Caltrans Environmental Impact Report on the State Route 710 extension project. The EIR examined five options to extend the freeway north: a 6.3-mile tunnel, traffic management solutions, a dedicated bus line, a light-rail train and a so-called no-build option.

For years, the debate over whether to extend the 710 Freeway north to the 210 Freeway has been one of most controversial transportation issues in the Los Angeles region.

The Pat Brown Institute is named after former California Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, who held office from 1959 to 1967. The institute is a nonpartisan center for applied public policy research, community education, student internship opportunity, and youth violence abatement. Located on the Cal State L.A. campus since 1987, the Pat Brown Institute has developed a series of distinguished programs to carry out the mission of the University and create more inclusive and empowered communities in Southern California.

Photo: Four panelists participated in a lively debate on proposals to expand the 710 Freeway north. (Photo credit: Cal State L.A.)



Cal State L.A. is a university dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good. Founded in 1947, the University serves over 24,000 active students, and 235,000 distinguished alumni, who are as diverse as the city we serve. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Cal State L.A. has long been recognized as an engine of economic and social mobility. Led by an award-winning faculty, the University offers nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and the humanities.

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