Portantino’s “The Question Is” (for $10+ Billion): To Tunnel or Not To Tunnel?


Anthony Portantino’s latest “The Question Is” focuses on the 710 Tunnel, with Glendale City Council / Metro Board member Ara Najarian, South Pasadena City Manager Sergio Gonzalez, and Crescenta Valley Town Council President Robbyn Battles discussing economic, environmental, technical (think Seattle and Big Bertha!), social justice and quality of life problems with the proposal, and several better ways to spend $10 billion on regional transportation projects.

Battles emphasized that CV / Foothill residents would love to have access to the Gold Line, while Najarian noted that the $10 billion [conservatively estimated for the tunnel construction] could fund almost every single light rail project needed in LA County. Battles also noted that “it seems we are looking at just one segment and not the whole region.”

Gonzalez pointed out that the tunnel portals will be in residential neighborhoods (El Sereno to the south, Pasadena to the north) and that there is no current technology proven to handle the exhaust and pollution at each end.

Portantino’s wrap up at 29 minutes is succinct and compelling: “We don’t know how much it’s going to cost, we don’t know how many people are going to use it, and we have better alternatives that are cheaper that move more people and move more goods in an environmentally sound way.”