By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Given a Los Angeles mayor with just a tiny bit of vision and a sense of how to use his power, and the MTA spending nod would go to the Blue Line - which would probably cut the Valley-Fremont traffic as much as the freeway would, for a third of the price and with no further dislocations. We must remember to get ourselves such a mayor, someday.
There is also a new line of transportation thinking that actually contends that freeways cause traffic. Adherents of this heresy say that lack of freeways forces people to seek alternative transportation - like the Blue Line. They point out that both Manhattan's and San Francisco's urban environments have been improved by the demolition of major downtown expressways which turned many motorists into passengers. Eminent Reclaim, the Pasadena grassroots anti-710 group, cites Caltrans studies that say the completed 710 will increase traffic dramatically all over Pasadena - particularly in the minority northside areas. At Villa Street and Los Robles Avenue, for instance, the increase is predicted to be over 72 percent. At Villa and Altadena Drive, the traffic could go up 207 percent. Even where housing isn't demolished, the quality of life falls off the map after the freeway is built.
Sparing unique human landscapes such as north El Sereno, South Pasadena and southern Pasadena proper is worth the traffic delay. There was no such thing as an environmental-impact report when this route was first funded, because no one believed in 1964 that residents were more important than freeways. This is one of those things we've since learned the hard way. Just like we learned everyone should have an equal chance to vote, get educated and hold a job. Or that if you get 'em by the balls, their hearts and minds will not necessarily follow.
There's an alternative to the 710 extension called the "Low-Build Option." It calls for completing the freeway's last remaining easement, to the industrial stretch of Mission Road - just another block. Let the motorist hardcore take its bit of extra time getting to Pasadena. And let the unbuilt 710 stub be a reminder that saving human habitat is more important than a dozen saved minutes. And More Triumphs
Last week was Los Angeles City Debt Week. Which merely means that the controller and chief administrative officer introduced reports as to how the city's revenues and obligations affect its ongoing financial-obligation situation.
The conclusions, as I understand them, suggest that the city's debt picture isn't quite as bad as certain members of the Elected Charter Commission would have you believe. But Controller Rick Tuttle pointed out that "since fiscal 1989, the city has more than doubled its debt." Tuttle added that the city should "adopt a formal debt policy . . . before we damage our current credit ratings, which are good."
The biggest sustained debt increase over the past nine years took place under none other than Mayor Richard Riordan. Between fiscal 1995 and fiscal 1997, the city's debt soared nearly 43 percent - an accomplishment for which our business-minded mayor has taken no credit.
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city