Portantino Meets Gov. Brown to Discuss 710 Tunnel Demise

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Photo courtesy state Sen. Portantino
State Sen. Anthony Portantino (left) gives signed “No 710 Tunnel” petition to Gov. Jerry Brown.

State Sen. Anthony Portantino recently personally delivered to Gov. Jerry Brown thousands of signatures on the “No 710 Tunnel” petition, rolling out a lengthy scroll of signatures that activists opposed to the freeway tunnel collected for several years, the 25th district senator’s office said in a statement.
“I was extremely honored that the No 710 Action Committee would ask me to deliver our petitions to the governor and that Gov. Brown would so graciously receive them from me. In addition to presenting the petition signatures, we had a chance to discuss Metro’s recent unanimous action to terminate the tunnel project,” Portantino said.
In May, the Metropolitan Transit Authority voted to recommend to the California Department of Transportation a different alternative than building a tunnel to complete the 710 freeway. The unanimous vote essentially kills the 710 freeway project after a 60-year fight that divided the region. County supervisors and local city leaders now have begun in earnest to develop common interest projects that will meet local traffic issues, tapping into Measure R resources previously dedicated to the tunnel.
“We are so grateful for all of the work Anthony has done for the past two decades to help us oppose the 710 freeway and thank him for personally delivering our petitions to Governor Brown. The local planning process is showing real promise and we are very pleased to have the threat of the 710 tunnel removed from our region,” said Claire Bogaard, from the No 710 Action Committee.
Since first being introduced to the 710 issue by South Pasadena freeway fighters, Portantino has spent the better part of the last two decades working closely with the activists opposed to the 710 completion. He is also the author of bills to bring tax and rent relief to the residents of the corridor’s Caltrans-owned properties now that the sale of the homes is imminent.
“The demise of the 710 tunnel is a testament to grassroots activism in its finest form. I am so pleased to have seen MTA respond to these local efforts, first in stopping the threat of the tunnel, and now through the engagement of our local cities in moving into the future. Our region is certainly better served by this collaborative planning approach now that the tunnel threat is behind us,” Portantino said.

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