‘Obama Freeway’ Proposal Passes Transportation Committee

State Sen. Anthony Portantino’s legislation to name a segment of the 134 Freeway the “President Barack H. Obama Freeway” recently passed the Senate Transportation Committee with overwhelming support.
The SCR 8 measure proposes a section between the 2 Freeway and the 210 Freeway to be named after the former president, who attended Occidental College in Eagle Rock from 1979 until 1981, when he transferred to Columbia University. He lived in Pasadena during his sophomore year, traveling on the 134 Freeway from his apartment to his college campus on the approximate 4½-mile stretch of roadway nestled on the hillside above Eagle Rock.
Portantino, a La Cañada Flintridge resident who represented Eagle Rock in the state Assembly and currently represents the Glendale side of the 134 and the Pasadena intersection of the 134 and 210 Freeways, said he was enthused about the reaction to the resolution.
“I am excited by the support this appropriate freeway naming has garnered in Sacramento and across California,” Portantino said in a release. “President Obama left office with significantly high approval ratings for his eight terrific years of service to our country. President Obama’s leadership and years as a District 25 resident played a significant role in determining his future and tremendous legacy.”
Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, who currently represents Eagle Rock, is a principal co-author on this resolution.
Portantino said he was inspired to present the legislation by Pasadena’s dedication to Obama, who last year received a commemorative plaque on the apartment where he lived while studying at Occidental.
SCR 8 reads, in part, “President Obama … spent two years at Occidental College in Los Angeles from 1979 to 1981 … which played a major role in determining his future. He made his first political speech there on Feb. 18, 1981, as part of a movement to persuade the Occidental Board of Trustees to divest the college of its investments in South Africa.”
“He’s leaving office with enormous popularity and regardless of whether you agree or disagree with his politics, he certainly has carried himself with dignity and stature,” Portantino said earlier this year. “I thought it would be appropriate to memorialize his presence in the region and provide inspiration for other young people.

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