The 710 Freeway expansion plan has been canceled as the LA Metro decides to allocate $750 million to nearby communities

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Metro’s board of directors voted Thursday to halt its efforts to widen the 710 freeway and instead use the $750 million allocated to that project for improvements in southeast Los Angeles communities along the freeway.

“Widening this freeway and wiping out neighborhoods is not the way forward, nor is the status quo,” said Board Member and Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, who represents communities along the 710 South Corridor and co-authored the motion. We now have the opportunity to imagine something different and a better use of these funds. We should use the funds we have already dedicated to this project to find smarter ways to improve air quality, reduce congestion, improve mobility and address safety concerns for everyone living and traveling along this corridor.”

Metro employees will be back in June with a new project plan and goals for funding. Staff will also draft an investment plan detailing short-, medium- and long-term initiatives, at least three of which will seek funding this year.

“Our 710 communities are really looking for some quality of life improvements as soon as possible…this motion gives us an opportunity to reconsider the 710 Freeway project. It makes it clear that we will no longer widen the freeway, we will no longer wipe out homes and neighborhoods for a freeway project,” Hahn added during the meeting.

Several people called the Metro meeting to voice their support for ending efforts to expand the 710.

Climate Resolve deputy director Bryn Lindblad called for support for the motion to halt the effort, saying studies show “widening highways doesn’t actually solve congestion, it just causes more damage”. Toronto and Gilles Duranton of the University of Pennsylvania found that cities that increased their street capacity by 10% between 1980 and 2000, in turn, increased the number of motorists by 10%.

Another caller, who said he is part of the 710 South Corridor Community Leadership Community and lives in Long Beach, said, “I’m tired of breathing toxic air. I want Metro to keep investing and adding value to the community with alternative modes of transportation. Improve our air quality and set an example for the rest of the world.”

The project to widen the 710 freeway has been in the works for decades, and local groups have fought to stop it, citing air and noise pollution on the already busy freeway that trucks use to serve the ports of Long Beach and to reach Los Angeles.

Metro CEO and Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who represented some communities in Southeast Los Angeles ahead of the 2021 redistribution process, called the motion “a big step and a victory I think, including for the people living along the 710 freeway.” live like the cities.”

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https://abc7.com/710-freeway-long-beach-fwy-la-metro-board-los-angeles/11899315/ The 710 Freeway expansion plan has been canceled as the LA Metro decides to allocate $750 million to nearby communities

Laura Coffey

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