The abandonment of the 710 freeway has left Alhambra with a traffic dilemma. The stub end dumps cross-county traffic onto Fremont Street, which is ill-equipped to handle the rush hour hordes twice daily.
By Briony James
Anyone who has traveled to the abrupt end of the 710 freeway is aware of the problem, but now that Caltrans has nixed the development of the stub, other means of controlling traffic must be found to mitigate the congestion on Alhambra’s streets.
Two proposals were shown, at a community meeting on March 23, 2023, illustrating ambitious plans to divert and reroute traffic. First up is a proposal to retool the 710/10 stub and its off-ramp on Fremont Street into a four-lane arterial highway with bike lanes. Designed to keep cut-through traffic to a minimum, it would help to keep freeway traffic from clogging westbound off-ramps. Without going into excruciating detail, it looks plausible but complex. Partial funding is expected to be available from Metro’s 710 North Corridor Mobility Improvement Projects (MIP).
In addition to this proposal, there is also the actual stub itself, which stops at Valley Blvd, in an attempt to keep freeway traffic from using Alhambra’s city streets as ‘shortcuts’. There would be some need to acquire and/or destroy extant properties via eminent domain. This has provoked some heated discussions about property values and the city’s responsibility for reconfiguring a state highway. All in all, the proposals, including an elevated ramp, and the reworking of old, outdated on and off ramps, look to generate a good deal of expense for the city.
The proposals are thorough and look good on maps and paper. Whether or not they are capable of reining in drivers always looking for a shorter route, without breaking Alhambra’s city budget, and without a very long process of demolition and construction remains to be seen.
> Watch the full Alhambra Community Meeting below:
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