What if They Build a New Neighborhood Instead of Finishing the 710 Freeway?

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The debate over what to do with the unfinished 710 Freeway is neverending. Possibilities range from doing nothing (leaving it unfinished) to building a four-mile-long tunnel. But a new suggestion comes from Stefanos Polyzoides of the Pasadena-based architectural firm Moule & Polyzoides, who has imagined what would happen if, instead of going forward with any of the previously proposed options, Caltrans instead sold the land near the northern end of where the 710 is supposed be to the city of Pasadena so it could be redeveloped into housing, businesses, and “a tree-covered boulevard,” says the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

Polyzoides’s design, presented at a meeting of the West Pasadena Residents’ Association, would mix single-family homes on the southern end of the 50-acre segment in Pasadena and build to more dense housing closer to the 210 Freeway, mixing businesses in a long the way. The whole thing seems a lot like a sequel to quaint Old Town Pasadena, which is also planning to spread north of its current borders.

Pasadena’s mayor Terry Tornek is hoping to put a repeal of Measure A, the voter-approved 2001 measure that supports finishing the 710 Freeway, on the November ballot. Tornek believes that if the freeway extension project could be taken off the table, Caltrans might sell the land, and the conceptual rendering might be on its way to becoming a reality.

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