With traffic roaring in their ears and diesel fumes mixing with the warm spring air, four people settled into canvas chairs on the Gould Avenue overpass above the Foothill (210) Freeway this week, their gaze focused unwaveringly on the roadway below.
The four were collecting data for a Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority study of local traffic patterns. The data will go into the environmental impact report for the 710 gap.
The study is controversial, as La Cañada Flintridge officials and others believe Metro and Caltrans will favor a 4.5-mile freeway tunnel connecting the Long Beach (710) Freeway, which ends in Alhambra, to the 210 in Pasadena. The tunnel would pass beneath South Pasadena, where residents and city officials have long decried the project's potential impact on traffic, noise and air.
Other local cities, including Alhambra, favor the connector.
After years of consideration, in recent months Metro officials conceded they would not seek to build a surface freeway connecting the 710 and 210.