Response to Article in SPR August 17 “So Pas City Council Looks to Merge Two Commissions” 

Letter to the Editor

To quote Mark Twain: “the report of my death has been greatly exaggerated.” The report of the death of the Tunnel has also been greatly exaggerated. The Transportation Commission and many others are greatly concerned that if the language in the final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is not changed there is a possibility that the Tunnel could return in the future with the concept of the Tunnel as a done deal. The City Council has seen fit to defer the merger of the Transportation Commission and the Public Works Commission for one year.

Members of the Transportation Commission have been working hard to see the Tunnel’s end. We have had multiple meetings and were involved in several activities insuring that the Tunnel never rises again. 

We met with Anthony Portantino, State Senator, on July 6 to discuss keeping tunnel approval out of the EIR and possible legislative action. Members of the Transportation Commission worked diligently on the Memorandum of Agreement that will be part of the Final EIR to better define and clarify the language. Members of the Transportation Commission attended a meeting on August 9 at Westridge School. This meeting was chaired by Doug Carstens, one of the attorneys who represented the city in the Lawsuit of 1998. Others present included: 1)West Pasadena Residence Association, 2) The City of La Canada, 3) Robert Silverstein, Attorney representing La Canada, 4) The No on 710 Action Committee, 5) The LA Conservancy, 6) The National Trust for Historic Preservation,7) Pasadena Heritage, 8) The National Resources Defense Council, 9) West Ridge School, 10) The Sierra Club, 11) The South Pasadena Preservation Foundation, and 12) The South Pasadena Heritage Commission. At that meeting we reached consensus on a plan to prevent the Tunnel from future consideration.

It is not time to celebrate in the streets the death of the Tunnel. There is much work yet to be done by the Transportation Commission, the South Pasadena City Council, and others, insuring that the Tunnel is truly dead.

Dr. Bill Sherman, Transportation Commissioner, South Pasadena