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JUNE 23, 1999  5:02 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Friends of the Earth
David Hirsch 202-783-7400 x215
Mark Whiteis-Helm 202-783-7400 x102
House of Representatives Strikes Down A 'Road To Ruin': House Votes to Deny Funding for Route 710 in California
 
WASHINGTON - June 23 - Friends of the Earth today applauded the House of Representatives for passing an amendment to stop a wasteful, destructive road project in South Pasadena, California. The amendment, offered by Rep. James Rogan (R-CA), denies federal Fiscal Year 2000 funding for the controversial Route 710 Freeway in South Pasadena. The amendment to the FY2000 Department of Transportation funding bill passed by a vote of 241-190.

"Representative Rogan should be commended for his leadership," said David Hirsch, Transportation Policy Coordinator for Friends of the Earth. "This project has been threatening to drive a stake through the heart of South Pasadena for decades. It is encouraging that the House of Representatives voted so strongly to terminate this project."

For several decades, California's transportation department has attempted to extend the Route 710 Freeway into South Pasadena. This extension would cost over $1.5 billion, and would carve the historic community of South Pasadena into quarters. Over 1,000 historic homes would be destroyed, dislocating over 400 people. More than 7,000 old trees and 70 National Historic buildings would also be demolished for the road.

A low-build alternative proposal to the freeway exists that would provide 90 percent of the congestion relief for less than one-tenth the cost. Rep. Rogan today argued that this alternative must be studied before federal support can be given to this controversial project.

For the past several years, Friends of the Earth has targeted the Route 710 Freeway for cancellation in the annual Green Scissors report, which targets fiscally wasteful and environmentally harmful federal spending. Route 710 was declared the third worst highway proposal in America by Road to Ruin, a report on bad highway projects written by Taxpayers for Common Sense and Friends of the Earth.

Founded in 1969, Friends of the Earth is a national environmental advocacy organization with affiliates in 58 countries. For more information, please see our website at
http://www.foe.org/ .

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