Festival of Balloons Parade: NO710


Your lazy blogger is finally gonna pickup where I left y’all last month.  In July we wrote about the Pre-parade portion of the 2013 South Pasadena Festival of Balloons, aka their  annual July 4th parade.  The parade had just begun & was at the point We The People, aka NO710, were about to enter the parade field.

If you missed that Pre-parade article, before it goes into storage of the valuable Archives of The Cafe Pasadena you can still catch it online here: A South Pasadena July 4th.

Now, from a NO 710 vantage point let the parade begin!


IMG_3551 Our group of communities united to preserve the history & well-being of our local cities against the 710 freeway and tunneling destruction, ahem construction, are ready to take its place in the parade.  This is as posed & composed against the 710 snake as we can get.



IMG_3607From the staging area we’ve turned onto Mission Street.  Kinda like when our Rose Parade turns from Orange Grove onto Colorado Blvd.


The sales promoters of the 710 plan will tell you, “it is intended to improve mobility, reduce arterial & regional freeway congestion, and decrease travel time.”  It sounds so good: more freeways will equal less traffic & easier drives. We’ve heard it all before. Instead, the potential 710 extension is a problem which has been harassing the historic and relatively unique & peaceful neighborhoods of the west SGV for at least half a century.

The threat of Metro in LA and CalTrans in Sacramento, backed chiefly by the city of Alhambra, to construct additional miles of freeway, and now tunnels, through their neighbors in South Pasadena, Pasadena, and parts of Los Angeles has been met by decades of citizen/resident resistance from the communities most affected.




IMG_3603In our first article I mentioned I was asked if I had seen Claire Bogaard – the Mayor of Pasadena’s wife. Well, I did. I turned to my right and there she was walking next to me. I told her “someone was looking for you.”   I asked about her husband: “He’s home resting for the Rose Bowl fireworks show tonight.”  We chatted a couple of minutes and I excused myself to mingle among our patriotic people & capture a few more pics for y’all.


My mild form of activism against the 710 of more pavement, vehicle traffic, pollution, noise, and destruction of quiet neighborhoods began about 20+ years ago, by chance.  In South Pasadena, of course.  Back then when the NO710 activists first explained it to my young mind it didn’t make sense.  In this new century the 710 construction still doesn’t add up!  But this battle has been going on for decades before that, and unfortunately, the backers of the 710 may keep alive the problem into the next century!


 IMG_3608Some of our representatives from Pasadena waving & wearing the Red, White & Blues.  On a hot/humid day those signs magically turned into cool fans.


Tunnels: before the fight was against a freeway. Today the promoters are now talking about tunnels. TWO. About 5 miles long. FIVE. Through earthquake country!  Reminds me of the latest scheme to build 2 skyscrapers on either side of the landmark Capital Records Tower in Hollywood. There’s probably active quake faults underneath but doesn’t sound like that developer wants to hear such news.




Taking a break at a stopping point.  There must’ve been a float breakdown ahead of us resulting in a tow job.




Passing the review stage at South Pasadena Citihall.  The reviewers behind the microphone complimented us being the most vocal & largest of the parade entrants. I think they approved of our message.


IMG_3617South Pasadena is “celebrating 125 years” of cityhood.  Wonderful, but we in Pasadena already celebrated our 125th two years ago!


We haven’t even mentioned the huge co$t of this controversial project. I don’t think anyone really knows the final cost both in dollars and otherwise. Last I read, $5-6 billion was the most popular number.  Yet, major projects over an extended period time typically have stowaways aka costly overruns behind the price tag. I would expected double whatever price CalTrans/Metro puts out in public, not to mention a related lengthier construction period than they plan.

Is this the best use of billion$ & billion$ & billion$ of taxpayer funds in this age of tight budgets & budget cuts?





The morning was more humid than warm.  Still, if you were a Dog like us it was no problem. IMG_3596 This friendly, wise Dog dragged along his female human personal assistants to march with him in the parade! If only most humans were naturally friendly & wise as We The Canine. Unfortunately, that’s not the case as any reading of a newspaper, newstablet, or viewing of a television shows.




As is usually the case in events, the spectators were in the dark while the participants were in the light.  However, on this particular weather day this Dog wood’ve had no complaint to be sitting in the dark.



3622a 3623 We’ve passed the 1/2 way point.  No turning back now!



IMG_3629Coming down the stretch toward Garfield Park. Thank you Herb Barnes Design Studio of Pasadena for your great work of artistry with the yellow sign above. Art which will go down as one of the true art masterpieces produced by contemporary or modern art! 




We’ve turned the corner off Mission and arrived at the end of the line. Long time friends live on the next street.



Collage2 Think of this as the Float Viewing area, similar to our Rose Parade.  But frankly, after this I was thinking more of downing a few cold, icy drinks, with a tasty Pizza!




While in the past government transportation officials have usually gotten their way with tearing through other peaceful communities with more miles of pavement to “ease” the traffic problems, the west SGV has not considered this a good exchange, so we haven’t been so easy to pave over.  We haven’t seen less traffic, but, instead more roads/highways have brought more vehicles, noise and pollution.


Our little parade in 2013 against the 710 is just the latest in the long, long battle of we (David) versus Goliath.  I recommend you also ck out the NO710.com website for much more information on why the adding more freeway and/or tunnels is still not the best idea.


Gotta Be Productive! Stay Thirsty My Friends



8 responses to “Festival of Balloons Parade: NO710

    • Thanks, JS. I’m just a tiny part of the ongoing, long-standing stance against this old, outdated idea of more roads/freeways, and now tunnels, for more motor vehicles.

  1. Keep on fighting the good fight, Cafe. I’m with you… and Madamoiselle G of course. Wish the powers that be would act on her ideas.

    So, I’ve never heard of Arlington Garden. The things I learn from the blog world never cease to amaze me.

  2. If the 710 tabs were removed and bandaged back into the 10 at the south and the 210/134 at the north, the whole area could have a beautiful open space and the water could be daylighted. What a wonderful asset that woukd be to the health if the whole region.

  3. Cool! Before we even moved here, Eric and I went to visit Arlington Garden, which was made possible by the blockage of 710. It’s a beautiful volunteer-maintained native plant garden. Really nice!