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Transportation Commission

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Mar. 9th, 2007 | 12:25 pm

Today was a Pasadena Transportation Advisory Commission meeting. We had three things on our agenda today: a presentation from some urban planning students from Cal Poly Pomona; A discussion of the Capital Improvement Projects; and discussion of a new project at 3300 E. Foothill Blvd.

The students were tasked with trying suggesting how to make the Pasadena central district more pedestrian friendly, I'm not sure where their report is going to end up, but I liked the idea of putting LED lighting in the trees on Green Street (which is currently pretty dark at night). They also wanted to make the sidewalks wider by removing parking on Colorado, and then partially closing colorado to traffic.

After that we discussed the capital improvement projects, I was most interested in what was going to be done to protect the hearing of people waiting on the freeway gold line stops. The previous plan was to install sound barriers, but the city is currently planning on putting a train arrival notification system in to encourage people to wait further away from the freeway platform.

I also wanted to know about a proposed extension of the Orange Bus Rapid Transit line from the San Fernando valley through Burbank and Glendale to the Del Mar station in Pasadena. I was curious how likely that project was to be funded. The transportation department director was of the opinion that the deal was nearly sealed, but of course since the money hasn't actually been allocated it wasn't guaranteed yet.

Lastly there was a really cool 212 unit apartment and theater project going in on foothill. As I still feel kind of inexperienced at reviewing projects I don't fully trust my instincts, but it really seemed like this architect was doing a really good job. They had a really neat walkway with pocket parks that connect the theater with the sierra madre gold line station. Also an interesting feature of the housing was that each unit would have its own little bike closet.

Of note the theater is being designed to support A Noise Within, so if all the approvals go through that theater troupe would (probably) be moving to pasadena.
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Comments {5}

no, YOUR mom

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from: theinfamousmom
date: Mar. 9th, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC)
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It's all well and good to make downtown Pasadena more pedestrian friendly, but a lot of those pedestrians have to get there some way other than on foot. So where are the people going to park? Granted, getting a space on Colorado is mostly a matter of luck, but still, that's a lot of cars that are going to have to cram into the already crowded garages (and pay more than a parking meter's worth for the privilege).

Partially closing Colorado to traffic is just going to make things worse on the surrounding streets. If they're really serious about that, I'd suggest it be done on a trial basis first to see what happens. I suspect people won't be happy about it no matter what the on-paper benefits might be.

Must say that the people who approve construction and development in Pasadena are light-years ahead of their counterparts in Glendale. I think about that every time I miss the turn onto the street that leads between Target and Office Max because the new apartment building blends in so well with the old ones. :)

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Mar. 10th, 2007 03:39 am (UTC)
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It was the idea of a group of students who haven't yet had to face business owners who desperately cling to each and every parking space like it was one of their children.

On the sidewalks are even more crammed than the streets in old pasadena during peak shopping hours, so there is a desire to try and restrict traffic along colorado in old pasadena, though the transportation commission is well aware of the potential difficulties.

However there is evidence that if a destination is compelling enough, people will walk. People still go to third street promenade, even through traffic sucks and you have to walk quite a distance if you want cheap parking.

Also unlike Third Street, Old Pasadena is sitting on top of a metro line, so we do have a car-less way of getting people there.

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markcronan

I like it

from: markcronan
date: Mar. 11th, 2007 12:36 am (UTC)
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I am all in favor of closing off Colorado in that part of Pasadena. Like you said, 3rd St. Promenade sets a good example of the value of shutting off traffic. Business actually INCREASED there after they shut the street down, despite fears to the contrary. And traffic control is much easier if you can strategically guide parking to particular structures rather than all over the place. Not to mention pedestrian safety goes way up.

Yes, parking would be more of an issue than it already is. But it would also be the excuse needed to build more underground and above-ground parking structures, or shuttles from existing nearby structures.

The metro line is nice, but due to the lack of a full system, it's not a practical solution right now. You can't really ask people to use a system that, for the most part, doesn't have an access point near where they leave or gather. Eventually I hope that will change. But right now, I am not going to pay for a car and parking space for that car, get in my car and drive to an access point, then park again and get out of my car and pay to use the metro system, and then do the reverse on the trip back. That defeats the purpose of a mass transit system (and in fact that's not a MASS transit system, more like a DISPERSE transit system).

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(no subject)

from: clynne
date: Mar. 10th, 2007 06:40 pm (UTC)
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From a completely narcissistic perspective, this sounds like it was an interesting meeting. My brother got his Master's in Urban Planning from Pomona, and I used to stage manage a number of actors who also acted with ANW (at one point, ANW had a lot of "Caltech community" actors in it).

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Mar. 12th, 2007 08:15 pm (UTC)
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I had no idea that there had been a connection between caltech and a noise within.

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