It was officially announced last month that the Los Angeles County transportation agency, Metro, was purchasing the beautiful but underutilized Union Station from a private owner. Even though it is underutilized (ridership could be higher) and has so much more potential (more varied uses on site), Union Station is still the undisputed hub of transit on the entire West Coast (west of Chicago to be exact).
Category Archives: mass transportation
Ideas for Pasadena: Build Train Shelters on Freeway Platforms to Protect Riders from Noise and Noxious Fumes
All you need to do is watch the video (above) I recorded on the Lake Ave Gold Line station to understand (and hear) how loud the cars and trucks are as they zoom by the train platform–constantly–assaulting the ears from both sides. Transit riders wait on these platforms embedded in the middle of freeways on the Gold and Green Lines and are subjected, helplessly, to deafening noise and exhaust fumes. Very unpleasant.
This is a great short video that I saw on Streetsblog LA (only about 3 minutes long) about the benefits of building transit-oriented developments (or “T.O.D.’s” for short). As you watch it, please keep in mind how these principles of urban planning–to reduce the dependency on automobile use–could be applied to a city like Pasadena, which is already connected to the Metro Gold Line (but many stations are currently underutilized like Fillmore and Lake Ave stations).
This past Sunday, patrons of the arts gathered for a hard hat tour at the construction site of the soon-to-be new headquarters of A Noise Within theater company (they are relocating from Glendale). A nice big fat check for $50,000 from Wells Fargo also sat against an easel with a rendering of the completed theater, which will seat 300 in the audience. The check reminded everyone who attended that fundraising was still in session.
For those who ride the Gold Line (like transit riders in Pasadena en route to Downtown LA), you may have noticed recently that Metro has been upgrading all the light-rail stations with television monitors and scrolling marquees that will display train schedules so riders won’t be left in the dark anymore when it comes to the “next train arrival time.”
Back in Jan 2010, I wrote about my disdain for the current suburban-styled Ralphs supermarket that sits in the middle of Pasadena’s urban downtown financial district along Lake Ave. This particular Ralphs that many of us Pasadenans shop at is surrounded by anti-pedestrian characteristics that actually harm the built environment as it pertains to pedestrian activity. The potential for creating a better community in this section of Pasadena sits tragically unfulfilled. That’s why I’m still not happy with it.
CicLAvia was one of the most phenomenal events in recent LA history, which took place on Oct 10, 2010, that proved a growing passion for change by many bicyclists and pedestrians who yearn for high-quality public spaces in LA. To realize that dream, Angelenos far and wide came together and did nothing more than simply walk and cycle down the streets usually ruled by drivers. But as 60,000 people, young and old, came out that day to revel in streets free of cars, those simple steps taken rang louder than anyone could have imagined.
I’ve been covering the development of Westgate in Old Town Pasadena since I first started this blog back in May 2009, so it is particularly meaningful to me to see the dramatic transformation of this once dead and completely irrelevant section of the city turn into a beautifully designed community that has simultaneously played the role of expanding the sphere of walkability here in a maturing Pasadena.
My video from Hoboken, NJ comparing to Pasadena, CA
As the less contentious mixed-use project at Lake and Colorado was approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals (BOZA) this week and will likely start construction before year’s end, the other more contentious IDS Playhouse Plaza a few blocks away continues to fight with a few vocal neighborhood groups who claim that the IDS project is “too massive” (really? a 5-story building?) and will cause “too much traffic.” (Traffic is not caused by buildings but by cars driven by people.)