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: smart growth
The Livingstone, with its brand new condos for sale and central location, is one of my favorite mixed-use residential developments in Downtown Pasadena. The building has many unique attributes that make it stand out as a jewel including its location and preserved historic features. (More details below)
This is an updated post to the one from last week where I recommended that in order to help funnel much needed pedestrian energy onto South Lake Avenue itself, the back entrances for many of the stores that face the Shoppers Lane parking lot should be closed to the general public and reserved only for employees or possibly loading large merchandise from stores like Pacific Sales.
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.”
A very exciting improvement project (planned awhile ago) has finally begun around the Pasadena Civic Center. The project deemed “Civic Center-Midtown District Public Improvements Project” will upgrade the aesthetics and infrastructure of the area around Pasadena City Hall helping to integrate the Civic Center into the rest of the community with stronger visual and aesthetic connections that especially benefit pedestrians.
After posting about Long Beach’s wonderful bike lanes that will be fully separated from traffic (so jealous!) and also me lamenting about Pasadena’s current dearth of bike friendly routes (some commenters agreed with me in that post), Angela Uriu from Peter Tolkin Architecture (yes, the same firm that designed the “living vines” office building in South Pasadena) sent me some nice renderings of a once-proposed bike shelter in Old Pasadena near the Memorial Park Gold Line station.
I just had to post this when I learned of Long Beach’s new major bike plan that was reported on the LA Times, Long Beach Post, and Curbed LA yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised just how far Long Beach is taking their bike infrastructure and felt that we could emulate that kind of commitment to safety and sustainability here in Pasadena.
I have been saying for years that Pasadena needs to give Fair Oaks Ave an extreme pedestrian-cyclist make-over along the street from at least the South Pasadena border (by the Raymond Restaurant) to Old Pasadena. The need for this make-over seems obvious when you consider: 1) Fair Oaks Ave looks like a mini-highway as you drive or, god forbid, walk down it, and 2) that the Huntington Hospital (a huge employer) adds a substantial presence to the built environment in Downtown Pasadena, but is tenuously connected at best to the area for pedestrians and cyclists, diluting if not completely negating its potential positive effects on the urban environment. In other words, the synergy is lost.