Residents are responsible for maintaining the sidewalks in front of their homes. Nevertheless, the city is in the second year of a Citywide Sidewalk Improvements Project that is underway to repair all of the city sidewalks, with priorities placed on high pedestrian areas and accessibility.
For residents who want a faster way to repair their sidewalk, Public Works has come up with a new “fast track” approach to accommodate them. The new Sidewalk Repair Reimbursement Program in an attempt to partner with property owners to share in the repair costs. The city will reimburse 50% of the repair cost (with a maximum of $8.00 per square foot) up to $1000 per frontage. Residents hire their own contractor to do the work, and get reimbursed after the work is complete.
Below are the forms that must be completed – first to initiate the process and then to be reimbursed.
Further questions about the program can be emailed to Sidewalks@cityofpasadena.net.
With new residential developments coming on line, many residents feel that Pasadena is experiencing a rapid rate of growth, perhaps to our own detriment. The fact is that over the last 14 years, our population has grown about 0.35% a year, or 5.1% total. This growth rate is about 1/3rd of the state of CA (just about 1% per year) and less than half the national growth rate which is 0.70% per year. Because most of our growth is occurring in the Central District it feels concentrated, but in reality we are losing population market share both within the state and nationally.
We currently have a major housing shortage in Southern California. Through regional planning efforts we are assessed housing goals to accommodate our share of population growth within the state. That said, the Metropolitan Water District does have a water supply allocation plan in place to encourage its members to reduce their water purchases during years of drought. The formula used to establish each City’s allocation takes in to account population growth, so residential development leads to increased water allocations. In other words, we get relief from the quota if we add to population, so we are not penalized.
Water supply and demand related to growth is a regional issue. When cities such as Pasadena plan for additional growth in more urban settings, it provides for housing that is more water efficient and eliminates the need for increased infrastructure for water delivery. By comparison, targeted growth in lower density areas places a greater burden on the regional water supply. Increased efficiency standards in the state building codes also makes new development more water efficient than our current housing stock. As a result, new multifamily development actually helps lower Pasadena’s per capita water use.
According to the Institute for the Study of Homelessness and Poverty at the Weingart Center, an estimated 254,000 men, women and children experience homelessness in Los Angeles County during some part of the year and approximately 82,000 people are homeless on any given night. Pasadena’s latest annual count in early 2015 was 632 homeless persons (both sheltered and unsheltered) which was a slight decrease by 34 persons from 2014. However, the unsheltered homeless population has increased and more of them have substance about problems or are chronically unsheltered for a variety of reasons. Our next count will be performed in January 2016.
Homelessness is an incredibly difficult and complex issue. The City of Pasadena and a number of non-profit and faith-based homeless service providers are working hard for this cause. However, many challenges remain including threats to annual funding reductions, early prisoner releases and an overall increase of homeless throughout Los Angeles County.
The good news is that Pasadena has many wonderful resources for homeless individuals, including Friends in Deed’s Homeless Prevention Program, Door of Hope’s Rapid Rehousing Program and Housing Works’ housing first programs – all of which are subsidized by the City. Permanent supportive housing, transitional housing, emergency shelters, and basic services for homeless are all available here as well.
Unfortunately, some chronic homeless persons will always refuse shelter or substance abuse programs, and they are the most difficult individuals to assist. For more information, visit http://ww5.cityofpasadena.net/housing/.
While filming can be an easy way to earn some additional income and may result in publicity for our neighborhoods and City, it can also be both an inconvenience and disruption to neighbors. In 2015 in District 7, the cap of 6 days per quarter year was not exceeded.
The City processed 548 film permits in 2014, and has processed 487 permits this year. In Fiscal 2014 the City’s gross revenue from filming was $1.5 million with a net of $312,000 to the General Fund. Standard film permit times are 7:00 am. – 7:00 p.m. Monday through Sunday with no signatures required except for parking in front of individual homes. Only 51% signature approval is required within 300 feet for filming until 10:00 p.m. However, 90% signature approval is required for filming from 10:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.
Neighbors who want more control over filming in their neighborhood can establish their own block agreements for filming or establish a more formal Special Filming District with conditions with a 67% vote. We have samples of both agreement types if you want to learn more.
[/toggle] [toggle title=”Who should I call for basic services like street tree trimming and pot hole repairs?”] Basic types of City services can be requested through the Pasadena Citizen Service Center. Whether it’s a pothole, a street light is out, an abandoned item or Graffiti (just to name a few), the CSC makes it easy for you to submit a request and to resolve your issue quickly. The Citizen Service Center (CSC) is a centralized service to help Pasadena residents connect with their City. CSC is available via web (http://cityofpasadena.net/CSC/), mobile app (download PasadenaCS) or phone (626-744-7311) to assist in answering questions about City programs, services and events.
As part of the City’s Updated General Plan, approved by City Council in August of last year, the Mobility Element incudes a Bicycle Transportation Action Plan. The plan provides details for a network of bikeways so that every neighborhood is within 1/4 mile of an effective bicycling route in the north-south and east-west directions.One aspect of the plan is the Pasadena Bikeshare Program, which involves a shared fleet of bicycles located at docking stations throughout the City within easy access to each other. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is formalizing a countywide bike share program. Through a grant, Metro will provide 50% of the capital cost and 35% of the net operating cost for each city that participates in the bike share program. Approximately 34 kiosks stationing 490 bicycles would be available to the public in Pasadena for short term rental via a walk-up charge, flex pass or monthly pass (Metro TAP card). The City is currently working with Metro on an agreement which should be coming to City Council for approval in the next two months, after which public meetings will be held for input on possible kiosk locations.
Another aspect of the Bicycle Plan is the Union Street Two Way Cycle Track. Based on the Complete Streets concept, a two-way cycle track has been designed for Union Street between Hill Avenue and Arroyo Parkway. The Track will have a two-way bicycle lane on the south side of Union Street – protected by on-street parking and then two vehicle lanes for travel. A $2.7 M Metro grant was awarded to the City for Phase 1 of the project with a city match of $694 K. Environmental clearance and design engineering will begin next spring, with a proposed start of construction in year 2021.
The second phase of the Cordova “Road Diet” is scheduled to be completed in 2019, continuing the work that has already been done between Hill Avenue and Lake Avenue all the way to Arroyo Parkway, including bike lanes and pedestrian safety. Public meetings on this phase will occur next spring.
And finally, many of you have surely noticed by now the green paint in the Marengo Avenue bicycle lanes. This is an industry best practice to warn both motorists and bicyclists of potential conflict zones between cars and bikes.
Citywide, travel time studies indicate that traffic operations on the major routes through Pasadena have remained relatively stable but did drop during the recession and stayed relatively lower through the 2010 to 2013 period. Since 2013, traffic has been returning to pre-recession levels which can seem like there is more traffic on the roads. However, there are some unique conditions in District 7 and its near vicinity that contribute to areas of increased traffic and longer waiting times.
- Changes in traffic patterns at Blair High School have combined with morning commute traffic and Mayfield Junior School traffic on Marengo to generate about 20 minutes of very slow traffic between Glenarm and Del Mar weekday mornings. Traffic has shifted to Euclid after many years of very limited traffic on that street and in turn has raised volumes on Alpine, Arden and Fillmore as parent dropoff traffic tries to avoid the slow conditions on Marengo.
- The underground construction on Alpine between El Molino and Marengo has displaced traffic to Fillmore and Glenarm over the last year and while the traffic volumes on Fillmore are not excessive, they are noticeable in relation to the low traffic volumes normally on Fillmore. The project is expected to be complete in the Spring of 2016.
- The crossings of the Gold Line at Glenarm, California and Del Mar continue to be areas of delay particularly during commute peaks. The interruptions to traffic flow on Arroyo Parkway caused by the LRT grade crossings divert traffic to Marengo and Glenarm. These are conditions that have been in place for many years now but their effects were diminished during the recession. As traffic volumes have returned to pre-recession levels, delay at the crossings has increased both from increased auto volumes, but also from more frequent LRT operations that were put in place in 2013.
At this point in time, it is not feasible or likely that the crossings could be eliminated. That said, City staff continues to work with Metro rail operations to reduce the amount of time that the crossing gates are down and to reduce the impact to traffic and pedestrian movements at the intersections of California and Del Mar with Arroyo Parkway and Raymond. The next major improvement is expected to be under construction in 2016 and will reduce the clearance times for the gates coming down. Recent changes have reduced wait times for left turns from Arroyo Parkway and provided for more pedestrian crossings of Arroyo Parkway while the gates are down. The intersection and crossing at Glenarm and Arroyo Parkway is controlled by Caltrans and while the City tries to coordinate operations at that location with the operations at California and Del Mar, Caltrans has the final say in signal operations, which means that conditions at Glenarm are slightly different and are likely to remain that way.
It’s hard to say either way. Officially, the SR 710 North project is still in the environmental clearance phase with completion of that phase likely to occur in 2016 (see https://www.metro.net/projects/sr-710-conversations/ and http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist07/resources/envdocs/docs/710study/draft_eir-eis/). Pasadena has partnered with South Pasadena, Glendale, Sierra Madre and La Canada/Flintridge in the 5 Cities Alliance to provide a detailed review of the DEIR/DEIS and to submit an 85 page comment letter. The 5 Cities Alliance has collaborated with a number of other entities to form Connected Cities and Communities (C3) and to develop a multi-modal vision for the corridor that is entitled Beyond the 710 (see http://www.beyondthe710.org/).
At that time and/or possibly early in 2017, Metro and Caltrans will need to determine a locally preferred alternative for the project to move forward. In the traditional project implementation process, once a project is selected, funding will need to be programmed before design can commence. Currently no federal or state funds are designated for construction of the SR 710 North project, but that is the result of the protracted timeline for project selection, and project funding could be requested from federal or state sources if the project is environmentally cleared.
As to the long-term potential for a freeway project to be built, Metro’s involvement with the project, which was made possible through the funding in Measure R, has changed the political landscape of what had been a classic state/local standoff spearheaded by South Pasadena for the last 60 years. With Metro’s involvement comes access to regionally generated funds that bypass the traditional state/federal funding pathways. Metro’s increasing use of public-private partnerships that leverage those regional funds to construct large projects increases substantially the likelihood that a project such as the SR 710 North tunnel freeway could be funded and built.
In the interim, there is much discussion going on with the Governor’s Office, the Secretary and staff at the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) and regional officials regarding the desire on the part of Pasadena and adjacent cities via the C3 group to construct a multi-modal alternative rather than the freeway tunnel proposed in the SR 710 North DEIR/DEIS.
The no left turn signs were installed in 1989 as part of a 60-day test that originally included South El Molino Avenue. The sign at El Molino was removed during the test period, but the signs at Euclid, Oakland and Madison were left in place Subsequently, in May of 1998, legal action against the City of Pasadena was taken by Pasadena Heritage, the South Los Robles Caucus, the Madison Heights Neighborhood Association and PRIDE II (Pasadena Residents in Defense of their Environment). This legal action was initially settled in March 1999 and finally settled in January 2007. The settlement agreement required the City to install and maintain specific traffic control devices and to modify existing traffic control devices in specific ways. The no left turn signs posted for eastbound traffic on Glenarm Street at Euclid, Oakland and Madison are required by the 1999 settlement agreement. Removal of these three signs requires that all of the parties to the settlement agreement concur with the action.
The effect of removing the signs is not entirely clear. It is expected that traffic volumes on Euclid, Oakland and Madison could increase slightly with a corresponding reduction in volumes on Marengo, Los Robles and El Molino. However, traffic patterns can be influenced by a large variety of factors and the presence of speed humps on Euclid, Oakland and Madison may limit the change in existing patterns even if the signs were removed.
The traffic circles originated with the Ad Hoc Committee that was created in 1994 by the City Council to work with staff to develop a 10-year traffic management plan for Southwest Pasadena. This management plan was adopted by the City Council in late 1996 as the Southwest Traffic Study, but the traffic circles were not included as part of the adopted plan.
In May of 1998, legal action against the City of Pasadena was taken by Pasadena Heritage, the South Los Robles Caucus, the Madison Heights Neighborhood Association and PRIDE II (Pasadena Residents in Defense of their Environment). This legal action was initially settled in March 1999 and finally settled in January 2007. The settlement agreement required the City to install and maintain specific traffic control devices and to modify existing traffic control devices in specific ways. The traffic circles with stop signs on Glenarm Street are required by the 1999 settlement agreement. The settlement agreement also called for a traffic circle at Marengo that was installed, but later removed and replaced with a traffic signal for traffic safety reasons.
The traffic circles were intended to reduce the capacity of the streets by reducing the number of lanes at an intersection from 12 (in some cases) to 4. The use of stop signs (as opposed to yield signs, which are used in Modern Roundabout design) was intended to reduce speeding. Landscaped traffic circles were thought by the Ad Hoc Committee to be more consistent with the residential character of the streets.
Indications are that after an initial uptick following installation crashes are holding at levels that are lower than the pre-installation condition. The stop signs and lane reductions have had the effect of reducing speed in the immediate vicinity of the traffic circles. There have been volume reductions on the north-south streets, particularly Los Robles, but it is difficult to separate the effects of the traffic circles from other changes that occurred in San Marino that affected the amount of traffic entering/exiting the City on Los Robles.
In May of 1998, legal action against the City of Pasadena was taken by Pasadena Heritage, the South Los Robles Caucus, the Madison Heights Neighborhood Association and PRIDE II (Pasadena Residents in Defense of their Environment). This legal action was initially settled in March 1999 and finally settled in January 2007. The settlement agreement required the City to install and maintain specific traffic control devices and to modify existing traffic control devices in specific ways. The 2007 settlement agreement stated “City shall use its best efforts to obtain the agreement of Caltrans to eliminate one of the two existing left-turn-only lanes on westbound Glenarm Street at its intersection with Arroyo Parkway/California Route 110.” The City was able to accomplish this action as part of the rebuilding of the intersection for the Gold Line crossing. The intent of the lawsuit settlement was to make the turn from westbound Glenarm onto CA 110 less convenient and in doing so to divert CA 110 traffic onto Mobility Corridors (California and Del Mar Boulevards) to/from Arroyo Parkway.
In May of 1998, legal action against the City of Pasadena was taken by Pasadena Heritage, the South Los Robles Caucus, the Madison Heights Neighborhood Association and PRIDE II (Pasadena Residents in Defense of their Environment). This legal action was initially settled in March 1999 and finally settled in January 2007. The settlement agreement required the City to install and maintain specific traffic control devices and to modify existing traffic control devices in specific ways. The raised islands at Los Robles and California are required by the 2007 settlement agreement. That agreement included detailed plans for the shape and placement of the islands.
Before the installation of the islands on Los Robles, when vehicles were stopped at the stop bar and yielding to oncoming traffic before attempting to make left turns, roadway width was available for other vehicles to pass on the right side and continue their travel on Los Robles. The intent of the islands is to eliminate or reduce the chances of vehicles passing on the right side, and provide a disincentive to motorists using Los Robles in attempt to divert those trips to multi-modal corridors such as Arroyo Parkway.
The City of Pasadena’s new Bicycle Master Plan sets five major goals. One of those goals is to Increase the safety of bicycling in Pasadena. The Bicycle Master Plan proposes to take the following actions to achieve this goal.
- Implement planned citywide network of bikeways
- Calm motor vehicle traffic on Pasadena streets (in 2010 a road diet was implemented on Cordova St. between Hill and Lake Ave that included the addition of new bike lanes).
- Provide bicycle safety education in schools, at worksites, and at public venues for local cyclists. These programs should include comprehensive safety training.
- Provide safety education for motorists to learn to interact with bicyclists
Publish safe bicycle‐riding tips
- Provide information on the City website regarding safe bicycle riding
- Work with the Police Department to ensure that traffic laws are enforced and that people are educated as to traffic laws related to bicycling
- Educate the Police Department on safe riding procedures and crash report procedures that help to better understand crash causes
- Work with the schools to implement Safe Routes to Schools programs
- Work with outside organizations and agencies to provide free helmets and lights to students and low‐income cyclists
- Keep streets free of debris and potholes
In the 1980s, the City installed speed humps on a number of residential streets according to former policies and procedures. Since then, updated policies and procedures have been adopted by the City Council. In the latest policies and procedures for the installation of speed humps, which were adopted in 2004, street segments must meet certain criteria such as being classified as a local street in the California Road System, being 1,200 feet or longer without containing any stop signs or signals, having traffic volumes between 1,000 and 4,000 vehicles per day, and having an 85th percentile speed of greater than 33 MPH. All existing street segments that have speed humps are grandfathered in even though they may not meet the current policies and procedures for the installation of speed humps.
For more information on the policies and procedures for the installation of speed humps, please click here.
A representative of a local residential street who believes the residents on their street will support the installation of speed humps may submit a request in writing to the Department of Transportation. Transportation will consult with the Police and Fire Departments in making a determination of whether the street in question is eligible for further consideration for the installation of speed humps (i.e., the street is consistent with the City Council’s policies for the installation of speed humps).
Upon determination that a street is not eligible for speed humps, the representative(s) of the street will be notified in writing and provided the reason(s) why the street is not eligible.
Upon determination that a street is eligible for further consideration, the City will send out petitions to all abutting residents. The petition will indicate that a clear majority (67% or more) in support for the installation of speed humps is necessary for the city to install the speed humps. The petition forms provided by the City will state: If there is subsequently a desire by residents to remove the speed humps, the humps will only be considered for removal after receipt of a petition from a substantial majority (67% or more) asking for the removal along with sufficient funds for the removal up to $700 per hump.
Upon determination that a clear majority (67% or more) of residents abutting the street segment are in support of the installation of speed humps, the street segment is placed on a waiting list. Speed humps are contracted out and installed on a yearly basis or whenever there are enough streets that it is cost efficient for the city to do so.
A ban on overnight parking on City streets in Pasadena was first enacted in 1921 and amended in 1948 to the current time period (2:00 A.M. to 6:00 A.M.) In 1971, the ban was further amended to allow for overnight permits. The City Council reviewed the ban in 1991 and 1998, but made no changes. The reasons for supporting the ban over the years include facilitating street sweeping, identifying abandoned vehicles, crime detection, encouraging off-street parking and discouraging long-term on-street parking. Citizens were most recently surveyed in 1991. Responses ran 75/25 in favor of retaining the ban in single family residential areas and 50/50 in multi-family areas.
Residents with no temporary or permanent parking available to them may apply for annual daytime or overnight on-street parking permits that allow them to park during those hours. All residents and/or visitors may also obtain overnight on-street parking permits for their vehicle or for a guest vehicle at any of the five conveniently located kiosks (TOPEKs) or online (TOPEO) at the City’s website.
To address this question, traffic volume trends were tracked on five streets in Madison Heights using traffic counts for 1989, 1999 and 2009 to provide a 20-year history of traffic volumes. The five streets included in the analysis are California, El Molino, Glenarm, Los Robles and Marengo. For the north-south streets, traffic volumes were looked at separately for the segments from California to Glenarm and south of Glenarm. For the east-west streets, volume patterns east and west of Marengo. The analysis results are shown in the following chart.
Chronologically, the chart includes the time period when the following changes were made to the street system:
- 1989 – No left turn signs were added to eastbound Glenarm
- 1994 – Marengo, Los Robles and California were converted to 3-lane streets
- 2002 – Traffic circles and stop signs installed on Glenarm
- 2003 – Metro Gold Line opened
- 2007 – Islands installed on Los Robles and El Molino
The 1999 counts in the charts reflect the changes made in 1994, while the 2009 counts reflect the changes made in 2001, 2003 and 2007.
The long-term volume trends in both charts show that for the most part, the changes introduced by the 1994 Mobility Element update and 1999 lawsuit have reduced traffic volumes on these street segments from the 1989 levels and have stabilized traffic volumes over the last 10 years. The counts appear to support the following:
- Traffic on California declined when the street was narrowed east of Lake
- Los Robles traffic also declined after being narrowed and continues to decline on segments both north and south of Glenarm
- Marengo is absorbing growth in traffic regardless of the number of lanes on the roadway. The traffic growth may be related to intensification of residential development on South Marengo and expansion at PUSD’s Blair Campus as much as to freeway traffic that may have diverted from California and other corridors to Del Mar and points north.
- El Molino north of Alpine has remained stable for the 20-year period while the section south of Alpine has seen traffic growth in the last 10 years. The growth appears to be related to increases in freeway bound traffic from neighborhoods east of El Molino and south of California
- The opening and continued growth in use of the Gold Line has stabilized north-south traffic volumes.
- The traffic circles on Glenarm reduced traffic slightly, but overall, volumes appear to be stable over the 20-year period
The answer to this question depends upon two main criteria: 1) which neighborhood one resides in and 2) what design the freeway extension might have. As it currently operates, the State Route 710 north stub directly connects to Pasadena/St. John at Del Mar and California. As such, traffic from the stub is highest on Pasadena/St. John and Orange Grove south of the stub. However, not all of the traffic associated with the State Route 710 corridor uses these streets. In addition, there are traffic effects from north-south spillover traffic from State Route 710 on Marengo, Los Robles, El Molino and Oak Knoll, but to a much lesser extent than on the streets adjacent to the stub. Furthermore, there is east-west traffic on the I-210 and State Route 134 Freeways through Pasadena that uses those routes between the I-605, State Route 2 and I-5 corridors. During congested periods on the freeways, some of that traffic uses Corson, Maple, Colorado and Orange Grove in Pasadena. Because the traffic effects of the 710 are widespread in Pasadena, determination of how those effects may change if State Route 710 is extended is highly dependent upon how that extension is designed and where interchanges are located.
Southern California’s regional agencies (Metro, SCAG and Caltrans) are studying alternative designs for the extension of State Route 710 between Pasadena and Alhambra and have proposed to complete the environmental documentation in 2014. The range of alternatives under consideration is sufficiently wide to preclude a definitive answer to the question of which Pasadena neighborhoods would experience changes in traffic volumes from the State Route 710 project. The status of the State Route 710 study is tracked on the City’s main webpage athttp://cityofpasadena.net/SR710/.