City to Use Grant to Bolster Traffic Safety

A motion to issue proposal requests for the Slow Streets program and the bollards passed unanimously, while a separate motion for the traffic study received the votes of all council members except Evelyn Zneimer, who abstained.
“It’s premature at this time and it would definitely slow things down and we might miss the funding of $420,000 from Metro,” Zneimer said, referring to the grant from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority. The money has to be spent by Dec. 31.
Arroyo Fest was originally planned for November 2020, but was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The event would have closed the Arroyo Seco Parkway to traffic and allowed South Pasadena residents to walk on it as a means of encouraging healthful forms of transportation and a sense of community, as well as to showcase the city’s small businesses.
Arroyo Fest was planned in conjunction with Metro and ActiveSGV, a group that supports the notion of a more livable San Gabriel Valley. After the event was canceled, the Metro Board of Directors authorized that recipients of Open Streets grant money could repurpose the funds with COVID-19 recovery in mind.
The Slow Streets program encourages residents to practice safer driving habits, particularly on largely residential streets with more foot and cyclist traffic. Signage would be placed on these roads as a reminder for motorists to watch out for pedestrians and drive carefully.
The removable bollards will be placed on Meridian between Mission and El Centro streets near the South Pasadena Farmers’ Market. The bollards will protect the market and expand outdoor dining and retail, which became a popular — and, for months, the only — option for in-person dining during the pandemic. Some cities that implemented such al fresco programs are considering whether to make some portions of them permanent as the pandemic wanes.
The traffic study will also be done with the community in mind, council members said.
“When they say ‘traffic study,’” said Councilman Jon Primuth, “they are talking about studies, but they are also talking about really strong community outreach and survey of the business community and residents to determine which approach to the Safe Streets program, which elements would be best for the community.”