Letter to the Editor

Next month, the Metro Board will be meeting to determine which Measure R projects in Phase 2 will be funded in 2019 – 2020. Has the City done all it can to solve the traffic problems in the 710 corridor, in particular Fremont Ave, who’s quiet residential, little trafficked street’s character significantly changed 43 years ago with the opening of the Wishbone (Pasadena Ave/St John Ave fork in the road) in Pasadena?

Metro staff wants to program the remainder of the $1 billion that had been earmarked for the 710 extension, a project which was cancelled by the Metro Board in May of 2017. Cities who have identified road & traffic improvement projects have or are submitting those projects for the Metro boards consideration in the upcoming budget cycle.

South Pasadena has much needed transportation projects, identified within the last 18 years, some sitting on the shelf collecting dust, because city hall is not taking action to get all of them in front of Metro for funding. One such project is the Fremont Avenue Traffic Improvement Plan.

Since the Fremont Plan was developed with a nationally known traffic engineer through a lengthy citywide series of public meetings, the city has had 4 City Managers, 4 new Public Works or Deputy Public Works Directors, and at least 3 Transportation Managers. Fremont Ave, a two-lane residential street, was never intended to be a main thoroughfare through the city as compared to Fair Oaks, Monterey or Huntington Drive. Fremont, south of Huntington may be in for an even larger influx of traffic from Fair Oaks.

At a time that our city leaders are warning South Pasadena faces a $1.4 million budget shortfall, we can’t afford to miss out on transportation dollars we are entitled to as one of the 710 corridor cities (along with Alhambra, Pasadena, El Sereno/LA) most impacted and working together to solve the problem of pass through traffic. Let’s get our projects submitted and approved for funding and end our traffic problems once and for all.

– Alan Ehrlich

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