To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Monday, August 17, 2015

ACTION ALERT: Pasadena City Council to Consider Final General Plan and Mobility Element - Monday 8/17

After over 8 years of work on the part of City staff, Commissioners, community stakeholders and elected officials, the City of Pasadena is on the verge of adopting a final General Plan, Land Use Element and Mobility Element. The blueprint for the City's development over the next two decades, the new General Plan will influence the scale, siting, and level of future development in the City, as well as the transportation options available to residents.

Of particular interest to PasCSC is the timing of the approval.  Why? Passing the General plan is required for staff to start a “Nexus Study” to amend the City's “Traffic Reduction and Transportation Improvement Fees” (TRTIFs), which developers are required to pay when they pull building permits to construct new buildings. Those fees are supposed to be spent to mitigate the “traffic” or transportation impacts of new development.  Currently the Transportation Improvement Fees cannot be spent on bike or pedestrian projects. They can only be spent on auto and transit improvements.

In order to address this issue, the City's Department of Transportation has to:
  1. Receive a finalized General Plan, including the Mobility Element.
  2. Conduct a “Nexus Study” demonstrating that people on foot and bikes are impacted by new development.
  3. Draft an ordinance amending the current law to allow TRTIFs to be spent on pedestrians and bikes.
  4. City Council has to pass the amended ordinance.

The timing of this process is critical because the developers behind several major projects, including the Parsons/Lincoln Properties project (the largest project ever in Pasadena), will be pulling building permits soon.  And when they do, millions in impact fees will be collected. 
Proposed Bike Improvements - Mobility Element

Take Action

PasCSC encourages all residents to help expedite this process by attending the 8/17 Pasadena City Council meeting and providing public comment and/or contacting the City Clerk, Mayor and your Council Representative and letting them know YOU support more livable, people-friendly streets in Pasadena.  Emails should be sent to the City Clerk, City Manager, Mayor and your Council Member by 4pm Monday 8/17. PasCSC's official comment letter can be viewed below.  

Pas-CSC Comment Letter

August 16, 2015

Re: 8/17 Pasadena City Council Meeting - PasCSC General Plan and Mobility Element Comments

Dear Mayor Tornek, Council Members and Staff,

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition (PasCSC) is committed to improving the safety and efficiency of our streets. Indeed, our founding coalition goals are to:
  1. Facilitate the implementation of “Complete Streets” projects in the City of Pasadena.
  2. Reduce the number of pedestrian-automobile and bicycle-automobile collisions that result in serious injury or death in the City.
  3. Support the City’s Guiding Principle #5 – “Pasadena will be a City where people can safely circulate without cars.”

General Plan Comments
In light of these goals, PasCSC has the following comments on the General Plan and Mobility Element:
  1. PasCSC strongly encourages the Council to adopt a final General Plan and Mobility Element on 8/17 so that a critical nexus study on Traffic Reduction and Transportation Improvement Fees (TRTIFs) can move forward.  At present TRTIFs cannot be spent on pedestrian or bicycle improvements in the City, a historic oversight that has resulted in piecemeal improvements over the past several decades. This is a very time-sensitive matter as several major developments, including the Parsons/Lincoln project, will soon pull building permits, yielding millions in TRTIFs.

  2. PasCSC supports the draft Mobility Element. We support the objectives of enhanced livability, promoting walking, biking, transit and other alternatives to motor vehicles, and creating a supportive climate for economic vitality.  We support the policies listed to achieve the objectives, and we look forward to working with staff to implement these policies, including the Bicycle Transportation Action Plan.

  3. PasCSC supports the Efficient Transportation alternative. Higher density development near transit creates walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods that will generate less automobile traffic.  The EIR suggests that this alternative would reduce environmental impacts in six categories and also Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT).  As a plan for a future that will definitely include climate change, and that will likely include significant changes to how we travel (ride share, on-demand services, and self-driving cars), we feel this is the most progressive and visionary choice.

  4. PasCSC strongly encourages the City to fast-track pedestrian and bicycle improvements in tandem with pending development. In order to mitigate traffic impacts and attract residents to a car-lite/free lifestyle, it will be critical that the City realize planned and pending Complete Streets projects as new residential projects and Metro Bicycle share come online.  

Pasadena CSC is excited about Pasadena’s future as a city known as a great place for walking, biking, and transit, and as a model for livable, people-friendly streets in the region.