Grassroots Pasadena Organization Launches Traffic and Transportation Survey, Draws Criticism

Published : Thursday, October 10, 2019 | 5:39 AM

A grassroots Pasadena organization formed last year to fight a road diet plan for East Orange Grove Boulevard has issued a public survey about local traffic and transportation issues.

The 23-question survey by Keep Pasadena Moving asks respondents their opinion on transportation issues, including how funding should be spent, concerns about public transit, their opinion of plans for a two-way bike lane on Union Street and removing a lane from Arroyo to Hill Avenue.

“Keep Pasadena Moving is doing the survey to find out exactly what Pasadena residents want in terms of their transportation ideas,” said Frank Duerr of Keep Pasadena Moving. “I think the survey also covers things that the public doesn’t really know about.”

The survey may be seen online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Z6G66PQweb.

“We work cooperatively to discuss alternatives for transportation design with another voice that transportation departments usually don’t hear,” Duerr added, “and where data is put to good use on improved safety measures.”

According to Keep Pasadena Moving, the survey will be used for future discussion with Pasadena City leaders, the Pasadena Department of Transportation, the Pasadena Transportation Advisory Commission, news media, neighborhood associations, and other stakeholders.

Critics claim the survey is biased.

“I appreciate the opportunity to weigh in on an issue that I care about and that is a life or death issue for my family,” said Jason Neville, who recently moved to Pasadena.

The father of two didn’t realize how dangerous the streets were until he started commuting his daughter to school on his bike in Pasadena.

“I thought there were some questions that were more or less objective, but I thought that there were several questions that were clearly biased and sort of a leading question, which is not unsurprising given the organization’s agenda to oppose most improvements to make streets safer.”

Neville and other critics pointed to the second question on the survey which asks readers what they don’t like about public transportation and gives 16 answers that critics say are designed to prompt a negative response.

The survey does not ask for respondents problems with driving, however.

“We hope that the recently formed local chapter of Keep Los Angeles Moving understands that a growing number of Pasadena residents who are not in their target audience want our local streets to be more walkable, more bikeable, and safer for everyone, and we invite them to work with us to find ways to move Pasadena forward — not backwards — for our diverse communities,” said officials with Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition.

“At the end of the day, the city needs to make policy decisions regarding infrastructure based on facts, data and proven methods which have been used both nationally and internationally to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries. We look forward to working with new voices to make our streets safer.”

The survey comes as Pasadena faces a spurt of several new transportation projects. Metro and state officials are spending millions of dollars across the state to improve traffic flow.

Last month, Metro allocated $137 million for road and transportation projects in Pasadena. The majority of the funds, $125 million, will be dedicated to a Gold Line grade separation project.

But the traffic reduction efforts are not always welcomed by local residents.

The City faced backlash last year over a road diet plan to reduce a 1.8 mile stretch on Orange Grove Boulevard between Allen Avenue to Sierra Madre Villa Avenue from two traffic lanes in each direction to one, while adding a turn lane running down the center of the street and two bicycle lanes along the sides of the street.

The plan was scrapped in January.

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