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Advisory Group Members, Public Want 710 Stub Master Plan to Address Traffic, Jobs and Housing Concerns

Published on Wednesday, May 29, 2024 | 4:17 am

Members of the Reconnecting Communities 710 Advisory Group called for the inclusion of traffic mitigation and economic development plans in the master plan being developed for the SR 710 Northern Stub — the 50 acres of land that was relinquished to the city in 2022.

Earlier this year, the city contracted consultant Perkins Eastman to assist in creating an SR 710 Northern Stub Master Plan. This plan will serve as a guiding document for future developments in the relinquished area, which has no land use or zoning designations to date.

Under the $2.8 million contract, the firm needs to help create a master plan document that will include the following: Community Engagement Strategy, Restorative Justice Framework, Data Collection and Existing Physical Conditions, economic study and Market Demand Analysis, Mobility and Circulation Analysis, Land Use Options, and Climate Resilient Infrastructure Development and Services Plan.

“Traffic can be moved. I’m not saying we shouldn’t move traffic out of this corridor, but it needs to be planned to be moved,” member Cynthia Kurtz said at the Reconnecting Communities 710 Advisory Group meeting held recently. We don’t just put dead-end streets or narrow streets, and walking and biking is great for us, but we have to plan for all those people who come through us because we’re in the middle of the Metropolitan area,” added Kurtz.

“I am really interested in how the mitigation of the traffic is going to be. And when you talked about California, I just kind of cringed because I know with Metro coming through there, how the traffic gets and it’s going to be interesting to see how going down and through there [would be like],” said another member Michelle Richardson Bailey.

Chair Danny Parker suggested there has to be sufficient parking spaces at the site.

“If there’s no onsite parking in sufficient quantity, does that mean hoping that people will walk from the Metro station or does it mean a lot of increased parking on adjacent streets? I think it needs to be part of the analysis. Certainly, it’s way too premature to evaluate or consider how much parking will be on site, but I think that’s a consideration that needs to be front and center in the analysis,” said Parker.

Parker also expressed hopes the master plan will also focus on creating not only job opportunities but career opportunities for the youth and build on what he said is Pasadena’s growing reputation as being “the inland outpost for Silicon Valley South.”

Public commenter Jacob Pierce from Abundant Housing LA and Pasadena resident Mike Canavan urged the master plan framers to address the site’s lack of housing.

“When I think about what I would change about the neighborhood is that it seems very much like a place to go or go through in many cases than a place to stay and make a life,” said Canavan. “So when I think about concentrating on some of the top level goals, whether that’s restorative justice or economic vitality and sustainability, all those things run through creating a space for housing and affordable housing in this land that basically has dropped in our lap.”

“I think reducing car traffic may be part of the best way to build a more affordable, more sustainable community there and affordable housing as well,” said Pierce.

Perkins Eastman’s Vaughan Davies said the plan’s objectives are to enhance safety, minimize the impacts of freeway operations, and facilitate connections and ways across the site, among other things.

“Big suburban developments, office parks and parking lots, obviously not part of the ethos of today and what we see as the future of the city. So that’s going to be a significant change that will happen,” said Davies.

Davies said surrounding neighborhoods that have opposed the 710 stub because of traffic and noise pollution will also benefit from future developments in the area.

“They have an opportunity to be beneficiary sites of what we do. And if we plan this very carefully, the city will undergo an enormous amount of change beyond the 50 acres.”

Making Pasadena an economically vital city and an economically and environmentally sustainable city have been identified among the goals in the creation of the 710 stub master plan, according to Perkins Eastman’s report to the advisory group.

Kate Howe of Perkins Eastman said consultants are still collecting data and understanding the physical site. Workshops for the public are planned for June and July, and the draft documents will be released in August or September.

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