The City Council Monday unanimously approved a wishlist of transportation projects to replace construction of an overpass to ease east-west traffic congestion caused by the trains crossing California Boulevard, after that project was deemed impractical and nixed.
Canceling the Metro L (Gold) Line Grade Separation, funded by Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (Metro) Measure R Mobility Improvement Project (MIP), freed up millions of dollars Pasadena can use for other projects.
Two years ago, Metro authorized the use of $230.5 million Measure R MIP for the construction of the Metro L Line Grade Separation to alleviate traffic congestion on local arterials in the State Route 710 North. In October 2021, the City Council however decided not to proceed with the project after it found that the project’s costs and potential impacts outweigh the identified need and potential benefits.
Out of a total of 19 proposed projects to be carried out in lieu of the Metro L Line California Grade Separation project, the staff identified 11 priority projects which include Pasadena Avenue and St. John Avenue Roadway Network, Avenue 64 Complete Street Program, Transportation Operations and Maintenance Facility, Columbia St., Orange Grove Boulevard at Colorado Boulevard and Orange Grove Boulevard at Holly St., San Rafael Avenue, Gold Line At-Grade Crossing Enhancements, Continental Crosswalks, Orange Grove Mobility Improvement Program, Greenways and SR710/SR134/l-210 Ramp Modifications.
Non-priority projects include the l-210 Connected Corridors Expansion, Zero Emission Buses and Charging Infrastructure, Bus Stop Enhancements, and the Arroyo Link.
“Our intent in prioritizing the projects is really to underscore to them (Metro) the projects we think most closely align with both their funding criteria as well as our local city goals,” Transportation Director Laura Cornejo told members of the City Council.
During its meeting, the City Council approved the 19 recommended projects and added another project in the priority list; the 12th priority project would be the Arroyo Link.
With the approval of City Council, the list will now be submitted to Metro for consideration of funding in lieu of the California Boulevard Grade Separation project.
Ultimately, the Metro Board will have the final determination as to which projects get funded.
If Metro decides not to fund any of the projects because it is not feasible or there is no community support, among a number of reasons, the city will need to go back to Metro and ask them to reallocate the funding towards other projects, according to Cornejo.