Due to rising costs, vehicular traffic will return to the Rose Loop on May 27.
At Monday’s City Council meeting, Brenda Harvey Williams reported that extra costs associated with closing the loop to vehicular traffic caused the price to soar from a projected $43,000 a month to a whopping $145,000 a month.
“On Wednesday when the loop opened police and fire required more safety measures which required the monthly cost to climb to $145,000 directly in the opposite direction than council wanted,” Harvey Williams told the City Council.
The extra costs came from emergency barricades and equipment needed to pedestrian safety and emergency vehicle access. Those protocols have to be in place 24 hours a day. The original cost estimate had the protocols in place from 5 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.
Williams told the council that the number of people actually using the loop was “significantly lower than anticipated.”
According to a previous staff report, more than 2,000 people typically use the loop daily.
But only about 2,500 people have visited the loop since it reopened last Wednesday, about 1,000 of those people were there on Sunday.
“I was surprised by the lack of activity, I thought there was going to be a huge surge,” Tornek said.
Staff will continue to monitor the loop.
Visitors also tended to use the curbs and walkways around the Rose Bowl rather than spreading out into the open streets, said Williams.
The Council eventually accepted the staff recommendation to reopen the loop area to vehicular traffic and re-opening the parking lots, while still encouraging mask usage and social distancing, after Memorial Day Weekend.
Mayor Tornek asked Williams why the City was even waiting to re-open the loop to traffic, considering the cost.
‘We could just open it back up tomorrow,” he said. The Council eventually agreed with the staff recommendation to re-open the Loop and parking areas on May 27.