Eagle Rock residents and stakeholders gathered around six tables scattered with laminated diagrams of Colorado Boulevard, note-taking materials and their suggestions for a better, safer road Thursday night.
Approximately 50 people turned out for Take Back the Boulevard’s second public meeting held at the in an effort to transform Eagle Rock’s busiest street into a main corridor that suits a medley of travelers and gives pedestrians and bicyclists the right of way.
“We will begin as a community to try and articulate the changes we would like to see,” said Bob Gotham, chair of (The Eagle Rock Association).
Colorado Boulevard was broken up into four different sections for group discussion, from Avenue 64 to the Glendale Freeway entrance, and those in attendance chose an area of the roadway they were most interested
At the first TBTB public meeting, which took place in September 2011 and attracted about 100 people, the presentation shed light on numerous changes that could be made to Colorado Boulevard to better serve the surrounding community. Thursday night’s meeting was much more hands-on.
Community members at each table examined various views of present-day Colorado Boulevard, bounced ideas off each other, pinpointed areas of concern and marked diagrams with features that could be added or subtracted to improve the busy street.
Toward the end of the workshop, each of the four sub-groups presented the ideas they came up with.
Here’s how the groups were divided: Area 1:Glendale Freeway to Eagle Rock Boulevard; Area 2: Eagle Rock Boulevard to Argus Drive; Area 3: Argus Drive to Dahlia Drive; Area 4: Dahlia Drive to Ave 64/Pasadena City Limit.
Val Zavala, a KCET anchor who lives in Eagle Rock, brainstormed with one of two groups working on Area 4. Zavala’s group liked the idea of implementing "bulbouts," which widening the curb at specific points by jutting out into the street, and creating a bike lane along this section of the boulevard.
Sub-group 3 was also pro-bulbouts, in favor of more trees and adding a crosswalk in the vicinity of Trader Joe’s. The group also suggested implementing textured crosswalks such as those that can be found in nearby Pasadena, because they are more pedestrian-friendly.
“Initially, I wasn’t so sure that we would come up with a lot of ideas about what could happen, but hearing the councilmember with his support and monetarily, I’m very confident that things are going to happen,” TBTB steering committee member Brian Cawley said.
There were mixed views from at least two different groups regarding the widening of existing sidewalks because of budget concerns. More
attractive bus shelters and a better shared parking plan were among other
changes community members would like implemented.
Paul Habib, planning and transportation director in the office of , addressed the crowd prior to breaking off into groups. According to Habib, Huizar supports the efforts of TBTB and is committed to finding the funding to implement as many changes as possible on Colorado Boulevard.
During the overview of TBTB’s planning process, Jeff Jacobberger, an urban planner with Civic Enterprise Associates and a TBTB steering committee member, showed attendees the various options for Colorado Boulevard’s future and revealed costs for a handful of them.
Prices included $300,000 per block to narrow existing medians and $30,000 per mile to add a new bike lane.
According to Zenay Loera, the , said as the process continues, materials from each meeting will be collected to assist in the planning process.
“That’s why we’re here tonight—they’re going to figure out what’s priority for them," Loera said. "As the city has the ability and finds the funding, we can implement what those priorities are.”
She added: “It’s a long-term process—it’s not going to happen overnight. There’s no estimates on the time it will take to start and complete the project until we have a final report.”
TERA's Gotham said there is no date set for the group’s next meeting. He did, however, say that based on the pace at which the previous two meetings took place, it will most likely be in four to five months.
Looking ahead, Gotham said, “I think the most challenging goal will be to develop a recommendation for the boulevard which is truly reflective of what the community wants to see.”