Claremont Insider: Traffic Solutions: Walking on the Wild Side

Monday, August 11, 2008

Traffic Solutions: Walking on the Wild Side

We received this in from a reader concerned about students trying to get from the Claremont Graduate University's new student apartment complex on the north side of Foothill Blvd. to the CGU campus on the south side of the often busy highway:

Subject: Claremont Planning: Nobody Walks in L.A., So They Shouldn't Walk Here Either

Hi There,

So sheer planning genius along the lines of Porkchop Park...

CGU finally built new housing for its students to replace the criminal slum lord housing it currently has. The new housing is up against the parking lot of the Rancho Santa Ana Botantic Gardens.

We all assumed that the city would put in a light on Foothill and College, since CGU is on College and a couple hundred students are moving into the apartments on the other side of Foothill, directly across from College. I mean, that would make sense....for the several years I've lived here, I've become accustomed to watching students play Frogger as they dashed for their lives across Foothill to get to the apartments at CST. The only other option was to walk all the way down to Dartmouth and back - which, on a hot day with no shade, is kind of brutal.

I mean...a light, a pedestrian bridge, something...

And then Claremont built an island median thing to prevent people from turning left on Foothill coming out of College. And put rocks all over it so you can't stand on it. And then added No Pedestrian signs. I think they wanted to add a moat and fire breathing dragons, but because of the budget, decided not to.

The city actually thinks that students should walk all the way down to Dartmouth, wait for the light there, take their chances crossing against turning traffic, and walk all the way back? Only in Claremont is the shortest distance between two points....a weird rectangle.

The weird access road that you have to take now is narrow - looks like its a one-way, but will have to have to accommodate two way traffic (even though there's no center divider line).

But hey, at least they put in a bike lane going up to the gardens, right? Except...its on the right side of the road, where there is no lighting.

Seriously, does the city want to kill off students?

here's the link to the housing info:

My favorite bit of ridiculous advertising on there is that the Metrolink is supposedly "within walking distance." Uh-huh. It's over a mile away, including crossing a major road with heavy traffic that doesn't have a freaking crosswalk, light, or pedestrian bridge.


Actually, dear reader, as typically happens with these things, a lot of thought and careful planning went into what you see. The City of Claremont and CGU threw tons of money at a traffic study from Acme Traffic Consultants, the finest traffic minds in the U.S.

The image below is taken from the computerized traffic model tested by Acme. Acme is a division of Acme Products, Inc., the same company the city hired to come up with coyote mitigations for the Claremont Wilderness Park. You might recall their plan to deal with our four-legged friends: Catapulting a large boulder from the highest point in the park until it falls on the unsuspecting coyote, who at the last minute notices the ever-larger shadow growing around him and, realizing his plight, holds up a sign saying, "Bye!"

Click to Enlarge