Claremont Insider: Saturday in Pomona

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday in Pomona

Today is the second Saturday of the month, and that means Artwalk time in Pomona's Arts Colony in downtown Pomona. The 2nd Saturday Artwalk starts at 6pm tonight. You can find a map and more information here.

* * * * *

If you're thinking of taking the 71 Freeway any time soon, you may want to find an alternate route. The Daily Bulletin tells us that the city of Pomona's Public Works Department has begun a $44 million construction project that will remake the intersection of the 71 and Mission Blvd.

The main portion of the project will be a bridge to carry traffic on Mission over the 71, eliminating the traffic light there. If you've ever tried to get through there during the morning or afternoon commute, you know that remove a major bottleneck. The construction area has been a mess for quite a while with Pomona having to construct bypass roads before the bridge work could begin.

The 71 and Ninth St. intersection is another bottleneck that has been reconfigured. You'll no longer be able to turn left from either direction on Ninth, and you can't get onto Ninth from the 71. The Bulletin article said it's unclear as to whether or not that's a permanent change. Residents off Ninth St. on either side of the 71 are no doubt unhappy about that part of the transit makeover.

It's equally uncertain what economic benefit, if any, the area will derive from the project. According to the article:
An economic study of the impact the improvements will have on the area has not been done recently, but will be done as part of the update of the city's general plan, said Raymond Fong, director of the city's redevelopment agency.

"We're still a year away from the the Mission-71 being completed and in an economy that is not indicating a boom" is close by, he said.

After the general plan is updated, the city can go forward with an economic strategy for the city. As part of that strategy, special attention will be given to the prominent city corridors including areas such as Mission and the 71 area, he said.

The area around the 71-Mission intersection has been overlooked for quite a while, though at one time certain politicians apparently thought it was a great backdrop for campaign photos.