Commissions to review proposed bus stop design

The Traffic and Transportation Commission was scheduled to review locations for new bus shelters throughout Claremont at its meeting February 28, but the meeting got cancelled due to lack of quorum.

The proposed design for the new bus shelters—perforated metal painted green, orange, purple and red—wasn’t well received by members of the Architectural Commission, Claremont Heritage and the general public.

At the February 13 architectural commission (AC) meeting, commissioners expressed concerns with the proposed design.

The city intends to construct four to six shelters, and up to 15 in 10 years, funding permitting, according to local architect John Bohn, who designed the shelters and spoke at the meeting.

Mr. Bohn and the city identified 15 “high priority” sites for the shelters around Claremont—the corners of Bonita and Indian Hill, Harvard and First, First and Columbia, North Cambridge and West Bonita, Vista and Indian Hill, West San Jose and Indian Hill, Indian Hill and Arrow Highway, South Mills and Arrow Highway, North Mills and East First.

The project may be funded from a $40,000 Foothill Transit grant, a $113,525 CalTrans grant, and potentially a $900,000 Federal Transit Fund grant, according to an agenda report for the TTC by interim city engineer Maria Tipping.

The current bus shelters, which are a mix of two designs, are too large to fit in some of the proposed locations and are not complaint with the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to management analyst Cari Dillon, who spoke at the AC meeting February 13. The city says it aims to standardize the shelter design while resolving ADA compliance issues.

However, AC commissioner Scott Horsley said the design “does not look like Claremont,” and does not match the shelters previously approved by the Foothill Master Plan. The bus shelters approved for Foothill are made from  powder-coated aluminum and clear, laminated glass, with solar lighting battery packages and LED lighting.

Further, commission chair Mark Schoeman highlighted that the proposed design does not comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act—an issue with the existing bus shelters the city wants to fix with the new design.

He also took issue with the proposed material—perforated metal—which he said would not protect against rain, making the bus shelters “not a shelter.” He added that the design and “may become an eyesore.”

Mr. Schoeman also expressed concerns about rust, graffiti, and paint degradation, and nighttime visibility.

Commissioner Bob Perry said he “does not agree with the aesthetic,” which “does not have the substance or embody Claremont.”

Claremont Heritage’s board voted unanimously against the proposed shelters and requested the commission not recommend the design, according to Chair John Faranda, who spoke at the meeting. .

David Shearer, who also spoke at the meeting, said the shade study conducted with the proposed design indicated that people using the shelter would be exposed to direct sun “most of the time,” and that the metal could become hot.

Mr. Bohn defended his design at the AC meeting, saying he “is always looking to build on the rich culture without mimicking it” and “believes that public art and infrastructure should be one.”

His proposed design is more cost effective and sustainable than other alternatives, Mr. Bohn added. He said that the tops of the shelters can be replaced with solid metal, rather than perforated, to address concerns about rain.

Mr. Bohn said in his presentation to the commission that he picked the bright colors in his proposal from nature and elements of Claremont’s history.

The design comes in two versions, a full shelter and an umbrella version for smaller stops.

The AC will review the shelter design again at its April meeting after the city decides on exact locations for the proposed shelters.

The Traffic and Transportation Commission is scheduled to meet Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m. in council chambers, 225 W. Second St. The bus stop review previously scheduled for February 28 will not be reviewed by the commission at this meeting, according to Bevin Handel, public information officer.

—Marc Rod

marcrod1297@gmail.com

 

[Editor’s note: This story was updated Monday, March 25. The Traffic and Transporation Commission will not review the number of potential bus stop sites at the Thursday, March 28 meeting.]

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