Readers comments 4-29-16
Disaster at the Depot
It occurs to me that sometimes in an attempt to alter the Village so that it becomes more of a destination, the needs of the citizens are overlooked.
Yesterday I went to the Claremont Depot to renew my Senior TAP card, which allows me to use Foothill Transit and Metro Rail at reduced rates. The doors were locked. A public notice was posted indicating that the Depot was closed for remodeling and would reopen as an art museum.
The notice further indicated that transit passes are currently available at city hall, so I walked there, only to find that the staff has the ability to sell regular TAP cards and load funds onto them, but cannot issue senior/disabled cards. Apparently, anyone who needs a senior/disabled card must now find their way to the Foothill Transit Center, located at the depot in downtown Pomona, in order to obtain one.
So now, public transportation has become more inaccessible.
Additionally, since the Claremont Depot is now closed, the notice also included a map of five “Nearby public restrooms,” one as far away as Mallows Park! Travelers who wait for the Metrolink to Union Station in Los Angeles, many with backpacks and some with luggage, will now have a bit of hike to find a restroom. So now, public transportation has become more inconvenient.
Whose idea was this?
I found myself disappointed and saddened by the wishful thinking in the public comments about the proposed museum which influenced the city council decision to approve the Pomona College Master Plan EIR.
Wishful thought #1: The museum will be world-class. MOCA and the Metropolitan are world-class museums; ones run by small colleges as teaching facilities do not have the resources to be, although they may be good of their kind.
Wishful thought #2: It will bring business into the Village. Since Pomona has stated that it doesn’t plan any new programs, and that it doesn’t foresee any problem with parking, they aren’t expecting many visitors. So how would this improve business?
Wishful thought #3: It won’t affect the residential feel of the west side of College Avenue. Now, you can see across the street. With a 35,000-square-foot, 30-foot-tall museum covering the block, that view will be gone. The gentle transition from town to gown, which past city councils and citizens worked hard to maintain, will become an abrupt wall, with Pomona College unmistakably marking its territory.
Wishful thought #4: The architectural commission will ensure that the residential feel of the street isn’t changed. The commission can make sure that the building isn’t ugly, but it can’t reduce the size or mass to that of a Victorian house.
So here is my wishful thinking:
Wouldn’t it be nice if the comments of those who have concerns about college development projects were paid just as much attention as the statements of the proponents?
Wouldn’t it be good if EIRs were written in an unbiased fashion and if they adequately analyzed all the effects of a project and all the feasible alternatives rather that just the ones that the developer wanted analyzed?
And wouldn’t it be good to base decisions on clear-eyed assessment rather than on wishes?
Susan M. Schenk