Readers comments 1-24-20
Matt Magilke criticizes the city’s release of funds to upgrade the Depot suggesting that it is a piece of governmental corruption. The criticism is not warranted.
Proposition C, passed in 1990, provides jurisdictions within LA County to improve transportation facilities of all sorts. Claremont wrote a grant proposal in 2016 to Metro (the organization charged with dispersing Prop C monies) for funding to bring parts of the Depot up to seismic and disability standards. That proposal was accepted and the city awarded more than $300,000 for the project.
In other words, the agency charged with deciding whether proposals met the criteria for awards and for deciding between competing requests for funding found both that Claremont’s proposal met the aims of Prop C for transportation improvements and further decided that, with respect to competing proposals, Claremont’s was ranked high enough for approval. There was not the slightest piece of governmental corruption in that.
The city has had control of the money since 2017. There is a three-year deadline for using the funds allocated or they must be returned to the granting agency. That three-year deadline is approaching, and so the city, with contracts let, released the funds for the project. That is what Mr. Magilke also thinks to be a piece of mis-government. It clearly isn’t.
Why would the city and Metro both think that bringing the Depot up to standards while it currently has no transportation function is worthy of spending money on? Because the Depot has a continuing possibility of transportation use. Its existence and possible future use is part of transportation planning. That being so, there is a need to maintain it.
Our city council is to be thanked for its intelligent piece of foresight and planning for the Depot project.
Details about the Depot
In his letter titled “Depot Delusion,” Matt Magilke claims that the old Claremont Depot is currently not being used for transit purposes and thus, should not be eligible for Prop C transportation funds.
However, it is my understanding that though the building currently houses the Claremont Museum of Art, it also houses the electrical system for the entire transit center. If I am mistaken, I hope someone corrects me.
Pamela Casey Nagler
Concerning his wordy philippic last week: Joe Lyons doth protest too much, methinks.
Claremont power elite
I read with interest Joe Lyons’ opinion piece on Claremont civic life in the January 10 COURIER. It encapsulates perfectly the belief by the people who would like to run the city that the rest of us should just get with the program and embrace their vision.
Each person who opposed the two police station funding elections and the latest sales tax increase probably had his or her own reasons, but I believe that nearly all of them voted no, at least in part, because they don’t trust the city or the city council to run the city efficiently or well. This may be because of the water company debacle or the city’s perceived continuing lack of transparency or other failures of governance through the years.
Whatever the reasons, this lack of trust needs to be acknowledged and addressed. I’m not sure how to fix the problem, but I am quite sure that further iteration of somebody’s notion of “civic life” in the echo chamber of the Claremont power elite is not going to do it.
I have to also say that maligning and shaming people who disagree with this received wisdom will probably not do it, either; come to think of it, such behavior doesn’t really comport with the notion of civility at all.
No bikes on sidewalk
Ever since the good city of Claremont built the sidewalks on Foothill Boulevard between Mills Avenue and Indian Hill Boulevard, it has been a pleasure to walk on it, especially in the evening. The sidewalk is wide and the new landscaping is attractively done.
But there is a problem.
The city assigned a chunk of the street width to be a bike lane. And this is good–although some residents may not agree with me. The bike lane runs parallel to the sidewalk on both sides of the street. The bike lane is wide and is clearly demarcated by a flowerbed. So why do the cyclists use the sidewalk for their bikes? Are they blind or just too lazy to use the bike lanes?
If they were small school kids they might be excused, but these individuals are grownups. A grownup who uses a sidewalk to ride his bike is, in my opinion, a thoughtless idiot who should be ticketed.
If I see a cyclist coming in front of me, I keep to one side to let him pass me because I don’t want him to collide with me. But I do not have eyes on the back of my head, so when someone comes very fast from behind without any warning (such as “coming through” or “excuse me”) that is frightening and makes me angry.
Often when I walk, I am concentrating deeply and looking downward. When someone suddenly whizzes by me without a warning, I am startled. That’s not fair. He is invading my space and he could cause me or a walker to have a heart attack.
Can the city do anything about this situation? The city spent a great deal of money and time to add the bike lane, but it left open the door for inconsiderate cyclists to use the sidewalk. Would it be possible to post signs urging such idiots to use the bike lane—and leave the sidewalk for pedestrians? (Sign suggestion: “bike lane” for bikes; “sidewalk” for those who walk.)
I also urge the city to pass an ordinance to penalize cyclists for using the sidewalk. That may be the only solution to this problem. Thank you for listening.