Readers comments 2-14-20
Walking trail on Foothill
After reading Kurt Bumiller’s letter in last week’s COURIER regarding the removal of vegetation in the parkway on the south side of Foothill between Berkeley and Mountain, I thought I would share how much I have been enjoying this new park-like walkway in our town.
The overgrown mess of invasive trees and shrubs that obscured the beautiful walls securing the residential neighborhood to the south has been transformed into a spacious walking trail, where I can enjoy leisurely evening strolls with my dog.
The trail is wide enough that we can be a comfortable distance from the fast-moving vehicle traffic on Foothill and far enough from the walls so that I don’t have to be annoyed by activities of the residents on the other side.
I would encourage others who have not yet found this area to check it out and enjoy the setting. Of course, for many elderly and those with mobility disabilities it is not be the best choice as the surface can be rather uneven and has a gentle slope—these folks should stick to the north side of Foothill, as they certainly will want to avoid walking in street on the new bikelane even though it is a flat, even surface.
So there I was, showing off my hometown, the fine little city of Claremont, to my sister visiting from Portland. She’s been here before but I wanted her to see the striking new improvements along Foothill Boulevard and she was quite impressed.
Who knew those attractive old walls lurked under all that foliage? And the new median plantings and native rock work are really a nice addition to our lovely town and a great way to welcome to people driving through.
Imagine my shock upon reading Kurt Bumiller’s vitriolic opinion February 7 in which he rails for a half a page about these very same improvements.
I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind finding the current state of Foothill Boulevard as it traverses Claremont “unacceptable” and quoting the EPA, of all agencies, (not to mention the LA Times) to suggest that there is something unhealthful about removing overgrown foliage that concealed who-knows-what is beyond comprehension.
Foothill looks great and the changes are, in my opinion, a huge visual improvement over the dark, overgrown, shaggy growth that formerly choked both sides of the road. I concede there are a few stretches on the north side that currently appear unfinished. Hopefully this is a temporary situation.
It would appear that the trees that were removed held up a back fence or two and now these homeowners, like the rest of us, will have to take some personal responsibility for maintaining their perimeters.
Come on, people. Surely everything in Claremont is not 100 percent negative! Lighten up already and let’s enjoy our beautiful town.
Housing vs. video games
Upon viewing this week’s city council meeting on February 11, I was impressed to see the number of residents who took the initiative of stepping to the podium and advocating for new housing changes in Claremont. Residents were understandably bothered by the council’s lack of concern in changing the unreasonable prices and a limited number of housing units.
Either make it affordable or offer more living space. An increase in volume would not only provide homes for more but would also foster a stable and environmentally sound environment.
More homes closer to peoples’ day to day duties or activities could mean a potential reduction in transportation and, subsequently, harmful emissions. Also, with more living space in Claremont and less reliance on vehicles or public transit, people can actually save a little more money to pay for other expenses or needs (like rent).
To me, it seemed that the council was more concerned with the Village’s social scene (integrating of alcohol-serving movie theaters and video game arcades) than the well-being of their residents.
While the Village may become the new hotspot for nearby college students and social events, these will only have short-term effects. Lower prices and more space for new tenants would provide the city with many more long term benefits. It would more efficiently promote inclusion, comfort, and sustainability in the community while preserving the lively culture of Claremont.
The city has to work to find better ways of fostering community, and that is first done by listening to the people. Lowering housing prices would not only help current tenants who are scraping the ground to find rent money but allow the younger generation to start a new life here.
As older (and/or elderly) residents currently make up a large part of the city, the council needs to start considering the future of Claremont by addressing the needs of new tenants and the younger generations.