Readers’ comments: November 3, 2023
Towne Avenue improvements create safety hazard
I am very concerned about the safety aspects in reference to the ongoing construction on Towne Avenue at the intersection of Towne and Briarcroft. On the east side of Towne a pedestrian protrusion has been built to extend into the bicycle lane and within inches of the number two northbound lane. At this time only cones mark the protrusion. I am assuming the curbing will be painted yellow for caution.
This is not good for bicycles or vehicles. Bicycles will have to leave the safety of the bicycle lane to navigate around the protrusion.
Vehicles including cars and trucks could hit the protrusion and cause a vehicle to lose control and the results could be a serious accident. Pedestrians using the protrusion waiting at the crossing are in danger of being hit by a northbound vehicle or bicycle.
I urge the engineers consider removing the pedestrian sidewalk protrusion. I am including a photo taken while parked in the bicycle lane.
City: cancel Mountain Avenue project
It is curious how government entities always come up with cutesy names for things that are just colossally stupid. Like the “Inflation Reduction Act,” “complete streets,” or “road diets.”
And such is the case with the City of Claremont’s Mountain Avenue project, which is also colossally stupid, and is being pushed by a tiny minority of people, folks who want all of us to become permanent pedestrians or bicyclists.
But let’s consider each of those two groups:
Pedestrians: well, they need sidewalks. Okay, we already have sidewalks. Check.
Bicyclists: well, the overwhelming vast majority of people do not want to be out bicycling. The next time you are driving down Foothill Boulevard, count the number of bicyclists you see using those multimillion-dollar Class 4 bicycle lanes the city just installed. I guarantee you your grand total will be zero.
Yet here we go again. Our city government now wants to mess up Mountain Avenue as well, all for the benefit of nonexistent bicyclists.
I have a better idea: cancel the Mountain Avenue project. We don’t need it!
But the city will tell us this project is required by its general plan. Yeah, well, about that general plan …
When Pomona College wanted to build its monstrosity on College Avenue eight years ago, our city council completely ignored the general plan. It also ignored the municipal code and the Village Design Plan that was invoked by the municipal code and the general plan.
The moral of this story?
The general plan is there to be either ignored, or invoked, depending solely upon which is more convenient for our city government at any particular point in time, based upon what they want to do.
Please, City of Claremont, cancel this ill-conceived, expensive, and pointless Mountain Avenue project.
City should consider birds when pruning trees
Claremont’s trees are essential habitat for birds, providing forage for many species and nesting sites to brood their eggs and raise their young. It was disturbing to discover that the Claremont Tree Policies and Guidelines Manual does not specify a time frame for pruning city or private property trees.
Urban birds are under many threats and challenges to survival now including predation by cats, use of rodenticides, and window strikes. Destroying active nests through inappropriately timed pruning during nesting season is a cruel practice that pushes them further to extirpation from urban areas.
Most tree trimmers for hire are not qualified to make decisions regarding the protection of birds. Claremont needs to give the birds a break and mandate that pruning cannot be done in nesting season.
Thompson is a board member of the Pomona Valley Audubon Society.