Sunday, April 18, 2010

More Arroyo Seco Parkway Updates

Below is a photoshop rendering of the median and side barrier proposed by Caltrans:
All photographs are courtesy of Martha Benedict. This is a current photo of the existing condition on the same stretch of freeway:

Poppies along the parkway...

Historic Curb on the Avenue 43 offramp.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Arroyo Seco Parkway Progress or Preservation?

It's time to blog about what is happening on the Arroyo Seco Parkway, the Parkway "Improvements" and the preservation impacts to this Historic Scenic Byway. Anyone who drives on the 110 Freeway from Pasadena to Los Angeles has seen the construction activity. The surrounding communities of Highland Park, Garvanza, Hermon, Mt. Washington and Montecito Heights have expressed serious concern over the proposed "improvements" to the scenic byway, but our concerns have mostly fallen on the deaf ears of Caltrans.

Since construction began in November 2009, a number of hot issues have arisen from Caltrans's insensitivity to the character-defining features of the freeway. Indigenious Western Sycamore Trees were slated for removal in the name of saving the historic curb.... Then days later, HPHT Board Member, Steve Crouch found original curb material of the Arroyo Seco Parkway next to the northbound Bridewell exit in the staging area. Photographer Martha Benedict, who sits on the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council took these images which show an original stamp "Haddock Contractors LTD, 1940". This is historic material that was not supposed to be removed for the barrier project but obviously has and is on it's way out.

On Thursday April 15th, our underserved community received a small victory in our battle to preserve the parkway. Assemblymember Anthony Portantino called on Caltrans to investigate urgent concerns about the Arroyo Seco Parkway upgrade. He has asked Caltrans District Director Michael Miles to address the problems with the community's input before any irrevocable steps occur. See his letter to Caltrans.