Monday May 8th was a great example of how organizing in Pasadena can lead to real progress for people's safety and well-being.
About a year ago, the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition was approached by a group of people, led by Jill Shook, known as the North Fair Oaks Empowerment Initiative. The group included local residents and churches on Fair Oaks between Washington and the city limit with Altadena, and had already done some legwork in the form of a community survey. As many of the issues of concern discovered in the survey results revolved around the street itself - safety, speeding, not enough pedestrian customers for businesses - the group reached out to PasCSC for assistance.
PasCSC volunteers then worked with the North Fair Oaks team to develop a one-day training on Complete Streets, which happened on July 23, 2016. The training included speakers from the City and County, as well as a placemaking exercise based on a sample from the Project for Public Spaces. The event was small but successful, and it spurred further action by the community. The North Fair Oaks team, led by Janet Randolph and Jill Shook, did all the subsequent organizing, and also did a walking tour in the fall with Council Member Tyron Hampton.
Next, the North Fair Oaks team made requests through Pasadena's public Capital Improvement Program (CIP) process which is held every November. They followed their requests with presentations to the Northwest Commission and to the Transportation Advisory Commission in February and March, both of which voted to recommend changes to the staff list of projects to include the group's requests to make the N. Fair Oaks safer for everyone.
On Monday May 8th, some (not all) of those changes were included on the recommended final CIP budget that was adopted by the Pasadena City Council, after an initial presentation on April 24th. There was a lot of testimony (and on April 24th) in support of the projects, both praising the actions that were recommended, but also saying they didn't go far enough. Council Member Kennedy proposed an amendment to fully fund one of crosswalks that had been approved but not funded in the CIP for FY 2017-18, for $265,000, so that it will be built this fiscal year. It passed unanimously!