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2019: Remembering Aidan Tam and Phillip O'Neill

May 27, 2019

Editor’s Note: The following pieces were originally written for our May 28, 2019 newsletter. You can subscribe to that newsletter here.

Remembering Aidan Tam

A flyer asking people to enjoy a boba drink on May 31, 2019 in memory of Aidan Tam. #Boba4Aidan

Five years ago this month, a turning driver hit and killed 7 year old Aidan Tam in Pasadena. His family was forever changed. Aidan loved boba, and today, #Boba4Aidan honors his life and everyone impacted by preventable traffic deaths.

To raise awareness, SoCal Families for Safe Streets and Los Angeles Walks ask you to enjoy a boba drink this Friday, May 31, and post it on social media with the hashtags #Boba4Aidan, #Stop4Aidan, and #CrashNotAccident.

PasCSC plans to leave a commemoration in Aidan’s honor at the intersection of Hill Ave & Colorado Blvd on the evening of May 31. (Please see our Facebook page for additional details when they are posted). All are welcome.

Remembering Phillip O’Neill

Phillip O’ Neill would have been 31 this year. His death on Pasadena’s streets six years ago this June 15 ripped a hole in the lives of his family and friends that has never completely healed. Like so many families of the tens of thousands of victims of traffic violence in America every year, their lives go on, but they bear witness to the pain of loss.

Phillip’s death—like that of so many victims of traffic violence—was unnecessary and most likely preventable with safer road design that lowers motor vehicle speed and creates safe space for people on bikes and on foot. The stretch of Del Mar where he died remains unimproved and dangerous for bike riders and pedestrians, as do many other streets in Pasadena.

The death of Phillip O’Neill and others in Pasadena was a major motivation behind the formation of the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition, and every June 15 we rededicate ourselves to the task of making Pasadena’s streets safer and healthier for all. We will not forget and we will not be silent. Join with us as we continue the fight for safe streets for all.

-tribute written by John Lloyd

Tags: memorials, stop4aidan, why we work


Success for Safer Streets in NW Pasadena!

May 9, 2017

Yesterday (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 residents, business owners, and churches on Fair Oaks Ave. between Washington Blvd. and Woodbury Rd., who are working together as the North Fair Oaks Empowerment Initiative to transform their community. In the process of surveying community residents’ hopes and dreams, they found that many of their concerns revolved around the street itself - safety, speeding, not enough pedestrian customers for businesses - and 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 featured speakers from the City of Pasadena and the County of LA, and included a hands-on exercise to look for placemaking opportunities (adapted from the Project for Public Spaces). The small but successful event spurred further action by the community.  The North Fair Oaks team, led by Janet Randolph and Jill Shook, followed up with all of the community organizing to identify and rally support for improvements, including co-hosting a walking tour in the fall with District 1 Council Member Tyron Hampton.

In November, the North Fair Oaks team made requests through Pasadena’s public Capital Improvement Program (CIP) process. 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 include the group’s requests to make the N. Fair Oaks safer for everyone in City staff’s list of projects.

On Monday, May 8th, some of those requests were included on the recommended final CIP budget that was adopted by the Pasadena City Council. There was a lot of testimony at the meeting (and at a previous meeting 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 the crosswalks that had been approved, but not funded, for FY 2017-18. It passed unanimously and will be built this fiscal year!

Tags: community, NFO


2016 Retrospective

December 30, 2016

Happy New Year, everyone! As we move on to 2017, we thought we’d take a look back at 2016 to remember where we’ve been and what we’ve done. July 2016 marked the beginning of our third year as a coalition, and while that in itself is a reason to celebrate…we’re surprised and proud to see how much we actually accomplished in this past year, with little more than our enthusiasm, the past two years of experience, and sheer determination. A short selection of our activities:

Placemaking: Parklets!

We made a parklet…and then we made another.

On September 16th and October 21st, we transformed curbside public parking spaces into parklets, creating temporary public parks to mark PARK(ing) Day and Pasadena’s Art Night. Our purpose was to invite passers-by to question and re-imagine how we use our publicly-owned spaces, and to demonstrate how much fun, creativity, and community participation can happen in the square footage and 2 hours that we normally use to store a car.

The highlight of our September 16 parklet was a visit (and performance) by Kodama Taiko of the Pasadena JACCC! A taiko drumming group performs in a park made from a standard parking space

Bike to Work Day

On May 19, we hosted a pit stop at the Arroyo Food Co-Op in support of all folks who chose to celebrate Bike to Work Day (by biking to work, of course!) In addition to handing out homemade scones, fruit, energy bars, bike lights, and other treats, we invited visitors to share their thoughts on ideas for beautifying the nearby Wilson Avenue overpass with art and greenery.

CicLAvia Feeder Rides

The only thing better than being able to comfortably bike to an Open Streets event is riding with friends, and thanks to new member Colin, we made it to the last two CicLAvias of this year with ample time to enjoy both events! With 18 scheduled events in 2017, including the rescheduled and much-anticipated 626 Golden Streets in our own backyard, we hope you’ll have a chance to bike, walk, or ride with us this year!

Walktober Tours

For Walktober, the Coalition sponsored two excellent and well-attended walks. On October 15, Pasadena CSC sponsored a Public Art Tour of Pasadena by Meriel Stern, Arts and Culture Commissioner.  About 20 people enjoyed learning more about Pasadena’s public art, with an emphasis on ceramics. On October 22, Pasadena CSC sponsored a Pasadena Architecture tour. Local architect Wade Frazier led an extensive walking tour through Madison Heights and Caltech.  The tour was especially well-attended with over 35 attendees (including 3 dogs!)

A large group of people on a walk

Photo: Wade Frazier leads a group through an architecture tour of Madison Heights.

North Fair Oaks

The North Fair Oaks Empowerment Initiative is a team of neighbors, businesses, and local advocates working to build people power and a safer environment - including a more complete street along N Fair Oaks between Woodbury and Howard. Together, we planned and held a community Complete Streets workshop on July 23. Staff members from Pasadena DoT, Public Works, and Planning presented the Complete Streets concepts and briefed the community how to engage the city in the improvements. CSC volunteers led attendees on a “walking audit” to identify and come up with concrete ideas for change. We’re excited to see the team moving forward with their ideas! Photo: N. Fair Oaks community members conduct a walking audit at the corner of N Fair Oaks and Montana.

Memorials for Alan Deane, Phillip O’Neill, and the World Day of Remembrance

Bicycling and walking are fun, healthy and sustainable modes of transportation, and we strongly believe that everyone should be able to ride and walk in comfort and safety. Unfortunately, too often people who walk and bike are vulnerable to collisions with people driving cars.  As we move towards the goal of Vision Zero for Pasadena, we remember those we have lost.  We held memorials for two Pasadena cyclists that were killed in the past five years (Phillip O’Neill and Alan Deane) and we held Pasadena’s first Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on a rainy November 20th evening at City Hall.

Candles and photos are arranged at a vigil for victims of traffic crashes

Be a part of the action in 2017!

If you love bikes, buses, trains, or walking, and are looking for a way to make a positive difference where you live, consider joining us this year! We engage in a wide range of activities, so with any luck, you’ll find something that interests you. Whether you ride a bike, bus, skateboard, or car; whether you spend your days at school, work, or home; whether you’re a seasoned professional or a curious beginner… if you have a passion for learning, growing a community, and working toward safer streets in Pasadena, you’ll find a home with us.


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