Home / Success for Safer Streets in NW Pasadena!


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!