Almost three years ago, at a special meeting of the City Council on December 27, 2012, Temple City's elected officials unanimously voted to reinvent Temple City's stagnant downtown by endorsing an ambitious makeover of Las Tunas Drive into a more vibrant, safe and people-friendly business district.
Since then The City's leadership has changed, with a new City Manager and two new Council Members - William Man and Nanette Fish - having inherited the project from their predecessors. The City has also hosted several additional public meetings to gather further input on the Las Tunas Drive revitalization project, including a special meeting on December 1, 2015 that included a non-binding straw-poll. At that meeting, the Council moved 3-1 in favor of Option A, the most transformative (and safest) design alternative which closely mirrors the design unanimously approved by City Council in December 2012.
Council Member William Man, one of two newcomers to the Council who did not participate in the 2012 decision, noted that he had just had his first child, an experience that had already changed how he thought about everything. He recognized that this planning decision was for future generations and decided he wanted to make the city better for his kids and their kids. Mr. Man also acknowledged that many in the audience grew up in a different era and that many younger residents desire a less car-dependent, more active, healthy, and local lifestyle.
Also voting in favor were Council Member Vincent Yu and Council Member Cynthia Sternquist, who shared that this project remains the hardest decision she's had to make in 6 years on Council. The deciding factor for her was the park-poor nature of Temple City - only 2 parks in 4.5 square miles. She also noted that the addition of public space in downtown included in Option A would be the type of big change needed to make downtown Temple City special again. Council Member Nannette Fish, the other recently elected first-term representative, recused herself from the issue, citing her status as a Las Tunas Drive business owner as a potential conflict of interest.
The one dissenting vote was from Mr. Chavez, who questioned whether slow average travel times for automobiles would attract new businesses and whether people on bikes would use Las Tunas as many he has queried have stated they prefer quieter residential streets.
For more info, see the City staff report.
Comments regarding the proposal may be sent to the following addresses:
Benefits of People-Friendly Alternative 3 (incomplete list)
-------------------Template letter (please personalize)----------------------
Temple City Council
9701 Las Tunas Dr.
Temple City, CA 91780
RE: Support for a Safer, More Vibrant Las Tunas
Honorable Mayor, Members of the City Council, and Staff,
As a concerned citizen who [lives/rides/shops] in Temple City, I support your efforts to transform Las Tunas into a vibrant business district easily accessible by foot, bike, public transportation and automobile.
The Council's unanimously adopted 2012 vision for Las Tunas included best practices in street design that would improve the corridor's safety for everyone, especially more vulnerable minors and seniors who are disproportionately the victim of collisions with automobiles in the City. Following through on the below listed improvements would make for a safer, more comfortable downtown with: