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.
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.
Benefits of People-Friendly Alternative 3 (incomplete list)
- Temple City is only 4 square miles and flat, ideal for walking and biking for short trips.
- Proposed safety improvements such as shorter crossing distances and high-visibility crosswalks will make walking and riding a bike more viable for residents of all ages, with benefits to community physical and mental health.
- A more walk and bike-able community will encourage residents to patronize local businesses, rather than those outside City limits.
- Class II Bike Lanes will decrease sidewalk cycling and increase safety for people on bikes.
- Narrower lane widths will reduce speeding and increase safety for EVERYONE (e.g., research shows that danger increases significantly with speed - pedestrians struck by automobiles driving 40mph have an 85% chance of dying; at 30mph fatalities drop to about 45%; and at 20mph only 5%.)
- Back-In Angled Parking (video) would 1) increase safety for motorists entering/exiting parking spaces and people on bikes (e.g., eliminates risk of “dooring” - collision when door of parked car opens in front of oncoming cyclist); 2) add additional, convenient, storefront parking; 3) Be easier and faster than parallel parking with benefits to traffic flow; and 4) Provide more separation between moving traffic and pedestrians.
-------------------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:
- Wider sidewalks
- Shorter, protected pedestrian crossings
- New pedestrian crossings on long blocks
- Back-in angled parking
- Buffered bicycle lanes
- Narrower travel lane widths
- New street trees for parkways and center medians
- Bus stop improvements
- Public art