Wow – some good news out of Washington D.C. for the Foothill Extension project, which will extend the current Gold Line from Pasadena for 11.5 miles to the Azusa/Glendora border. It’s great news because transit planners are always fretting — rightfully — on how to solve the “first mile-last mile” issue of getting people to and from rail stations.
Here’s the email from Habib Balian, CEO of the Foothill Extension Construction Authority:
FTA [Federal Transit Administration] officials have confirmed that a multi-year federal grant totaling approximately $6 million was appropriated for bus/pedestrian interface enhancements around the future Gold Line stations from Arcadia to Azusa by Congress. This latest grant was supported by federal Representatives David Dreier and Adam Schiff, and augments a previous $3 million grant to study how such enhancements would be integrated into the station areas. We thank Representatives Dreier and Schiff for supporting these opportunities for the project.
To date, the grant has resulted in a detailed study of the existing bus, bike and pedestrian routes around each of the future stations with the goal of supporting Gold Line riders arriving to the stations without the use of an automobile. The remaining funds will now be made available for design and construction of real improvements on nearby streets and other areas around the stations to enhance intermodal connections for future riders. These types of enhancements are aimed at improving the overall transit experience in order to make transit riders feel comfortable and safe as they access stations on foot, bus or bicycle.
Over the next few months the Authority will coordinate with corridor cities and design into the Foothill Extension allowable improvements that include such things as new bus shelters and benches, pedestrian lighting, street trees, bike lockers and racks, new sidewalks and new crosswalks. Attached is an announcement released today about the grant.
Finally, I am providing a link to a five minute grade-crossing video produced by the Authority to explain how we are designing at-grade crossings from Pasadena to Azusa to maximize safety for the general public and service reliability for train riders. The video highlights the safety equipment and state of the art technology being designed into each of the nearly two dozen at-grade crossings.
The Journey Continues,
Habib F. Balian
Construction is underway on the Foothill Extension, which is funded by the Measure R sales tax increase approved by voters in 2008.