Saturday, October 6, 2012

You Pave Paradise...


I know! It looks kind of like a golf course, so I forgive you if you mistake it for one. Actually, though, it's a parking lot.

It's in the Arroyo Seco just north of the Rose Bowl Stadium. If you think the Arroyo Seco is a great place for area residents to ride a bike, walk, play soccer, or take their kids swimming or to the Kidspace Museum, once again, I forgive you, because once again, you are incorrect. The Arroyo Seco is off limits to Pasadena residents.

Unless, of course, they have a ticket to the NFL game.

I don't care if you pay taxes. I don't care if you vote. If you don't shell out for that ticket you don't matter around here, so quit yer bellyachin' and go ride yer bike around Victory Park.

That's the scenario, folks. Eight hours before game time, you and your kids and your bike and your soccer ball are out of the Arroyo. It does not belong to us. It belongs to the NFL and thousands upon thousands of cars and people and all the trash and pollution they bring with them. For those who live near the Arroyo, the nightmare of trying to navigate your own street is only the beginning.

We've already rejected this once. Apparently we haven't made ourselves clear and we have to reject it again. A petition, launched by a Caltech professor, is gaining momentum. You can also comment on the EIR but you must do it by Monday. RoseBowlNFLComments@cityofpasadena.net And if you have questions, you can contact Mr. David Sinclair at 626-744-6766.

We can live in our town, or we can sell it.

27 comments:

Paul B said...

Nicer looking parking area than most. The views of local residents are too often taken for granted by those with the power at city and regional level. They forget all to easily who voted them in.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

The power of money once again plays.. I often wonder how the Pasadena residents felt about having people trample, trash the area when the floats for the Rose Bowl Parade are parked... We took the kids once to view the floats and the hundreds of people jockeying for parking spots was a circus... I think your situation is more common than you think- different issue but the bottom line is the same where the people who are really affected are overlooked.

LOLfromPasa said...

I have actually played golf at Brookside Golf Club. You have captured the essence of it beautifully, Petrea. Having that land become a parking lot...well, I can't imagine it. Shouldn't be happening.

Mister Earl said...

Actually, Petrea, although the petition is to keep the NFL out of the Rose Bowl, the reason you currently can't use the area 8 hours before games is UCLA football. It used to be the you could continue to walk and ride around the Bowl much closer to game time. Parking cars on a golf course has always bothered me, especially when it's rainy and muddy. I feel sorry for the golfers who use that course soon after a game.

Mister Earl said...

One time, on the morning of a game, I got a completely cheesy citation for riding my bike through a stop sign. The feeder street that made the stop sign necessary was blocked off with a barrier, so there was no traffic that made it necessary to stop. I think the cops were just bored. As the guy was writing the ticket, a police car did the exact same thing. When I pointed that out, the cop said, "That's different."

Kalei's Best Friend said...

@Mr. Earl: As far as your last comment: "When I pointed that out, the cop said, "that's different'... didn't u know they think they're above the law? (lol)...

Bellis said...

Well put. But Mr. Earl's right, we're already locked out of the entire Central Arroyo 8 hours before a game when UCLA plays, which happens every other Saturday. But it'll be every single Saturday from September on if the NFL plays as well. The Arroyo exclusion time was recently extended to 8 hours before a game (which effectively means an all-day lockout) without any consultation, because one pedestrian refused to move over to let cars past as he was walking round the Rose Bowl loop. One pedestrian, and we're locked out of a huge area of Pasadena for the entire day? And not just near the Rose Bowl - all the side roads leading down to the entire Central Arroyo area are manned with guards stopping cyclists and pedestrians. That's an excessive use of police powers. Does it really take 8 hours to clear the area of those annoying walkers, picnickers and children using the playgrounds? Do cars really start arriving that early before a game, and why should they have priority anyway? The City should immediately put the rights of walkers and cyclists above those of car drivers and change the exclusion time.

If the NFL comes, Kidspace will be closed on one of the only two days on which working parents can take their kids. And those expensive playgrounds in Brookside Park will be empty every Saturday. Is this the price we have to pay to mitigate the horrendous cost overruns of the Rose Bowl renovation?

Petrea Burchard said...

I think generally people love the Tournament of Roses. It's homegrown, home-owned, home-operated, been here something like a hundred years. Perhaps I overreact to the NFL because it's something of an unknown. I've lived in an NFL city (Chicago), but Pasadena would be, by comparison, an NFL small town.

Mister Earl, I'm aware we currently can't use the central Arroyo on UCLA game days. Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. As Bellis points out, with an NFL schedule, the days on which locals would not have access to the central Arroyo would more than double, and at times the area would be off limits to citizens for entire weekends.

I wouldn't mind hearing some sound, logical arguments in favor of letting the NFL use the Rose Bowl, but I haven't heard them yet. Maybe I'm listening to the wrong people?

Mister Earl said...

I don't favor the NFL using the stadium, and I doubt it will ever happen. The NFL wants a brand-new stadium downtown or thereabouts.

It is outrageous that they are shutting the place down for 8 hours. Doesn't make sense. Can't people go to the City Council and get that changed?

Bellis: It won't be as bad as every single Saturday. The NFL plays on Sunday, mostly, and the team would be out of town half the time. There are only 8 NFL home games and 6 or 7 UCLA home games, so it's only 14 or 15 days a year. But still, I agree, 8 hours is ridiculous.

altadenahiker said...

So many things need protecting or at least assistance these days, I'm feeling overwhelmed.

Mister Earl said...

How about adding a tennis center and hosting a major tournament for Karin?

Petrea Burchard said...

The idea is to use the Rose Bowl as a temporary stadium for the NFL until the LA stadium is built, Mister Earl. So it would be for two-three years, or so they say. I have a sinking feeling it would take longer, do more damage, cost more. These things always seem to.

Karin, I feel overwhelmed, too. I really do. I once said Hahamongna would be the only thing I would take on. But how can I stop there?

Don't we have a tennis center? Let's not build anything else, even if it is for Karin. (I know you're joking, Earl.)

Mister Earl said...

If an NFL team played at the Rose Bowl, it would still be considered The Los Angeles ______, and Los Angeles would be the focus in the same way that UCLA uses the Rose Bowl, but Pasadena is not a "UCLA town."

PS - There have been 3 or 4 NFL Superbowls at the Rose Bowl in years past.

Mister Earl said...

Oh, I didn't realize it was only temporary until a downtown stadium is built. Many football fans of out-of-town teams don't mind at all that LA has no NFL team. Having a local team limits the number of games that are shown on network TV on Sundays. Fans of the 49ers, Bears, or other teams love that there 3 network games in LA each Sunday instead of just 2.

Petrea Burchard said...

My blog is set to refuse anonymous posters, but I get emails. Betsy allowed me to post hers:

"...if I could this is what I'd say:

Pay attention to the local politicians who are for this NFL intrusion into our beautiful community. The first one who comes to mind is Victor Gordo. He is already making personal plans to go further politically than just the Pasadena City Council, but while there he has done his share of damage. The $400,000 EIR for the NFL's "possible" temporary use of the Rose Bowl, for example.

Remember names and campaign against them with all your heart.

A native Pasadenan who is sick at her heart...

Betsy"

LOLfromPasa said...

I am really sorry to read about what is happening there at the Rose Bowl. When on a completely different subject...I can hardly believe I am sitting here in England watching a TV series, Merlin, and every other word is 'Camelot'.

Laura Monteros said...

Not a Pasadena resident so I don't think I can sign the petition, but this will deifinitely impact Altadena, as well. The NFL would not be permanent, only there until Farmers Field is built, but it is a horrible idea.

BTW. Mister Earl, not stopping at a stop sign is illegal whether there is traffic or not, and bikes are subject to the same laws as cars. Sorry, I'm with the cops on this one.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

@Petrea: maybe there aren't any logical reasons except : making money

Petrea Burchard said...

LOL, I would like to be there watching it with you!

I believe you can sign the petition no matter where you're from, Laura. If you live in Altadena, you have a vested interest.

That's what I'm thinking, KBF. Same with soccer fields at Hahamongna. No one has ever come out to advocate for such a field, only to protest its construction. Yet $$$$$...

Mister Earl said...

Laura M. - Bikes normally don't stop at that sign because of it's unique location, but this was even moreso. The only cross traffic to stop for would come from a street that was cordoned off, so there was no reason to stop at that sign that day. That citation goes by the legal term, "chickens**t."

Petrea Burchard said...

Another emailer has asked me to post his comment:

"This picture and your message are excellent. It is not you and I who propose to rent or sell the Arroyo, for 10-13 (could be up to 3 postseason games) games per year. The question is “does the arroyo exist to support the Rose Bowl stadium” or is the stadium only one part, albeit an important part, of the Arroyo, Pasadena’s Central Park or Golden Gate Park? It’s not just the NFL which threatens the use of the exercise loop for free unscheduled recreation, and other uses, there is also creeping commercialization of the Arroyo, unrecognized by most people. I’m happy with UCLA games, but we have more and more “minor events” on non-UCLA Saturdays. Last Saturday was the heart walk which completely shut down access to the Golf course and shrank use of the exercise loop, today the Gladiator Rock and Run, a commercial operation which reduced the number of ordinary citizens (mostly women) on the exercise loop and shrank the number of golfers that I saw. The city makes money from the Arroyo, these “minor events” all pay money. How many should we have and why must they all be bunched into the September-February window? I think that the city should encourage and nourish the golfers. I’ve never seen golfers drunk or acting in antisocial ways.

Does the RBOC accept the idea that the Rose Bowl is a wonderful old college stadium that can never be suitable for professional football (OK for a single game) and would be in danger of demolition except for the fact that the Rose Parade is a big deal, that it hosts and will continue to host the Rose Bowl game, and that the stadium+ golf course+ minor events make money? It’s the stadium that must fit in, not the Arroyo and the millions who use it for recreation. The original Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl stadiums were torn down to make way for pro stadiums with luxury boxes. The original Cotton Bowl stadium, owned by the city of Dallas, has been marginalized; it no longer hosts the Cotton Bowl (luxury seats again) and is in danger."

Bob Snodgrass, Rose Bowl neighbor

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Pasadena has been making some very poor choices as of late.

Susan Campisi said...

The battles never end, do they? It is overwhelming. Thank you for writing about this issue, among many.

Irina Rekhviashvili said...

So interesting to read about your battle and how it is going to end (happily, I hope). Active interested people.
Sometimes it seems to me I live in enchanted sleepy city.

Adele said...

In my opinion, that's just crazy... I signed the petition. Just to clarify, it says "Pasadena and neighboring communities," so I figured mine would count. They are currently at 415 and need 58.

Linda said...

How very bizarre. I've been to Kidscpace. We spent a fun afternoon there when my children were 5 and 8. It was a haven from the (to us Scots!) searing heat outside.

Petrea Burchard said...

Linda, you bring up a good point. Pasadena draws tourists from around the world, who will also be banned from the Arroyo, our main attraction, on game days.

I agree. How very bizarre.