Frequently Asked Questions

District 7 FAQ

Residents are responsible for maintaining the sidewalks in front of their homes.  Nevertheless, the city is in the fifth year of a Citywide Sidewalk Improvements Project that is underway to repair all of the city sidewalks, with priorities placed on high pedestrian areas and accessibility.

For residents who want a faster way to repair their sidewalk, Public Works has come up with a new “fast track” approach to accommodate them. The new Sidewalk Repair Reimbursement Program in an attempt to partner with property owners to share in the repair costs. The city will reimburse 50% of the repair cost (with a maximum of $8.00 per square foot) up to $1000 per frontage. Residents hire their own contractor to do the work, and get reimbursed after the work is complete.

Below are the forms that must be completed – first to initiate the process and then to be reimbursed.

Reimbursement Request Application Sidewalk Repair Reimbursement Program

Intent to Participate in Sidewalk Repair Reimbursement Program

Further questions about the program can be emailed to Sidewalks@cityofpasadena.net.

Basic types of City services can be requested through the Pasadena Citizen Service Center. Whether it’s a pothole, a street light that is out, an abandoned item or Graffiti (just to name a few), the CSC makes it easy for you to submit a request and to resolve your issue quickly. The Citizen Service Center (CSC) is a centralized service to help Pasadena residents connect with their City. CSC is available via web, mobile app (download PasadenaCS) or phone (626-744-7311) to assist in answering questions about City programs, services and events.

With new residential developments coming on line, many residents feel that Pasadena is experiencing a rapid rate of growth, perhaps to our own detriment. The fact is that over the last 14 years, our population has grown about 0.35% a year, or 5.1% total. This growth rate is about 1/3rd of the state of CA (just about 1% per year) and less than half the national growth rate which is 0.70% per year. Because most of our growth is occurring in the Central District it feels concentrated, but in reality we are losing population market share both within the state and nationally.

We currently have a major housing shortage in Southern California. Through regional planning efforts we are assessed housing goals to accommodate our share of population growth within the state. That said, the Metropolitan Water District does have a water supply allocation plan in place to encourage its members to reduce their water purchases during years of drought. The formula used to establish each City’s allocation takes in to account population growth, so residential development leads to increased water allocations. In other words, we get relief from the quota if we add to population, so we are not penalized.

Water supply and demand related to growth is a regional issue. When cities such as Pasadena plan for additional growth in more urban settings, it provides for housing that is more water efficient and eliminates the need for increased infrastructure for water delivery. By comparison, targeted growth in lower density areas places a greater burden on the regional water supply. Increased efficiency standards in the state building codes also makes new development more water efficient than our current housing stock. As a result, new multifamily development actually helps lower Pasadena’s per capita water use.

Homelessness is a product of complex dynamics that has a widespread impact on communities across the nation, including Pasadena. It can be acute or chronic- lasting days, weeks, months or years, and can be associated with personal economic struggles or a sudden financial challenge, domestic disputes, traumatic experiences, substance use disorders or mental illness. Addressing homelessness requires continued cross-sector collaboration to strategically allocate resources and successfully implement long-term solutions.

To enact the vision of ending homelessness in Pasadena, the City supports the implementation of programs that are grounded in evidence-based best practices that have been acknowledged as effective in ending homelessness. Nearly $7 million in federal, state, and local funding has been allocated to the City and is being used to support a diverse group of programs and interventions for people experiencing homelessness in Pasadena.
For more information, please visit pasadenapartnership.org or contact Jennifer O’Reilly-Jones, Homeless Program Coordinator at joreillyjones@cityofpasadena.net

Homelessness Prevention
Homelessness Prevention programs provide short-term assistance for participants who are at imminent-risk of homelessness to resolve a crisis so that they can maintain their housing or find a suitable housing alternative to avoid becoming homeless. The City primarily funds Friends In Deed, a local non-profit, to provide short-term financial assistance and housing stabilization planning to single adults and families that are at risk of eviction or homelessness in Pasadena.

Permanent Supportive Housing
Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) is an effective intervention for formerly chronic homeless individuals and families who are highly vulnerable, living with a disabling condition, and need long-term support to live stably in their communities. The City allocates approximately $3 million annually to fund housing and supportive services for individuals, families and youth in Pasadena. There are currently three PSH apartment buildings in Pasadena providing permanent housing with intensive services for over 250 men, women and children.

Rapid Rehousing
Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) is a strategy that quickly re-houses people experiencing homelessness, though not chronically homeless, through time-limited financial assistance and targeted supportive services. Pasadena funds Union Station Homeless Services and Foothill Unity Center to lead this housing intervention for single adults and families, and Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services administers a youth-specific intervention for individuals between the ages of 18-24.

Emergency Shelter
Emergency Shelter programs provide temporary shelter for people experiencing homelessness. Various year round emergency shelter beds are in operation throughout the city and specifically serve certain subpopulations, such as single adults, families with children, or youth. Pasadena also has a weather-activated winter shelter that is open on cold or wet nights from the day after Thanksgiving to March 1st. The City also funds local nonprofit homeless service providers to use motel vouchers for those who will not or cannot use the shelters.

Street Outreach

Pasadena has five dedicated local outreach teams that collectively work to cover 100% of the city's geographic area, with the primary goal of quickly identifying and engaging people experiencing unsheltered homelessness. The City currently funds Friends In Deed’s street-based outreach team, a Public Health Department outreach worker for the public libraries, and a Housing Works working specifically with Huntington Hospital patients who are experiencing homelessness. Street outreach teams are consistently on the front lines working to build trusting relationships to ultimately connect people with services to support the movement into permanent housing.

HOPE Teams
The Pasadena Police Department and the L.A. County Department of Mental Health collaborate to provide HOPE Teams consisting of one specially trained police office and mental health care specialist from the Homeless Outreach Psychiatric Evaluation (HOPE) team provide crisis intervention to address the immediate mental health needs of people experiencing homelessness.

PORT Team

In partnership with the Fire Department, the Public Health Department's Pasadena Outreach Response Team (PORT) implements a field based approach to engage, assess and serve people experiencing homelessness with severe mental illness, substance use disorders, physical disabilities and chronic health conditions.

Pasadena Public Health Department Programs
The Pasadena Public Health Department’s Social and Mental Health Division administers a program that aims to improve HIV health outcomes among people experiencing homelessness through the coordination of supportive employment and housing services. The department also has a stationed care navigator at the Pasadena Central Library to provide intense case management and linkages to care for all populations experiencing homelessness with chronic health conditions and/or mental health and substance use disorders.

Housing Locators
The City has recently prioritized investing in Housing Locators to identify available units for individuals, families and youth experiencing homelessness who are enrolled in Pasadena funded PSH and RRH programs. The primary role of housing locators is to engage, recruit, and establish relationships with landlords and property management companies in and around Pasadena to improve access to and availability of permanent housing.

Landlord Incentives
The City administers a Homeless Incentives Program (HIP) that provides financial incentives to private landlords who rent available units to rental assistance voucher holders who are experiencing homelessness. Incentives include holding fees, move-in assistance, vacancy loss payments, and damage claims.

Real Change Movement
This public education campaign on homelessness was developed by the City of Pasadena, Flintridge Center, and Art Center College of Design. It seeks to provide information about homeless programming and resources, as well as give the public an opportunity to make a meaningful difference. If you would like to invest in a real solution to end homelessness, please visit any of our orange donation meters throughout the City. All donations are leveraged by United Way of Greater Los Angeles. For more information, please visit www.realchangemovement.org

District 7 has 4 school campuses in the Pasadena Unified School District: Blair Middle and High School, McKinley School (K-8), Hamilton Elementary School and the Rose City High Continuation School.

Pasadena public schools are run by a separately elected school board, with each school board member dedicated to a geographical area. School Board members Scott Phelps and Elizabeth Pomeroy represent the schools in District 7. For more information, you can visit https://www.pusd.us/Page/1.

Pasadena voters' strong support of Measure J, which will move 1/3 of the City's new sales tax increase to our public schools, is a strong message from our community that a great city like Pasadena must offer a quality public education. This 0.75% sales tax increase will generate approximately $21 million in annual additional revenue of which Measure J will route 1/3rd to the public schools.

While filming can be an easy way to earn some additional income and may result in publicity for our neighborhoods and City, it can also be both an inconvenience and disruption to neighbors.

Standard film permit times are 7:00 am. – 7:00 p.m. Monday through Sunday with no signatures required except for parking in front of individual homes. Only 51% signature approval is required within 300 feet for filming until 10:00 p.m. However, 90% signature approval is required for filming from 10:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.

Neighbors who want more control over filming in their neighborhood can establish their own block agreements for filming or establish a more formal Special Filming District with conditions with a 67% vote. We have samples of both agreement types if you want to learn more. For more information, please contact the Film Office: https://ww5.cityofpasadena.net/planning/contacts-directory/?_sft_contact_type=film-office.

As part of the City’s Updated General Plan, the Mobility Element incudes a Bicycle Transportation Action Plan. The plan provides details for a network of bikeways so that every neighborhood is within 1/4 mile of an effective bicycling route in the north-south and east-west directions. You can view the plan here: https://www.cityofpasadena.net/transportation/wp-content/uploads/sites/20/Pasadena-Bike-Action-Plan-08-17-2015.pdf.

One aspect of the Bicycle Plan is the Union Street Two Way Cycle Track. Based on the Complete Streets concept, a two-way cycle track has been designed for Union Street between Hill Avenue and Arroyo Parkway. The Track will have a two-way bicycle lane on the south side of Union Street – protected by on-street parking and then two vehicle lanes for travel. A $2.7 M Metro grant was awarded to the City for Phase 1 of the project with a city match of $694 K. Environmental clearance and design engineering will begin next spring, with a proposed start of construction in year 2021. If you would like to have notice of public meetings concerning the Union Street Cycle Track, please email Donson Liu at dliu@cityofpasadena.net.

The second phase of the Cordova “Road Diet” is scheduled to be completed in 2020, continuing the work that has already been done between Hill Avenue and Lake Avenue all the way to Arroyo Parkway, including bike lanes and pedestrian safety.

And finally, many of you have surely noticed by now the green paint in the Marengo Avenue bicycle lanes. This is an industry best practice to warn both motorists and bicyclists of potential conflict zones between cars and bikes.

The Planning & Community Development Department launched Our Pasadena in early 2018, a highly anticipated program focused on implementation of the recently updated General Plan. The program will focus on updating Pasadena's Specific Plans and Zoning Code to support the vision, goals, and policies set forth in the General Plan. Throughout the process, the program will include numerous opportunities for participation and community input.

There are seven specific plan areas: Central District, East Colorado, East Pasadena, Fair Oaks/Orange Grove, Lamanda Park, North Lake, and South Fair Oaks. The City is currently in the second phase of the Specific Planning process. For more information, and to sign up for emails, please visit https://www.ourpasadena.org/about.

A representative of a local residential street who believes the residents on their street will support the installation of speed humps may submit a request in writing to the Department of Transportation. Transportation will consult with the Police and Fire Departments in making a determination of whether the street in question is eligible for further consideration for the installation of speed humps (i.e., the street is consistent with the City Council’s policies for the installation of speed humps).

Upon determination that a street is not eligible for speed humps, the representative(s) of the street will be notified in writing and provided the reason(s) why the street is not eligible.

Upon determination that a street is eligible for further consideration, the City will send out petitions to all abutting residents. The petition will indicate that a clear majority (67% or more) in support for the installation of speed humps is necessary for the city to install the speed humps. The petition forms provided by the City will state: If there is subsequently a desire by residents to remove the speed humps, the humps will only be considered for removal after receipt of a petition from a substantial majority (67% or more) asking for the removal along with sufficient funds for the removal up to $700 per hump.

Upon determination that a clear majority (67% or more) of residents abutting the street segment are in support of the installation of speed humps, the street segment is placed on a waiting list. Speed humps are contracted out and installed on a yearly basis or whenever there are enough streets that it is cost efficient for the city to do so.

A ban on overnight parking on City streets in Pasadena was first enacted in 1921 and amended in 1948 to the current time period (2:00 A.M. to 6:00 A.M.) In 1971, the ban was further amended to allow for overnight permits. The City Council reviewed the ban in 1991 and 1998, but made no changes. The reasons for supporting the ban over the years include facilitating street sweeping, identifying abandoned vehicles, crime detection, encouraging off-street parking and discouraging long-term on-street parking. Citizens were most recently surveyed in 1991. Responses ran 75/25 in favor of retaining the ban in single family residential areas and 50/50 in multi-family areas.

Residents with no temporary or permanent parking available to them may apply for annual daytime or overnight on-street parking permits that allow them to park during those hours. All residents and/or visitors may also obtain overnight on-street parking permits for their vehicle or for a guest vehicle at any of the five conveniently located kiosks (TOPEKs) or online (TOPEO) at the City’s website.

Neighborhood Traffic FAQ

Citywide, travel time studies indicate that traffic operations on the major routes through Pasadena have remained relatively stable but did drop during the recession and stayed relatively lower through the 2010 to 2013 period. Since 2013, traffic has been returning to pre-recession levels which can seem like there is more traffic on the roads. However, there are some unique conditions in District 7 and its near vicinity that contribute to areas of increased traffic and longer waiting times.

  • Changes in traffic patterns at Blair High School have combined with morning commute traffic and Mayfield Junior School traffic on Marengo to generate about 20 minutes of very slow traffic between Glenarm and Del Mar weekday mornings. Traffic has shifted to Euclid after many years of very limited traffic on that street and in turn has raised volumes on Alpine, Arden and Fillmore as parent dropoff traffic tries to avoid the slow conditions on Marengo.
  • The crossings of the Gold Line at Glenarm, California and Del Mar continue to be areas of delay particularly during commute peaks. The interruptions to traffic flow on Arroyo Parkway caused by the LRT grade crossings divert traffic to Marengo and Glenarm. These are conditions that have been in place for many years now but their effects were diminished during the recession. As traffic volumes have returned to pre-recession levels, delay at the crossings has increased both from increased auto volumes, but also from more frequent LRT operations that were put in place in 2013.

For the first time since the demise of the 710 freeway extension, a Metro Ad Hoc Congestion, Highway and Roads committee unanimously approved 34 alternative projects worth a total of $514.4 million. The list includes one project for Pasadena - a recommendation to "grade-separate" the at-grade Gold Line crossing at California Blvd., a block south of the Gold Line's Del Mar Station. The project's cost is estimated at $105 million and is the most expensive among the 34 alternative projects. The list was subsequently approved by the LA Metro Board of Directors at their meeting in December 2018.

At the California Boulevard Gold Line crossing, cars back up for several traffic signal cycles, waiting for the gates to rise and the light-rail trains to move on. The intersection has been a major point of frustration for Pasadena motorists and those living in adjacent neighborhoods since the Gold Line began running in 1998. A separation at the time that the Gold Line was constructed was deemed too costly.

Should the project move forward, a lengthy process of environmental clearance and design efforts would ensue. It is likely that the project would take several years of planning before ground is broken. The projects would be funded from Measure R, which allocates a 0.5-cent transportation sales tax to road, rail and other transportation projects and was approved by voters in 2008.

The no left turn signs were installed in 1989 as part of a 60-day test that originally included South El Molino Avenue. The sign at El Molino was removed during the test period, but the signs at Euclid, Oakland and Madison were left in place Subsequently, in May of 1998, legal action against the City of Pasadena was taken by Pasadena Heritage, the South Los Robles Caucus, the Madison Heights Neighborhood Association and PRIDE II (Pasadena Residents in Defense of their Environment). This legal action was initially settled in March 1999 and finally settled in January 2007. The settlement agreement required the City to install and maintain specific traffic control devices and to modify existing traffic control devices in specific ways. The no left turn signs posted for eastbound traffic on Glenarm Street at Euclid, Oakland and Madison are required by the 1999 settlement agreement. Removal of these three signs requires that all of the parties to the settlement agreement concur with the action.

The effect of removing the signs is not entirely clear. It is expected that traffic volumes on Euclid, Oakland and Madison could increase slightly with a corresponding reduction in volumes on Marengo, Los Robles and El Molino. However, traffic patterns can be influenced by a large variety of factors and the presence of speed humps on Euclid, Oakland and Madison may limit the change in existing patterns even if the signs were removed.

The traffic circles originated with the Ad Hoc Committee that was created in 1994 by the City Council to work with staff to develop a 10-year traffic management plan for Southwest Pasadena. This management plan was adopted by the City Council in late 1996 as the Southwest Traffic Study, but the traffic circles were not included as part of the adopted plan.

In May of 1998, legal action against the City of Pasadena was taken by Pasadena Heritage, the South Los Robles Caucus, the Madison Heights Neighborhood Association and PRIDE II (Pasadena Residents in Defense of their Environment). This legal action was initially settled in March 1999 and finally settled in January 2007. The settlement agreement required the City to install and maintain specific traffic control devices and to modify existing traffic control devices in specific ways. The traffic circles with stop signs on Glenarm Street are required by the 1999 settlement agreement. The settlement agreement also called for a traffic circle at Marengo that was installed, but later removed and replaced with a traffic signal for traffic safety reasons.

The traffic circles were intended to reduce the capacity of the streets by reducing the number of lanes at an intersection from 12 (in some cases) to 4. The use of stop signs (as opposed to yield signs, which are used in Modern Roundabout design) was intended to reduce speeding. Landscaped traffic circles were thought by the Ad Hoc Committee to be more consistent with the residential character of the streets.

Indications are that after an initial uptick following installation crashes are holding at levels that are lower than the pre-installation condition. The stop signs and lane reductions have had the effect of reducing speed in the immediate vicinity of the traffic circles. There have been volume reductions on the north-south streets, particularly Los Robles, but it is difficult to separate the effects of the traffic circles from other changes that occurred in San Marino that affected the amount of traffic entering/exiting the City on Los Robles.

In May of 1998, legal action against the City of Pasadena was taken by Pasadena Heritage, the South Los Robles Caucus, the Madison Heights Neighborhood Association and PRIDE II (Pasadena Residents in Defense of their Environment). This legal action was initially settled in March 1999 and finally settled in January 2007. The settlement agreement required the City to install and maintain specific traffic control devices and to modify existing traffic control devices in specific ways. The 2007 settlement agreement stated “City shall use its best efforts to obtain the agreement of Caltrans to eliminate one of the two existing left-turn-only lanes on westbound Glenarm Street at its intersection with Arroyo Parkway/California Route 110.” The City was able to accomplish this action as part of the rebuilding of the intersection for the Gold Line crossing. The intent of the lawsuit settlement was to make the turn from westbound Glenarm onto CA 110 less convenient and in doing so to divert CA 110 traffic onto Mobility Corridors (California and Del Mar Boulevards) to/from Arroyo Parkway.

In May of 1998, legal action against the City of Pasadena was taken by Pasadena Heritage, the South Los Robles Caucus, the Madison Heights Neighborhood Association and PRIDE II (Pasadena Residents in Defense of their Environment). This legal action was initially settled in March 1999 and finally settled in January 2007. The settlement agreement required the City to install and maintain specific traffic control devices and to modify existing traffic control devices in specific ways. The raised islands at Los Robles and California are required by the 2007 settlement agreement. That agreement included detailed plans for the shape and placement of the islands.

Before the installation of the islands on Los Robles, when vehicles were stopped at the stop bar and yielding to oncoming traffic before attempting to make left turns, roadway width was available for other vehicles to pass on the right side and continue their travel on Los Robles. The intent of the islands is to eliminate or reduce the chances of vehicles passing on the right side, and provide a disincentive to motorists using Los Robles in attempt to divert those trips to multi-modal corridors such as Arroyo Parkway.

The City of Pasadena’s new Bicycle Master Plan  sets five major goals. One of those goals is to Increase the safety of bicycling in Pasadena. The Bicycle Master Plan proposes to take the following actions to achieve this goal.

  •  Implement planned citywide network of bikeways
  • Calm motor vehicle traffic on Pasadena streets (in 2010 a road diet was implemented on Cordova St. between Hill and Lake Ave that included the addition of new bike lanes).
  • Provide bicycle safety education in schools, at worksites, and at public venues for local cyclists. These programs should include comprehensive safety training.
  • Provide safety education for motorists to learn to interact with bicyclists
    Publish safe bicycle‐riding tips
  • Provide information on the City website regarding safe bicycle riding
  • Work with the Police Department to ensure that traffic laws are enforced and that people are educated as to traffic laws related to bicycling
  • Educate the Police Department on safe riding procedures and crash report procedures that help to better understand crash causes
  • Work with the schools to implement Safe Routes to Schools programs
  • Work with outside organizations and agencies to provide free helmets and lights to students and low‐income cyclists
  • Keep streets free of debris and potholes

In the 1980s, the City installed speed humps on a number of residential streets according to former policies and procedures. Since then, updated policies and procedures have been adopted by the City Council. In the latest policies and procedures for the installation of speed humps, which were adopted in 2004, street segments must meet certain criteria such as being classified as a local street in the California Road System, being 1,200 feet or longer without containing any stop signs or signals, having traffic volumes between 1,000 and 4,000 vehicles per day, and having an 85th percentile speed of greater than 33 MPH. All existing street segments that have speed humps are grandfathered in even though they may not meet the current policies and procedures for the installation of speed humps.

Visit the Citizen Service Center to find more information on the policies and procedures for the installation of speed humps.

Traffic Volume Trends in Madison Heights from 1989 to 2009To address this question, traffic volume trends were tracked on five streets in Madison Heights using traffic counts for 1989, 1999 and 2009 to provide a 20-year history of traffic volumes. The five streets included in the analysis are California, El Molino, Glenarm, Los Robles and Marengo. For the north-south streets, traffic volumes were looked at separately for the segments from California to Glenarm and south of Glenarm. For the east-west streets, volume patterns east and west of Marengo. The analysis results are shown in the following chart.

Chronologically, the chart includes the time period when the following changes were made to the street system:

  • 1989 – No left turn signs were added to eastbound Glenarm
  • 1994 – Marengo, Los Robles and California were converted to 3-lane streets
  • 2002 – Traffic circles and stop signs installed on Glenarm
  • 2003 – Metro Gold Line opened
  • 2007 – Islands installed on Los Robles and El Molino

The 1999 counts in the charts reflect the changes made in 1994, while the 2009 counts reflect the changes made in 2001, 2003 and 2007.

The long-term volume trends in both charts show that for the most part, the changes introduced by the 1994 Mobility Element update and 1999 lawsuit have reduced traffic volumes on these street segments from the 1989 levels and have stabilized traffic volumes over the last 10 years. The counts appear to support the following:

  • Traffic on California declined when the street was narrowed east of Lake
  • Los Robles traffic also declined after being narrowed and continues to decline on segments both north and south of Glenarm
  • Marengo is absorbing growth in traffic regardless of the number of lanes on the roadway. The traffic growth may be related to intensification of residential development on South Marengo and expansion at PUSD’s Blair Campus as much as to freeway traffic that may have diverted from California and other corridors to Del Mar and points north.
  • El Molino north of Alpine has remained stable for the 20-year period while the section south of Alpine has seen traffic growth in the last 10 years. The growth appears to be related to increases in freeway bound traffic from neighborhoods east of El Molino and south of California
  • The opening and continued growth in use of the Gold Line has stabilized north-south traffic volumes.
  • The traffic circles on Glenarm reduced traffic slightly, but overall, volumes appear to be stable over the 20-year period