PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — One of Pasadena’s most famous streets could be getting a facelift.
City leaders want to transform a five-block stretch of East Colorado Blvd. in the Playhouse District so that it feels less like a freeway and becomes more inviting to pedestrians.
Colorado Boulevard is broadcasted across the world every year during the Tournament of Roses Parade and millions more visit as tourists.
It’s a grand boulevard of five wide lanes where the star of the show has always been the automobile.
Greg Gunther and Erlinda Romo, of the Playhouse District Association, say they want to add little parks — with astroturf, plants, bike racks and tables and chairs — to the area. They’d need to reduce the number of street lanes from five to three, allowing merchants to have more space in front of their stores to interact with pedestrians.
“What we have now is an area with about 10,000 people living within a mile of this intersection right here, and they need public space,” Gunther said.
They say the mini-parks and planters could be easily removed for big events like the Rose Parade.
“We do know that we want something that’s going to be comfortable for people to relax and sit in,” Romo said.
Some residents are worried the construction and the subsequent fewer street lanes will cause a traffic nightmare.
Pasadena transportation officials are studying the idea to make sure that the plan won’t be creating more problems than it’s solving.
Some residents aren’t sure whether it’s an idea they can support.
“It would be mass chaos because there are just too many cars that travel down Colorado,” said Howard Higginson, who’s lived in Pasadena with his wife, Beverly, for the past 25 years.
But when Higginson found out about the proposed mini-parks, including the café tables, he saw things differently.
“Well, I’m an outside eater so if there could be a place where I could eat outside and eat, I’d love to do that…I’m kind of flip-flopping, if you will,” Higginson laughed.
The plan is currently being considered by city leaders and supporters say, if it were to get the green light, construction wouldn’t take place for another year.