Friday, August 5, 2011

Well, it IS in the eye of the beholder...

The list of Fair Oaks Construction project snafus keeps getting longer. The bulbouts have disrupted traffic. The asphalt won't hold up to heavy street usage. The concrete crosswalks poured over the asphalt were not installed properly have already cracked. Local businesses have downsized -- or shut down. The new medians in the center of Fair Oaks make it difficult for fire trucks and other safety vehicles to quickly respond to calls. Limited access to stores and offices during months-long construction has discriminated against citizens with disabilities -- possibly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

But, hey! The new street lamps are kinda nice! Too bad they didn't replace all of them. The combo of old 70s lamp posts interspersed with faux antique ones gives the street a kind of thrift-store sensibility.

The picture above was taken this week on State Street, outside of OSH. I wasn't sure why the project needed to put medians in this stretch of road. It is already bordered by a bushy retaining fence, and the street itself acts like an extension of the 110 freeway on ramp. Nevertheless, part of the funds went toward installing this new median and filling it with plants. The official word used was "beautification."

Yeah, right.


Judy Williams said...

Not particularly beautiful if you ask me. (sigh)

Mister Earl said...

All right! Laurie gets a bit edgy! The sad part of this project is that even as it began, a lay person could see that the crews looked unprofessional and the work looked shoddy. Now professional engineers are speaking out about the technical problems. Maybe this is par for the course for government projects all over the US. There's a new left-turn lane on Valley in Alhambra that is now permanently blocked off because it makes no sense for people to turn left there. At least we (most of us) aren't in the army. Whenever I see craziness in my job I say, "At least they aren't putting my life on the line."

Mister Earl said...

At least there are several food trucks around so we can drown our sorrows in food... Oh wait... no food trucks?

Anonymous said...

This photo is emblematic of the whole stinking project. Who the hell is minding this store? Trained monkeys? The level of ignorance and idiocy throughout this thing is mindblowing. It's such a waste of money even if it had been done right. Which it hasn't.

Michelle said...

That is hilarious, Laurie. Dead plants. Nice.

altadenahiker said...

Our Lake Street isn't pretty, but at least it works.

Anonymous said...

Are there problems with the asphalt failing now too?

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when city govt grabs money from the feds... they need to figure out what to do with the windfall.

The whole project is a mess and of questionable value. The city is kind of dysfunctional, where overly aggressive cops tailgate and flash you to get out of the way just so they can city you for obstruction. Plain and simple harassment on their part. Don't even get me started on them speeding through red lights.

Should have used the funds to repave Monterey Rd, which resembles a THIRD WORLD country more than an "affluent" city. The pothole patches have potholes. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

Monterey Rd was not eligible for the 710 Mitigation Fund AKA Rogin Funds.
The Fair Oaks Corridor phase 1 was a "shovel ready" project already planned and approved by the Feds
The Obama Stimulus funds allowed the project to compress to a 4 month plan from a 8 month plan, and freed up general funds to put the repaving of Monterey Rd on the TO DO list for 2011-2012 list of projects
The Asphalt is fine, it's the cement east west crosswalks that will have to be redone.

Mike T

Laurie said...

Thanks, everyone.

Mike, are you happy with the way things have turned out? Whether the fault lies with the plans or the execution, I think the majority of residents agree that there is fault here...

Mike Ten said...

Am I happy how things turned out?
When the Phase 1 of this 710 fwy atlerative mitigation is fully completed i will be happy. Happy to stand back and judge the totallity of the Phase.
-The functionality of the bulb outs, the stamped concrete left turn lanes, and the interaction at the bus pads
-The introdution of plantere and islands and the beauty they add
-The workmanship and the performabce of the asphalt and the concrete
-The final costs as compared to the budget and the changes
After that i can decide emotionally if i'm "Happy"

Mike Ten said...

I know youve been a critic of this process. And i respect that.
Your daily blog showcases great examples of beauty and retrospect of life in our community
The dailys that have featured The Fair Oaks topic have only included shots of signs, cones, holes in the ground, and most recently the skinnest planter in the whole project. How about a picture just 90 feet away from the last, of the beauty of the planter on Fair Oaks across from Shakers to provide balance to your Glimpses fans?
Provide one shot of that, and let the conversation and of course the opinions continue.
Have a nice Sunday

Laurie said...

Thanks for commenting, Mike.

I honestly don't see beauty in this project. Not in the design or the shoddy execution. I have said the streetlamps are nice, but they are not consistent and in my opinion NOT worth the cost.

I'm waiting for the project to be declared finished to shoot another wide shot. As it is now, I don't think any beauty is reflected. The fake brick is, also in my opinion, like fake hardwood floors in an old house. The medians are, my opinion again, too small to make a nice design impact, underplanted and impediments to traffic flow. Form MUST follow function in design.

I'm still waiting to be wowed, but I am decidedly unimpressed. But my opinion is just that-- an opinion. I don't like Thomas Kinkaid paintings or atonal music, either.

I welcome all opinions here, however. On this topic and any other.

Who cares what I think? said...

The planter in Fair Oaks in front of Shakers is like putting a potted plant in the middle of your driveway. Who cares if the plant is pretty if it blocks driving? This whole mess will do nothing but increase traffic and all my neighbors agree it is a stupid project. Laurie can make anything look good with her camera, so I am sure a shot of that tree in the street would be attractive. She has made dumpsters and cracked walls look attractive because she is an artist.

Anonymous said...

I do like the trees but i agree w Who Cares. They make no sense and between them and the loss of right turn lanes the street is less maneuverable. I don't even understand the brick part. Are we not supposed to drive on them?