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Construction of pedestrian pathway at Wilderness Park approved by council

Despite an unexpected setback with construction at the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park, the city moves forward in addressing the park’s increased traffic and safety issues.

The Claremont City Council Tuesday unanimously approved the construction of an 8-foot pathway on the west side of Mills Avenue from where the Thompson Creek trail meets Mt. Baldy Road to the entrance of the park. The pathway will replace the existing easement on the east side of the street.  The $79,000 plan includes adding a crosswalk at Mt. Baldy Road.

The move was suggested last June in an attempt to give neighboring communities additional peace and quiet while also managing the increasing pedestrian traffic. At the recommendation of neighbors, the council directed staff to explore moving the pathway to just inside the existing row of oleanders on the west.

With the addition of this portion of the project, expenses relating to changes at the Wilderness Park are now close to $354,400. Staff expects that sum, which will be borrowed from the city’s general fund, to be reimbursed within 2 years through paid parking.

While again recognizing that the new traffic and safety measures might not solve the overlying problems with the popular park, councilmembers agreed it was a step in the right direction.

“This is not going to be an easy thing. Even after we build the parking lots we are still going to have to deal with the effect of building the parking lots,” said Mayor Pro Tem Opanyi Nasiali. “What we are trying to do here is find a solution so that people can still use the park, and keep some sense of safety and peace of mind for the people who live near the park.”

A full city council report will appear in Saturday’s COURIER.

—Beth Hartnett

news@claremont-courier.com

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