Recently, there has been a lot written about the train coming to Redlands and the transit villages and how good all this will be for our town, and all the problems it will help solve — as in, less traffic, more community green spaces, convenience, etc.
If you have never been to an information session on this, listen to the other side.
Redlands had public transit in the form of street cars and rail service, and it was removed when a majority used cars to get to where they wanted to go. Has this changed with the “now generation” who buys on credit and rides in cars of all kinds, at all hours of the night to all the places they want to go?
Los Angeles, Detroit and other cities built a sort of dense population housing for folks to be near their jobs. These housing villages soon lost their appeal with folks trying to get farther out of the city for housing. There generation that lived there long ago is gone. Those who live there are those who can’t afford to live elsewhere, and those who can’t afford a place to live may have a tent or a cardboard box “house.”
Passenger rail service to Redlands was stopped due to a lack of use. A next move was government-approved bus service paid for by us, the taxpayers, which was supposed to take traffic off the overcrowded streets. We are still paying higher taxes to keep those buses running. Have you ever noticed that in Redlands there are never more than a few passengers on these buses, if any?
Los Angeles took out their street cars in the 1960s.
Narrowing roads and limiting space on freeways, thought to decrease traffic, will only serve to make more road rage and angry people no matter how much green space it will free up. How many fewer cars do the planners think people will own.
Are the city planners using the train to make null and void the law voted years ago by Redlands citizens to limit the dense housing and avoid the overcrowding problems of other major cities?
We live in a desirable location, near the mountains, the sea and the desert. Our water supply during drought is not enough for our current community. Where will the water come from for those greater than 1,200 apartments in each of the three transit villages? The plan has only limited parking at the train stations. One has no parking, only a passenger-drop area. Only street parking will be available for the apartment houses.
The planned villages will have no garages. Only the downtown will have only one multi-story parking garage.
There were bike lanes, wide sidewalks with benches and tiny parks and narrow, two-lane streets with lovely trees on all sides with landscaped medians. Some of these streets lead to freeway onramps.
I questioned where children would go to school, as there are none in the plan map, and no fire stations.
The idea of being able to take the train to the beach is lovely. It does not go to the mountains or the desert or where people work.
A train with parking to take folks away from town to work, shopping or pleasure may be desirable, but will it be used?
Ardis Beckner, a Redlands resident for 30 years