Looking for a Transit Friendly Community? Try Claremont

6_25_09_claremont.jpgClaremont Station. Photo: Szoksnapshot/Flickr

(editor’s note: For more people stating the case for their communities, check out Dana Gabbard’s love of the Wilshire Corridor and Steven Frein’s description of the Downtown)

I just got back from Cambridge, England, where I stayed for 2 weeks. The city of about 100,000 seems to have more bikes than people, and indeed the medieval city core streets are closed during many parts of the week to car traffic. There is convenient bus and rail to local and long distance destinations. I did not set foot in a care the entire time I was there.

In Claremont, as in Cambridge, you can be carless. It’s true that we’re talking about suburbia (population 35,000). However, Claremont has a walkable/bikeable downtown village that provides all kinds of services and entertainment. Larger grocery stores and other services just outside the village are easily reached by walking or biking. Foothill Transit provides local and longer-distance bus service.

Work here? Great! Many of the major thoroughfares have well-marked bike lanes, and the side streets are usually very calm. Don’t have a job in Claremont? No problem: you can take the Metrolink San Bernardino line from the middle of the Claremont village to Union Station 7 days a week (with an 11:30 PM departure back home from Union Station on Saturday nights!). The Foothill Transit Silver Streak bus runs 24/7 from the Montclair transit center (bikeable from the village) and, although it takes longer, provides a nice complement to the Metrolink Service. You can also reach the Ontario Airport via bus, with one transfer from Foothill Transit to Omnitrans. We hope the Metro Gold Line will be extended to Claremont from Sierra Madre by 2017, providing a link from the village by rail to downtown LA via Pasadena.

If more people here had the courage to get rid of (or at least mothball) their cars, maybe someday Claremont could even have a carless downtown!

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