Keep Pasadena Moving Survey Full of Tired Nimby Biases

Keep Pasadena Moving website screenshot
Keep Pasadena Moving website screenshot

Livability social media circles are full of mentions of Keep Pasadena Moving’s new online survey. Folks who care about Pasadena, transportation, air, climate, and the like should of course take the survey.

Keep Pasadena Moving is the spawn of Redondo Beach-based Keep L.A. Moving, which organized resistance to L.A. City safety improvements in Playa Del Rey. Keep L.A. Moving, pushing for nationwide relevance, recently hosted a “national conference on Vision Zero, road diets, and the future of transportation.”

Cycling advocate Peter Flax described the conference as “25 NIMBYs in a restaurant” and from the four-hour conference video that estimate appears generous.

Back to that Pasadena survey.

Near the beginning the survey asks for “My problems with Public Transit” with choices including “Transit is smelly and dirty.” The responses fail to include common-sense improvements like needing all-door boarding or bus-only lanes. The survey never asks for the taker’s corresponding problems with driving.

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Screenshot from Keep Pasadena Moving survey

The survey moves on to ask for concerns about specific safety improvement projects, including the Union Street two-way protected bikeway project. For Union Street, the choices given include five statements against the bikeway, one neutral, and one in favor.

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Screenshot from Keep Pasadena Moving survey

Then the survey gets serious about weeding out people that Keep Pasadena Moving (KPM) doesn’t want to hear from. According to KPM, Pasadena’s students don’t have a legitimate say in Pasadena transportation. This arguably represents a thinly veiled racial bias; Pasadena City College students are more likely to Latino or Black or Asian, compared to people who live in Pasadena.

Visitors don’t count either. These two groups are asked to skip to question 21.

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Screenshot from Keep Pasadena Moving survey – pick “Resident” or “Worker” to be able to give further input

Survey takers are asked if they agree with Pasadena “spending tax dollars on… cycling, public transportation and walking and removing car lanes”? No similar question is posed regarding tax dollars and car transportation.

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Screenshot from Keep Pasadena Moving survey

Then KPM gets to the big juicy nimby theology: blaming traffic on increased housing development.

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Screenshot from Keep Pasadena Moving survey

The survey fails to mention deadly and injurious car crashes, driving costs, health, air pollution, the climate, and numerous other actual issues that Pasadena folks actually take into account when moving through the city and when planning for its future.

KPM states that the survey “will be used for future discussion with Pasadena City leaders, the Pasadena Department of Transportation, the Pasadena Transportation Advisory Commission, new media, neighborhood associations, and other avenues.” These folks should see the survey for what it is: biased questions designed to favor the prejudices of the folks who created it.

Pasadena has a history of progressive transportation policies – including managing parking, welcoming rail, and fostering transit-oriented development. Don’t let these nimbys undermine the transportation savvy that makes Pasadena work as well as it does. Take the survey.

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