Citrus Avenue will be extended to reach the Azusa Pacific University/ Citrus College stop. Construction begins sometime in February and should be completed by July. The Gold Line stop will open March 5. (Made using a google maps generator)
The Azusa Pacific University/ Citrus Gold Line stop has been reaffirmed to open on March 5 despite a request for a 4-month delay from the city of Azusa, Azusa Pacific University and the Rosedale Land Partners Group, an Azusa community located right above Citrus College.
The three reached out to Metro out of concern for the construction that had not been completed at the turn of Citrus Ave. into Foothill Blvd., right above Citrus College in a letter from the mayor of Azusa, Joseph Romero Rocha.
“While we are certainly looking forward to the opening of the APU/Citrus College station, we want it to happen when it is safe to do so and without imposing unnecessary adverse impacts on our residents,” Rocha said.
Construction for the extension of Citrus Avenue is expected to begin this month and be completed by July.
The Metro Board of Directors Chair, Mark Ridley-Thomas replied with a two-page letter declining the delay request, stating is their “duty as responsible stewards of the public trust to open the Gold Line with all stations, as expected…” but still acknowledged safety concerns.
“Given the concerns of the city of Azusa, Metro and the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority are obtaining the assistance of a traffic engineering firm to assess the traffic management plan around the station in order to evaluate whether there are additional enhancements that can be put in place prior to the March 5 opening,” Ridley-Thomas said.
Director of Community Relations at APU, Jinny Dadaian said APU is “in full support of the Gold Line but hesitant on traffic on the small street of Palm Drive” and that APU’s concerns are about safety for students, faculty and staff.
Ridley-Thomas had addressed traffic concerns with Palm Drive stating, “Metro station ambassadors will be assigned for the first couple of weeks, or longer if necessary, to assist passangers with both access and service issues.”
Director of Communications at Citrus, Paula Green said in a statement that “Citrus College has been a strong advocate and supporter of the Gold Line expansion since its inception.”
Citrus remains supportive of the Gold Line opening although it remains unclear why Citrus College was not included or did not wish to be involved.
“The college is looking forward to the opening…We are preparing for the opening in a variety of ways that include meeting with representatives from Azusa Pacific University to discuss pedestrian safety and logistical concerns related to increased pedestrian and auto traffic,” Green said.
Citrus will also be working with Metro on a safety campaign for students, staff and faculty.
Citrus student and avid bus rider, Alexis Batista-Boyd, said the Gold Line is a great thing in this city.
“I don’t know if it will be safe or not,” Batista-Boyd said regarding construction while the new stop is open. “I know nothing about construction of railways and subways and of what criteria they need to meet, but I will try it out as soon as I get the chance.”
APU fine art and theater student, Devin Franklin, said she thought traffic should be fine and believes the new stop will still be convenient despite construction.
“It would lessen traffic or might not have any effect,” Franklin said.
Ridley-Thomas said, “until the Citrus Ave. construction project is completed, the [Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority] has indicated they will provide a two-bus shuttle service linking both Citrus College and Azusa Pacific University with the Azusa Citrus Station.”
The shuttle service is scheduled to run during all school hours.