News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.

‘Town Tweets ’

by Joe Castillo

Casino Bus Problem  ….

   If you’ve lived in San Gabriel over the past 5 years, you may have noticed an   increase in the number of casino tour buses. They park on city streets, in parking lots and even in front of residences. Most of the casino tour buses are unmarked and it is uncertain if the buses are open to the public as I’ve never seen any advertising or announcements. The San Gabriel City Council is also concerned about the impact of the tour buses on local residences and streets. At the October 15th City Council meeting, staff reported on the situation after residents complained about pedestrian and vehicle safety, traffic congestion, parking, improper trash disposal, and harassment of motorists. The report summarized the impact of the casino tour buses as a negative impact on the business and residential community, public infrastructure and the environment. The report also presented two recommendations: 1) adopt an ordinance to prohibit on street bus loading and unloading; 2) explore options for a residential parking permit program.  In addition to the two recommendations, seven other recommendations were deemed as not acceptable including not allowing tour buses on residential streets. This was termed as not legal according the state vehicle code but other local cities have implemented this restriction are have been able to enforce it. None of the recommendations included not allowing casino tour buses to operate in the city. It seems that there are 44 tour companies operating in San Gabriel of which 28 have a tour bus operation. The tour companies have a license to operate a tour bus and if the city really wanted to put a stop to this problem, they would discontinue designated licenses.  It’s just my opinion, but doesn’t it appear that there is a growth of questionable vices in the city. There are more than 40 massage parlors in the city and now there are 28 potential casino tour bus operations. It just looks like there is a growth in sex and gambling related businesses in the City Without a Plan. The city has scheduled at study session for the citywide parking issue for January 14, 2014…. Bencamp Street Rename…. Hing Wa Lee Jewelers is building a new 11,000 square foot retail store on Del Mar and Bencamp Avenue in San Gabriel. The owner of Hing Wa Lee has petitioned the city to change the name of Bencamp Street to Hing Wa Lee Place. Staff has recommended the change to support ‘economic development’ in the city. Council wants more information before approving.  Hopefully, council will reconsider this move as it opens the city to changing the street name of any street in support of ‘economic development’. But in a City Without a Plan, I wouldn’t be surprised if Valley Boulevard and Del Mar Avenue names are changed one day in support of something called ‘economic development’……

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