In The News

In The News: Brad Hanson, Pasadena Beautiful: Colorado Street Bridge Barrier Options Impair Views, Degrade Walking Experience

Published on Thursday, April 1, 2021, Published on

Since its construction 109 years ago, Pasadena’s iconic Colorado Street Bridge has tragically attracted suicide attempts. This prompted The Department of Public Works to add a 10-foot barrier in 2016, while the City considered more permanent options to deterrence. Now the City has placed mockups of three proposed barriers on the bridge for public comment.

Each of those options is a vertical barrier that impairs views of the bridge and degrades the experience of walking it.

The Board of Directors of Pasadena Beautiful strongly urges the City to consider a horizontal barrier, such as the one designed for San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge by the same engineering firm that Pasadena has engaged for the Colorado Street Bridge project. A horizontal net barrier suffers none of the drawbacks of the vertical designs; it wouldn’t detract from views or intrude on the walking experience. San Francisco supplements the net with paid and volunteer bridge patrols and has phones on the bridge, wired to a suicide prevention hotline. There is no reason that Pasadena couldn’t implement a similar program.

We believe the City dismissed the option of a horizontal barrier without adequately analyzing it, instead offering fact-free assertions that would-be suicides would have to be physically removed from it, while thrill-seekers would repeatedly be seeking to jump from it. The Colorado Street Bridge surely merits, and the community of Pasadena deserves, that the City consider a horizontal barrier that would deter suicides while respecting the aesthetics of our treasured bridge.

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CalFire Funding

In 2013, CALFIRE (California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection) awarded PBF $75,000 in Federal Funds earmarked for Southern California’s Storm recovery efforts.

These funds were for Urban Tree Planting to restore trees lost in the windstorm so that those affected areas will once again enjoy the remarkable benefits that urban trees provide. The funding allowed us to plant 215 24” box-sized trees in residential neighborhoods, parks and libraries.



American Forests Donation

On May 15th 2012, a partnership began between American Forests and Pasadena Beautiful. American Forests awarded Pasadena Beautiful $4350. On this day the first tree planting with volunteers from American Forests and Chegg took place in Northwest Pasadena in and around Muir High School.

A total of 27 trees were planted on that day.



American Forests made a second donation of $5,200 for the Community Releaf tree planting which took place on November 16th, 2013 in northwest Pasadena. Trees were planted on Washington Boulevard, Solita Road and Forest Avenue.

The event was attended by Scott Steen, President and CEO of American
Forests, Michael Beck, Pasadena City Manager, Siobhan Foster, the Public Works Director as well as many other city representatives and partners from Bank of America.



In April 2014, American Forests awarded Pasadena Beautiful a $10,000 grant
to do a Community Releaf project. The tree planting event took place on April 24th at Brookside Park with 33 volunteers from Bank of America as well as representatives from American Forests in Washington D.C. A total of 33 24″ box size trees were planted.

In The News

Pasadena Windstorm 2011

In response to the major windstorm disaster, Pasadena Beautiful Foundation (PBF) in collaboration with the Pasadena Community Foundation (PCF), established the Pasadena Windstorm Tree Fund to raise funds for the purchase and re-planting of over 2000 street trees lost in Pasadena during this devastating windstorm.

The Pasadena Community Foundation (PCF) offered a $10,000 matching grant to PBF whose Board stepped up and raised $33,000 bringing the total to $43,000.

Every dollar donated to PBF was used for the sole purpose of re-planting trees. The City of Pasadena was appreciative and thankful that the two organizations worked together to make this possible.


On March 27th, 2012, The City of Pasadena, Pasadena Beautiful Foundation and The Pasadena Community Foundation came together at a ceremony to launch the re-planting of the first of 400 trees that was funded by the $43,000 contribution.  The entire amount was spent to pay for and plant 316 trees. In addition, funds were used to re-stake 135 trees that were toppled in the high winds.

The planting which began in early spring was concluded by November 28, 2012 close to the one year anniversary of that horrific storm. PBF completed it’s commitment to the planting of replacement trees that were downed or badly damaged by the 2011 windstorm that devastated many areas of Pasadena.  Additional trees that were damaged continue to be identified for removal and replaced.

This effort was led by Emina Darakjy, who selected all of the new trees, and coordinated with the City for the proper species and sites. Those of you who are tree enthusiasts, will like to know that some of the species were Quercus Agrifolia, Southern Magnolias, Chinese Elms, Camphors, Jacarandas, Southern Live Oaks and California Sycamores.

Home owners are encouraged to contact us with questions regarding street trees.  If you see a location where a new tree is needed, or perhaps one that is dying, please contact our office via email or phone with a few details, and we will make every effort to replace it.