Regional News: July 2007 Archives

Time to grow up

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If population projections released this past week come to fruition, Riverside County will be the second most-populous county in California by 2050, ranking behind only behemoth Los Angeles County.


2006
Downtown Riverside


2006
Piemonte
Ontario

The report, issued by the California Department of Finance -- the folks responsible for statewide fiscal planning and demographics -- says Riverside County can expect to house 4.7 million residents in about 40 years. This would move the county from its current spot as the fourth most-populous to the No. 2 spot, with only Los Angeles County's projected 13.1 million being larger (indeed, much larger). San Bernardino County is projected to remain the fifth most-populous with 3.7 million.

If recent history is a guide, however, one thing is certain -- we cannot simply ignore the potential numbers. Although there's no guarantee that all 2.5-plus million residents will actually arrive as projected, there's no doubt Riverside County will still absorb a large amount of future growth (as we've learned over the past 40 years). So too will San Bernardino County. Thus, ignoring the growth is not the answer -- but aggressively planning for it is.

Therefore, the question is, will local officials and residents alike simply allow development to continue sprawling outward? Or, will we begin to realize -- and accept -- the time has come to begin growing upward?

In our opinion, we do not see any other option but upward. We're not talking a forest of 50-story towers. Instead, we're envisioning pockets of mixed-use, higher density developments consisting of modest 15-, 20- and 30-story buildings, mostly in the existing downtowns of Riverside and San Bernardino and possibly even Ontario. Likewise, we hope to see smaller clusters consisting of 5-, 10- and 15-story buildings in some portions of Corona, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Moreno Valley, Temecula, Murrieta and even Redlands. Such would greatly increase future options in living, working, transportation and cultural amenities while still maintaining the viability of existing lifestyles. In essence, simply adding balance to the current landscape.

Census: 2050
California's 10 most-populous counties
(w/ 2000 ranking)

Indeed, Inland Southern California cannot continue spreading outward, if only for two major reasons -- lack of efficient, multi-modal transportation and the need for stronger, more diversified employment centers. It's becoming more evident that continuing current development patterns is simply too expensive -- everything from environmental concerns and infrastructure constraints (think: freeway gridlock) to overall quality of life.

Quite frankly, do we really want our children and their children to spend countless hours commuting to LA, Orange and San Diego counties as many of us and our parents before have done? Whether it be for employment or even entertainment purposes, we think the smart answer is an emphatic "No."

Thus, it's now time to grow up.

Related

Previous


One of the things we find fascinating are how places and/or buildings change -- or don't change -- over time. Sometimes it's a simple paint job on an old house or building while at other times an entire building -- or entire block -- is completely redeveloped. Sometimes the transformation takes several years, while in other cases the landscape changes rather quickly.

Click the image below for two views of "E" Street in downtown San Bernardino, first from the 1940s and next from 2007.

Both views are looking north toward the intersection with 3rd Street (note: the 1940s postcard incorrectly states the view as being from 3rd Street as opposed to being toward 3rd Street).

On the immediate left is the Harris Co. department store, with its decorative elements, while just beyond it is the Andresen Building, which was the former home to Bank of America. As seen in the 2007 view, both structures remain standing today, though the Harris Co. building is currently closed.

On the right, the scene has changed dramatically. Civic Plaza -- which encompasses City Hall, Exhibit Hall and the Clarion Hotel -- has replaced the buildings on the immediate right, including the one-time branch of Citizens' National Bank (foreground) and the four-story, 1890 Katz Building (background).

With the redevelopment of Carousel Mall -- of which the Harris Co. building anchors its eastern end -- becoming much more probable, the immediate area is likely to change dramatically once again.

Flash: 'E' at Third: 1940s - 2007

Related


1930s
Harris Co.

1950s
3rd Street toward E Street
(where Carousel Mall
sits today)


1940s
E Street toward 3rd Street

2007
E Street toward 3rd Street



Sources: City of San Bernardino, San Bernardino Sun


About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Regional News category from July 2007.

Regional News: March 2007 is the previous archive.

Regional News: August 2007 is the next archive.

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