City of South Pasadena | Public Works End-of-Year Achievements

Report on the many projects the department handled in 2020

As a former councilmember, Bob Joe is aware that the City of South Pasadena should never overlook the good work of its Public Works Department staff and crew.

“They are doing an outstanding job in maintaining and repairing our streets, facilities, parks and water system,” said Joe, who served as the town’s mayor in 2020. “For example, when there is a water pipe break, they respond quickly and often have the emergency resolved within hours. When traffic signal lights fail, they are the ones who undertake the repairs and do so immediately. They respond when rains flood the streets.”

Joe, like Diana Mahmud, the current mayor, were recently presented a detailed list of accomplishments made by the public works department over the past year, not a particularly easy one in face of COVID-19. Under their watch along with others on the council, they carefully monitored the everyday efforts of those carrying out the workload.

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“I make every effort to say ‘thank you’ when I see our public works staff out in the field,” said Joe, pleased to have the opportunity to praise their efforts. “As a councilmember, I took every opportunity to attend employee events, and I always thanked each employee for their service. Even now, when I see public works and other staff working in the city, I continue to do express my appreciation.”

FILE PHOTO: Eric Fabbro | News | Current South Pasadena Mayor, Diana Mahmud

Typically, noted Mahmud, the city’s public works department only gets noticed when “something goes wrong, or is in a state of disrepair,” she explained. “It’s a pleasure to see our hardworking staff in Public Works receive this positive attention. With an aging infrastructure much work remains to be done. Also, we are updating some infrastructure to reflect 21st century needs and sensibilities. Public works will continue to be very busy for the foreseeable future!”

Shahid Abbas, South Pasadena Public Works Director, provided some of the accomplishments in his department over the past year:

For many reasons, 2020 was a challenging year for all of us. While complying with the safer-at-home orders, the Public Works Department was able to complete numerous routine proactive maintenance assignments. The most notable accomplishments include the following:

• Secured over 9.3 million dollars of grant funding for the North-South Corridor Intelligent Transportation System Deployment on Fair Oaks Avenue and adjacent corridors project.

• Parks Division received a $29,854 rebate payment from SoCal Water$mart for Fair Oaks median retrofit.

• Secured 6 million dollars of grant funding for Fremont Avenue “Complete Street Project.”

• Construction of a new traffic signal at the intersection of Monterey Road and Orange Grove Avenue.

• Camino Del Sol and Alpha Avenue Paving Project completed.

• Fair Oaks Avenue Traffic Signal Improvements Project design completed.

FY2018-19 Street Improvement Project design will be completed at the end of January 2021.

PHOTO: City of South Pasadena | News | Monterey Hills in South Pasadena

• Secured $216,577 of CDBG funds for the Sidewalk Replacements & ADA Ramp upgrades.

• California Transportation Commission approved the City’s FY2019-20 Expenditure Report for the SB1 Funding.

• Bicycle shelters and hitches were installed throughout the City, adding 196 bicycle parking stations.

• Responded and completed more than 3,550 customer requests.

• Trimmed more than 2,100 City trees.

• Planted 88 new trees.

• Filled more than 250 potholes.

• Removed and replaced more than 250 linear feet of sidewalks, curb, and gutter.

• In conjunction with SMART Families, we made updates to Meridian Avenue between Monterey and Kendall Avenue, including updating pavement markings and street signage.

• Cleaned and inspected more than 340,000 linear feet of wastewater lines.

• Retrofitted approximately 100 streetlights to LED.

• Completed a City-Wide Climate Action Plan, adopted in December 2020.

• Maintained our American Green Zone Alliance (AZGA) and Tree City USA status.

• Updated the City Hall Courtyard featuring permeable pavers to capture rainwater, which will recharge groundwater.

• In 2021, the Public Works Department will continue to look for additional grant opportunities to deliver the projects representing the City Council’s priorities and meet our community’s desires and aspirations.

The department will do everything it can to continue providing high-quality customer service to South Pasadena residents. If you have any questions, call (626) 403-7370 or via email at

Working together, we can make a difference.

The City of South Pasadena contributed to this story