We'd all been told it could happen, that members of the very rarest of species, pedestrianus lacanadanus, could make regular appearances on Foothill Boulevard. But I was chief among the doubters.
Oh, sure, we'd see one or two bipeds along the main drag every now and again, but they were usually attached to skateboards. Or, they were the church-going variety, dashing from the sidewalk in front of La Cañada Presbyterian across the street to the Plaza shopping center, where they'd left their cars for the duration of a Sunday service.
About a dozen years ago some visionaries insisted that the heart of town could become friendly to the species. They exhorted city officials to develop a plan to encourage people to get out of their cars and shop the boulevard on foot. After a lengthy and costly study, the Downtown Village Specific Plan was approved, and pointed to with some pride. It was, everyone said, pedestrian-friendly.