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Caltrans scrubs Pasadena's giant fork

May 17, 2010 |  7:16 pm

image If there’s a place in Pasadena where two roads diverge and is easily accessible to the public, Bob Stane would like to stick a fork in it.

The 18-foot fork has stood at South St. John and Pasadena avenues since Halloween, when Stane’s friends erected it as a surprise for his 75th birthday. The unusual monument caused a stir with residents and city officials overwhelmingly in favor of the tongue-in-cheek art.

The fork is rooted in land owned by Caltrans and leased to Pasadena strictly for landscaping use, Caltrans spokeswoman Maria Raptis said. In November, Caltrans agreed to allow the fork to stay for six months. Although that deadline has passed, Raptis said Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard recently sent a letter to a Caltrans director asking that the fork be allowed to stay. A discussion on the fork’s location is forthcoming, she said.

But Stane, who co-owns an Altadena coffee gallery and showroom with the fork’s creator, Ken Marshall, said he spoke to a Caltrans official who gave him until the first week of June to find a new plot for the fork.

“They think it’s dangerous, that it might fall over, and they’re afraid people will run across the street to be photographed with the fork and be run over,” Stane said.

Stane has spent the last month scouting places where the fork could be relocated. He envisions a spot where it can serve as a landmark for large crowds. Although Stane and his friends once hosted a canned food drive at the fork, a planned Valentine's Day celebration was canceled by the city due to possible traffic issues.

Stane's ideal location? “Where Colorado Boulevard hits Orange Grove. It’s got a great big lawn, and that’s where the Rose Parade starts. It would be great if the parade came and turned right at the fork on the road.”

-- Corina Knoll

Photo: "The Fork in the Road," at South Pasadena and St. John avenues.  Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times