Wednesday, November 16, 2011

SGV Week: The San Gabriel Valley, Defined

Ever since The Militant first announced San Gabriel Valley Week, more than a few of you asked him to define the San Gabriel Valley's boundaries. Defining regional boundaries is not new for The Militant, as he successfully settled the Eastside/Westside geographical dichotomy by defining Los Angeles' center back in 2008, so he figured he'd take on the SGV.

Now, although The Militant doesn't reveal much about himself, here's what he can reveal from his SGV cred: The Militant has unspecified relatives and family friends from the SGV, and has been visiting those unspecified areas of the valley since the mid-1970s. Some of his best operatives have lived and grew up there. All of the cars the Militant has owned have been purchased from unspecified dealerships in the SGV, and his current automobile was bought at an unspecified dealership in Monrovia (he was smart enough to take the Gold Line and the Metro Local bus there, of course). He also may or may not have maintained employment in the 626 at some point in the past or present. So although he's neither born nor bred there, he feels he has earned considerable Essgeevee cred...(Did he reveal too much there?)

So here 'tis:
[Click on map to enlarge!]
Now, Webster's Dictionary defines a "Valley" as "An elongated depression between uplands, hills, or mountains, especially one following the course of a stream."

So lessee...The San Gabriel Valley is an area surrounded by the San Gabriel Mountains to the north, the San Rafael Hills to the west, the Puente and Brea hills to the south and the 57 Freeway to the east. Interesting how the San Gabriel River/605 Freeway nicely slice the valley in half. The 10 Freeway is the valley's equator. Therefore, the geographic center of the SGV is the 10/605 interchange. come the little details: The San Gabriel River and Rio Hondo form an opening known as the Whittier Narrows between the Monterey Hills to the west and the Puente Hills to the east, and encompass other cities that don't perfectly fit the valley bowl (and the 626 area code) such as Montebello and Whittier. But they are undoubtedly linked to the rest of the SGV through the Narrows, so they are part of the SGV. South of Whittier are the Gateway Cities or Mid-Cities which buffer Los Angeles and Orange counties. The Militant considers the southern limit of that part of the SGV as more or less Whittier Boulevard.

The other area of question is towards the northeast of the SGV: Cities such as San Dimas, LaVerne, Pomona and Claremont. Are they SGV or Inland Empire?

The Militant considers them...neither. They are not in the SGV since they are in the 909 area code and not the 626. But they aren't really IE, since they are still Los Angeles County. They are in their own region: The Pomona Valley.

So The Militant's short definition of the SGV goes as such: The entire 626 area code region, plus the geographically-connected cities of Montebello and Whittier. Howzat?!


Valleypinoy said...

woohoo! thanks for the clarification, militant!

Anel said...

Yo.. I claim Pomona as IE all day everyday!

Anonymous said...

dude....totally agree. well said!

Will Campbell said...

Where. Have. You. Gone. Joe. Di. Magg. I. O?

Interpersonal Computing said...

The Pomona Valley is largely innovation. Claremont, La Verne, Pomona, San Dimas, Diamond Bar, and Walnut are in the San Gabriel Valley. These cities are part of the membership of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments which includes the cities mentions. Sure, they have a 909 dialing code, but it does not make them any different from the cities of the westside of the the SGV. Militant Angeleno's argument falls short when comparing the 818 versus the 213/323 area codes. Using the dialing code argument, they would imply that the Valley communities like Pacoima, Northridge, North Hollywood, Chatsworth and such are not part of the City of Los Angeles. It just comes to show the assumptions made by people who don't live in the area.

As for Anel's comment, A lot of people do lump Pomona as being part of the Inland Empire, but in reality, the Inland Empire is formally in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. It heavily marked by transit agencies, the resources afforded to them by the county agencies, and their representation.