The clocks of Cucamonga

A cell tower disguised as a clock tower is coming to the shopping center at Base Line and Milliken in Rancho Cucamonga, as a recent Bulletin story recounts. (Click on the link at the end of this post to read it.) Some of us wonder if the clock will tell time or be purely decorative. R.C. has a mixed record on this score.

A clock tower at a jewelry store on the Rancho Cucamonga side of Fourth Street across from Ontario Mills has stationary hands. It always appears to be 4:55 p.m., even when it’s, say, 1:53 p.m.

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Meanwhile, a clock at the Rancho Cucamonga Town Square shopping center at Foothill and Haven purposely can’t be seen from the street. Planners thought a working clock would be distracting, a rationale I never really understood on a street with billboards.

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The clockface within the Town Square does work. As illustrated by these two examples, taken in July and March, respectively, the hands move, although the clock is about 90 minutes fast.

Meanwhile, a clock at the Chaffey Plaza center at Haven and Lemon shockingly fulfills its function 100 percent. Someone should get out there right away and disable it.

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Clock tower in Rancho Cucamonga to serve as site of cell tower

Wendy Leung, Staff Writer

RANCHO CUCAMONGA – A stroll through Linda Paul’s Terra Vista neighborhood might elicit scenes of modern suburbia – families walking with strollers and children riding bicycles.

But there’s another familiar sight – frustrated cell phone users shouting, “Hello, hello?”

“I can sometimes make and hold a call,” said Paul, who lives on Elena West. “But people are always walking outdoors, talking on their cell phones.”

Mobile phone coverage is sketchy and unpredictable in many corners of the city, including Paul’s neighborhood. One solution, in the form of a clock tower, is planned for the Central Park Plaza Shopping Center on the southeast corner of Base Line and Milliken Avenue.

“As cell phone use becomes more and more popular, this has become a standard,” planning Commissioner Frances Howdyshell said. “I’m pleased this tower will have more aesthetics.”

“It’s much nicer than a faux palm,” added Commissioner Ray Wimberly.

The 61-foot clock tower will be located on the northwest corner of the plaza. A Sprint cell tower in the shape of a tree is currently on the southeast corner of the center.

“Anytime you see a pretty tall structure, it is most likely a cell site,” said Paul, who is a zoning and government affairs manager for T-Mobile.

Paul said the new tower will improve not just coverage for cell phone conversations but for text messages and other wireless communications.

“With so many youngsters having phones … they trade photographs, they text … those data services are relying on a cell tower, too,” Paul said.

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