Richard Risemberg is an LA-based writer, photographer, designer, and sustainability advocate. He publishes Bicycle Fixation and also works for various magazines, newspapers, and blogs, including Flying Pigeon LA, where this article was originally posted.
Just Tuesday, I rode along the freshly-painted bike lane on Pasadena Avenue in South Pasadena—so new, it didn’t have the bike stencils on it yet. The city had topped off a nice job of street resurfacing with a road diet!
Although the lane lasts for only around a quarter of a mile, a look at the map on page 46 the city’s new bike plan shows the new lane connecting—soon, one hopes!—to similar lanes on Arroyo Drive and the continuation of Pasadena Avenue, and thence, of course, to the current lanes on El Centro.
In fact, the map is quite gratifying, showing what looks to be an effective neighborhood network of mostly bike lanes and bike routes serving both the residential and commercial districts of that tiny city. There’s even a proposed Class I trail (off-road bike path) along a power company right of way.
Lanes are slated for Huntington Drive as well, a wide and busy street on the south of town.
Little arrows lead off the map where the trails leave the city’s borders to indicate regional bikeway connections–something that has often been ignored in our county of 88 cities in the past. Too many towns—including LA—seem to think they’ve got to go it alone.
One such arrow points northwest to the York Boulevard bridge over the Arroyo and the Pasadena Freeway. Just behind me in the photograph…but, alas, it does not yet provide regional connectivity. The York Boulevard lanes end about a mile away, at Avenue 55. They are to be extended soon…but only as far as Figueroa.
Why this is I don’t know. They really should go a few more blocks to the bridge, where they probably need to become sharrows, as the right of way is pretty tight there.
And of course we’d love for Figueroa itself, the street that fronts on Flying Pigeon LA after all, and Highland Park’s other main drag, to get some much-needed lanes of its own.
That would make regional connectivity a reality.
And what a boon to neighbors, and neighborhood businesses, in both South Pasadena and Highland Park, if it happened soon!