February 16, 2010 | 12:35 pm
While Los Angeles vigorously debates improvements to its bike infrastructure and Long Beach aims for the title of “the most bicycle friendly city in America,” Pasadena has released its own bike plan, which calls for nearly 20 miles of new bike lanes and paths.
The $1.8-million plan would rely on federal and state grants to build 6.3 miles of new bike lanes and 3.3 miles of new bike paths, and provide paint, pavement and sign upgrades for dozens of miles of other bikes lanes and routes.
The plan includes less conventional ideas, such as “emphasized bikeways,” or preferred routes that take cyclists away from busy streets, and shared bike-car lanes called “sharrows.” It also contains an idea bound to be controversial: Taking out lanes of traffic to erect diversion barriers to make more space for bicycles.
The Pasadena blueprint comes on the tail of efforts by cities such as Long Beach and Burbank to give cyclists safer passage through their cities.
Pasadena’s overtures to cyclists are being greeted with cautious optimism by cycling advocates, who say the city is moving in the right direction in guaranteeing cyclists’ safety but falling short in calling for enough protected bike lanes
“It’s very good, and there’s some connecting of gaps,” said Dorothy Le, planning and policy director for the nonprofit Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. “But now that there’s more cities trying to vie for more bike friendliness, Pasadena’s got to be a little more aggressive.”
The bike plan will be released to the public Feb. 23 during a meeting at Pasadena City Hall.