October 7, 2011
Every Monday Matt Theisen pedals from South Pasadena through the Arroyo Seco to his downtown Los Angeles internship. In the coming weeks, his route will become a little easier to ride.
This month the city will begin creating 24 miles of bikeways on local streets, adding bicycle racks and features aimed at making conditions safer for cyclists, the Pasadena Sun reported. City officials had planned to begin implementing South Pasadena’s bike master plan this week, but rain pushed plans back.
“It’s really important to me to have a bike-friendly environment,” Theisen, 22, said. “I use my bike to run most of my errands. I live with my girlfriend, who has a car we use to go to the grocery store. But for everything else, we use our bikes.”
Fewer than 30 cities in Los Angeles County, which contains 88 municipalities, have adopted bicycle master plans, according to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Pasadena and La Cañada Flintridge have bicycle master plans, while San Marino does not.
South Pasadena officials plan to kick things off with the addition of a bike lane to El Centro Street near Arroyo Vista Elementary School.
Officials estimate the entire network will cost about $5.7 million and will take 20 years to complete. All of the money is expected to come from state and federal programs, including funds administered by Caltrans and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The plan seeks to connect bikers to the Gold Line, neighboring cities and the Arroyo Seco bicycle path, said Dennis Woods, transportation manager for South Pasadena.
“It will allow people to see biking as a viable mode versus always driving your car. The plan also sets out that we have to share our streets. Many times people forget,” Woods said.
Plans call for pavement markings, including a “green lane,” to increase the visibility of bikers. It also includes bicycle boxes — areas at signalized intersections that place bicyclists in front of cars.