City examines ways To make Pasadena more accessible for cyclists
By Stephanie Davis 07/31/2014
A proposal to create bike lanes could completely redesign Pasadena streets, traffic flow and parking.
The Bicycle Master Plan would span a total of 38 miles of bike lanes in seven east-west corridors and four north-south corridors in Pasadena.
The idea started in 2009 when the city updated its land use plan. One of the principles of this plan was to make Pasadena accessible without the use of a car. This notion was backed by the public as well as Pasadena officials.
“In our community outreach we asked residents, ‘How do you envision Pasadena in the future?’” said Department of Transportation Administrator Mark Yamarone, “They said they wanted to feel safer walking and bicycling in the city.”
There has also been an increasing trend in bicycle riding in Pasadena and other urban areas, according to Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, an avid cyclist.
“We want to have as strong a plan as possible to encourage biking at this point in time,” said Bogaard.
A draft of the new proposal was made in June 2013. It came to light from bicycle advocacy groups that a major issue for biking in Pasadena was lack of protected “buffers” for bike lanes. This brought the Bicycle Corridors Analysis and Feasibility Study to life.
The buffers in the new study are created to maintain space between cars and bicycles to prevent accidents. The study revealed that traffic and parking present a big problem for bike lanes.
Many of the possible plans to create bike lanes include the removal of traffic lanes, parking, both or neither. In one possible plan for a stretch of Washington Boulevard, putting in a buffered bike lane could remove 358 parking spaces. However there are scenarios in which facilitated bike lanes can be created without adversely affecting parking, as the newly created buffered bike lanes on South Marengo exhibit.
Parking is a sensitive issue in Pasadena. The bike proposal spans in commercial and residential areas, and comments have come from those concerned about the loss of space.
“We can’t have it all, and at this point we need to start prioritizing,” said Yamarone, referring to parking space. “But no one person makes these decisions.” s