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County Aiming for Bike Plan Completion in March of 2012

On Wednesday morning, the County's Regional Planning Commission moved forward a bike plan that would create a 'bike boulevard' in Altadena and link a regional bike path up to Eaton Canyon.

A plan that would result in the future introduction of traffic calming measures to a five-mile stretch of streets across Altadena got a preliminary approval from a county planning commission on Wednesday morning.

The County Regional Planning Commission approved a draft plan of the county's updated 20-year master bicycle plan Wednesday morning, which bike includes improvements for unincorporated areas all over the county and would result in more than 60 miles of bike improvements in the West San Gabriel Valley alone.

The commission scheduled a hearing for January on the final plan and planners are aiming for March of 2012 to get final approval from the county.

Bike Boulevard

The proposed bike boulevard would run east to west in Altadena along the following streets: Harriet Street, then switch to Calaveras Steet, and wind through Mendocino Street, Midwick Drive, Glen Canyon Road and down Roosevelt Avenue (the proposed boulevard route is highlighted in purple on the map on right).  It would have traffic calming measures designed to slow down cars and make biking easier (an example of a bike boulevard in San Luis Obispo is pictured at right).

Read more about the Bike Boulevard proposal here

Planners held a public meeting about the boulevard in October, and on Tuesday, they presented the plan to the Altadena Town Council.

Several Town Council members raised concerns that residents who live on the streets don't know anything about the bike boulevard plans. Diane Marcussen, who district includes Roosevelt Avenue told county planners Tuesday that the project includes "significant changes that people are not aware of" and said she has not seen a presentation that adequately explains exactly what a bike boulevard would look like.

However, planners have said as the plan covers 20 years, the bike boulevard will likely be built some time between 2017 and 2027.

Allan Abramson, the county's representative at Tuesday's meeting, said that the project would have its own environmental planning process before being implemented and specific details would be discussed long before construction happens.  He said at the meeting that "nothing is set in stone" about the route, what traffic measures might be used, or any other details of the plan.

Under the plan, Altadena would also see a bike path that would start from just east of the border of Altadena and Pasadena on New York Drive, and run south for 7.8 miles along the Eaton Wash through East Pasadena and San Gabriel to connect to the Rio Hondo bike path in El Monte.

Read more about the bike path and other local trail proposals

Cyclist Response

Almost all of the public comment at Wednesday morning's hearing, as well as the Town Council meeting were from cyclists, both advocates and community members, who expressed disappointment that the plan does not do more.

Several people expressed support for 'cycle tracks' which add bike lanes right on the sidewalk, giving cyclists separation both from moving and parked cars (an example of this in Long Beach can be viewed here).

As , many of the bikeway improvements that the plans proposes are adding 'bike routes,' which are nothing more than a sign advising cyclists of which streets to ride on.

Advocates also expressed hope that the county would accelerate its plans and not take 20 years to implement it.

mister altadena November 16, 2011 at 09:30 PM
Does anyone know the approx amt of bikers coming through town right now? Would the implementation of the bike plan bring more riders through town? If so, how many more? With bike blvds., would cars be inconvenienced for the sake of bikers? For example, on Mendocino, will cars choose to go to New York Dr or Altadena Dr. to avoid "traffic calming" devices? Will speed limits be lowered?
Dan Abendschein (Editor) November 16, 2011 at 09:40 PM
I don't know that any of that has been studied. I assume that if they do the bike boulevard, that when they get to the environmental planning process they would be required to do a traffic study. I would imagine that drivers would indeed try to avoid streets with the calming measures, and it's possible on some streets, they would be blocked off, as the photo on this article depicts. However, I would think they would not put up barriers on Mendocino... of all the streets listed here it is the one that probably has the most through traffic. Also, it is so wide I think you could narrow it and squeeze in a separated bikeway.

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