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What's a Bike Boulevard Anyway?

Here at Altadena Patch we've written a lot about a proposed 'bike boulevard' for a 5-mile east-west stretch of Altadena. So what exactly could it entail? The below features, from the county's master bike plan, are possibilities.

As , a county commission has approved a county master bike plan that includes a five-mile designated "bike boulevard" for Altadena.

We've written plenty about the plan and while we've discussed some of the potential traffic calming measures that would slow cars down for the benefit of cyclists, the county has never before provided a comprehensive look at what those measures might be.

That's no longer true: at the direction of the County Regional Planning Commission, which had two hearings on the issue, county planners returned the second time with a new appendix to the plan that laid out the details of the bicycle boulevard.

The above photos, captions, and descriptions are all based on the features discussed in that appendix, and while planners have not committed to any of these measures in particular, some of them are likely one-day features of the bike boulevard.

The full section of the report that deals with the features is also available in the line-up above.

Laura Monteros January 12, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Some of these are good ideas. I like the forward stop bar, as it will make it easier to see cyclists on the right. However, they all depend on cyclists following the rules of the road, especially actually coming to a full stop. I think money might be better spent in educating cyclists about traffic safety. Maybe they should be required to pass a course before getting a license to ride. Even if the course were free, I'm sure it would cost less than these changes to streets and the additional gas that a motorist must use to detour around them.
True Freedom January 12, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Perhaps we should also require drivers to pass a test specific to sharing the road with cyclists. A significant percentage of drivers have no clue what the rules with respect to bike detail. Also, I'm not sure I like the forward stop bar. It makes it more difficult for cars that might want to turn right on red. I guess they are nice if there is no right turn ability. The rest of the ideas are cool. My favorite options are the ones that attempt to minimize the interaction between cars and bikes.. especially the "enhanced bike routes" that force cars to turn while allowing bikes to continue... this encourages autos to use major routes instead of smaller street cut throughs. Here we have routes that are more auto centric, and routes that are more bike centric.
Steve Lamb January 12, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Laura and True- I could not agree with each of you more, except I really think True that forcing cars to go in a particular direction, reducing their choices forcing them to stay on major routes is counterproductive to the overall goals of reducing congestion and fuel consumption. Today going up lake I got trapped at 6 am in back of three cyclists riding three abreast in a lane and a wall of traffic on the other side of me. this kind of regular, rude, illegal activity by cyclists is what drives motorists crazy. An hour later going home I had some cyclist with a death wish cut me off as I was coming to a stop because she wanted to use a driveway cut to ride on a short section of sidewalk.While I was slowing for a stop sign, I had to slam the brakes hard to not hit her. I dont understand why, but cyclists drive around town as if they are in the 2500 lb steel cage......This plan isnt going to help that, its going to make it worse.
mister altadena January 12, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Just curious, are there provisions for free/reduced price bikes? Is the idea to protect those who already bike &/or encourage more people to bike? If the idea is to encourage more to bike, show me the free/reduced price bikes for those who can't pony up for one. FWIW, I have a bike. Many don't but can't afford one for them &/or their entire family.
Steve Lamb January 12, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Actually MA, we have a bike guy here in Altadena who will sell anyone a good used bike for $15-40.
Steve Lamb January 12, 2012 at 11:38 PM
AND in addition to that, Steve's Bike has a quiet non advertised program where he gives used reconditioned bikes away.
yeahian January 13, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Contact info pls.
Hugo January 13, 2012 at 02:37 PM
I agree 100%
Laura Monteros January 13, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Drivers do have to pass a test about sharing the road. It's in the Vehicle Code and on the written tests.
Laura Monteros January 13, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Very similar to experiences I've had.
True Freedom January 13, 2012 at 05:33 PM
@Steve: RE: being stuck behind cyclists and bikers hitting the sidewalks: with proper bike route placement, I would argue that you'd see alot less of this behavior. Lake Ave is a major vehicle route.. and would be much less attractive to cyclists if there was a more residential route that emphasized bike use... freeing up Lake for cars and giving bikes a route where they didn't feel the need to zip up on the sidewalk to feel safe. RE: fuel consumption and choices: I think it's impossible to say if it would have a positive or negative impact. First, by making biking more attractive, safe, etc.. you'll have more people using bikes instead of a car. That's a plus. You will put some cars that were using smaller, cut through streets back onto bigger streets. That *may* be a negative.. depends. It would certainly be a positive for folks LIVING on the smaller streets used as cut-throughs.. they'll have less traffic, pollution, noise at their front door.. which will also make walking more attractive in those areas. The policy with the biggest negative impact on congestion, pollution, gas consumption is the building of high density living space in Altadena/ Pasadena. No matter how you slice it: more people == more cars == more miles, pollution , congestion, parking woes, etc, etc.
Dan Abendschein (Editor) January 13, 2012 at 06:46 PM
I agree with TF on the choker entrances being a positive for non-cyclists. I may be biased as a cyclist who likes the idea of a bike boulevard, but I also see enormous benefit to blocking through car traffic as a pedestrian and resident. I'm sure we have all had the experience of someone blowing through the block at 40-50 mph with no regard for children, pets, pedestrians or the noise of their car. Those choker entrances reduce that kind of cut-through driving. They'd have to be reserved for small blocks, obviously, rather than bigger streets. Driving home would be inconvenient for local residents who would have one side of their street blocked off for vehicle traffic, but I think the inconvenience would be worth it to keep through traffic off my block.

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