As a resident of the city of Pasadena, I have noticed over the years, an increase in the walking and biking culture within my city. My husband even commutes to and from work on his bicycle. From green bike lanes installed to the use of Metro's Bike Share Program, the city culture has slowly gravitated toward a more bike-friendly environment.
Orange Grove Boulevard is the latest in a line of local Los Angeles County street improvements planned. The city plans to put the street on a road diet, bringing it down from four lanes to two, including additional left and right turn pockets and a buffered bike lane in both directions.
Initially, the plan centered on a 4.2 mile stretch of Orange Grove Boulevard from Lincoln Avenue to Sierra Madre Villa Avenue on the city's edge. Response and backlash from the residents of Pasadena caused the city to scale the project down to the residential portion of Orange Grove Boulevard from Lake Avenue to Sierra Madre Boulevard -- a total of 2.9 miles.
Residents are lining up against this road diet plan, while street safety advocates say the project does not cover enough ground.
"We wish they do the whole thing," says Greg Gunther, Chairman of Pasadnea's Transportation Advisory Committee. He says the western half of the boulevard would be well received because it contains more bike-dependent residents and pedestrians who are in danger of getting hit by a car going too fast.
Comments from the residents of Pasadena includes an anonymous statment of: "I totally support a complete path of bike lanes throughout the city, but only on streets with less traffic." (Um... what? In my mind, complete does not equal excluding streets from the plan)
Orange Grove safety IS a problem. Over the last few years, the city estimates there have been 418 traffic collisions on this street, resulting in 309 injuries and three deaths.
"We want to bring back the residential nature of the street. We are trying to get cars to slow down," City Traffic Engineer, Joaquin Siques stated.
Siques also stated that drivers will experience minor slow downs, but not enough to cause significant delays.
Pasadena City will present their proposal along with traffic study data at two upcoming public meetings:
March 22, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Pasadena City College/Foothill Campus
3035 E. Foothill Boulevard
March 28, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Marshall Fundamental School Library Building
990 N. Allen Avenue