Cyclist southbound on Temple City’s Rosemead Boulevard Project. All photos: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
The San Gabriel Valley’s Temple City opened its excellent new Rosemead Boulevard Project on May 10, 2014. I didn’t make it out to the grand opening festivities, but I recently got a chance to bicycle there and experience the new Rosemead Blvd first hand. It’s great. All Southern California cyclists should make pilgrimages — and spend money while you’re there.
View Temple City Rosemead Blvd Project in a larger map
The project, shown in green on the above map, is on both sides of Rosemead Boulevard for its entire length through Temple City. It extends two miles from Calita Street to the railroad undercrossing near Lower Azusa Road. The area is mostly commercial strips, with some housing, apartments, and single family homes interspersed. Overall, it’s suburban, though somewhat older suburban. Most of the commercial buildings are set back far from the street; there are plenty of surface parking lots.
Rosemead Boulevard’s protected bike lanes are quite different than L.A. County’s first protected bike lanes on Third and Broadway in Downtown Long Beach; both are first class facilities, though. The Long Beach project includes bike signalization at nearly all signalized intersections; as far as I could tell, Temple City didn’t make any changes to traffic signals. Traffic signals can markedly increase costs for protected bikeways. Temple City doesn’t appear to have skimped on costs, though. The project includes extensive landscaping, and lots of curb-work, including landscaped center-median islands.
Temple City’s treatments vary a great deal. Section treatments–see images below–ranged from landscaped-island-protected bikeway to parking-protected bikeway to buffered bike lane to basic bike lane (with and without parking) to short stretches of sharrows.
The best parts of the Rosemead Boulevard Project, roughly half of the mileage, had this configuration: no parking, wide bike lane – roughly 6-feet, suitable for two cyclists side-by-side – and tree-lined landscaped median protecting the bike lane from adjacent traffic lane.
In the median-protected areas, there are quite a few driveways. Each driveway is marked with the bike stencil. (In Long Beach, these “conflict zones” were painted green.)
Between some islands there are on-street parking spaces. The bikeway continues on the right of the parking, between parking and the curb. A painted buffer indicates the parked car door zone.
Similar on-street parking as the above image, but shown with parked car. These parked cars also provide protection between the bikeway and the street travel lanes.
Another shot of the driveway stencil and the parking-protected bikeway.
Stretches of the project include buffered bike lanes. These were mostly shorter areas between intersections and driveways.
A few short stretches of the facility feature standard “door-zone” bike lanes.
Portions of the Rosemead Boulevard Project feature basic curb-adjacent bike lanes. Some of these stretches look like missed opportunities. It may have been possible to move the landscaping to the left, and have the bike lane adjacent to the sidewalk, instead of to the car lanes.
In some merging zones, just before intersections (signalized and unsignalized) there are shared lanes marked with sharrows. These lanes are shared by right-turning cars and bicycles proceeding straight ahead.
Below is a pair of images that show a stark contrast between Temple City and its southern neighbor, the city of Rosemead.
Heading southbound toward the railroad underpass at the southern end of Temple City. Temple City’s streetscape includes extensive landscaping – palm and sycamore trees – ample sidewalks, and curbside bike-lanes. Compare with the image below.
Just outside of Temple City, in the city of Rosemead, the street is barren and unwelcoming. The bike lanes disappear. The sidewalk is very narrow, with sign posts (visible on the left) impeding wheelchairs and strollers. Compare with the photo directly above.
Temple City’s Rosemead Blvd Project includes this sculpture of a woman riding a streetcar.
The project includes bike parking and transit shelters.
Even with most cyclists going the correct direction, there were infrequent “salmon” cyclists riding the wrong direction. This cyclist had been riding northbound in the southbound bikeway, then moved onto the sidewalk to avoid colliding with other cyclists. The only wrong-way cyclists I observed were going north from the dense apartment area below Broadway (and below the Eaton Wash) heading north, presumably to get to commercial areas at and near Broadway.
A view of the concrete-lined Eaton Wash looking west from Rosemead Blvd. One thing that could help bicycle and pedestrian circulation (and perhaps reduce some wrong-way “salmon” riding) would be to add walk and bike paths along the Eaton Wash, which intersects the Rosemead Boulevard Project near Broadway. The creek serves as a barrier today, but could better connect bike and pedestrian circulation in the future.
Though most of the project is through a commercial/retail corridor, it does pass by quite a few single-family homes, with driveways.
All in all, the Rosemead Boulevard Project looks great, and is a very safe and comfortable place for bicycling.
Go ride it for yourself!