Bike Friendly Fridays: Pasadena

5_1_09_pcm.jpgCyclists head to the Bike Expo during Bike Week Pasadena last year.

As we approach Bike to Work Day and the corresponding Bike Week Pasadena, let’s take a look at how our neighbor to the east views and treats its cycling community.

When doing research for this week’s installment for Bike Friendly Fridays, I found one statement in a press release that shows the difference between how Pasadena views cyclists and its large car-loving neighbors.  From a press release on announcing an update to the city’s Bike Master Plan:

The existing master plan, titled “Century of Bikes,” was adopted in 2000. It encourages bicycle riding and proposes improved conditions for those already riding.

Most of the projects in the 2000 plan have been completed, with 60 lane miles identified with signage and stripes. A bike map, bike parking and promotion of bike safety were also integral to the plan.

By comparison, the City of Los Angeles is planning "18 miles of new bike lanes" in the next couple of years.  Also, while Pasadena is aggressively pursuing the creation of a new Bike Master Plan because it wishes to expand on the nearly completed BMP done in 2000, the City of Los Angeles has missed at least three dates where the draft of the BMP for which it held hearings in January of 2008.

The other difference in planning styles is what’s being discussed to be part of the new BMP’s.  For Los Angeles, we’ve been told the new plan will hope to fill in the gaps in the network that create dangerous conditions for cyclists when bike lanes suddenly end near a freeway entrance and earned one lane in Westwood the distinction of being named the Dumbest Bike Lane in America.

By comparison, Pasadena is moving forward by examining the road treatments that could make it the top bike-town in LA County.

The update, which will examine the full range of actions that could be taken to qualify for related state and federal funds, is expected to require more innovation as the city of Pasadena considers bicycle boulevards, traffic calming devices and other treatments.

An initial needs analysis will determine the visibility, safety and connectivity of Pasadena’s bicycle network for beginning and experienced cyclists.

Of course to be a friendly town for cyclists, it’s not just about designing the best streets, it’s also about showing support for cyclists.  Enter Bike Week Pasadena.

5_1_09_bike_week.jpgVia CICLE.org

While the City of Pasadena has certainly benefited from its close relationship with Cyclists Inciting Change through Live Exchange (CICLE), the City has celebrated Bike to Work Day going back to 2001 before CICLE was fully organized.

Since allowing CICLE to take the lead, Bike Day has grown to "Bike Week Pasadena," and the week long bike celebration compares favorably to any bike program in Southern California.  Not to say there’s anything wrong with the Bike Week celebrations put together by Metro and the City of Los Angeles (more on that next week), but for a town of 146,000 people to more than compete with the second largest city in America is a credit to both Pasadena and CICLE.

For a full list of the events scheduled in this year’s Bike Week Pasadena you can scroll through the Streetsblog calendar on the left, or head over to the official website at CICLE.org.

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