Pomona Opens Curb-Protected Two-Way Bikeway on Valley Boulevard

Pomona's new Valley Boulevard curb-protected bikeway. Photos by Joe Linton
Pomona's new Valley Boulevard curb-protected bikeway. Photos by Joe Linton

The city of Pomona recently opened a new bikeway along Valley Boulevard. The March 25 opening celebration event included a ribbon-cutting, after which cyclists toured a 10-mile Town and Gown Ride looping through the city.

Valley Blvd bikeway ribbon cutting - photo via city of Pomona
Valley Blvd bikeway ribbon cutting – photo via city of Pomona

Overall, Pomona’s new Valley bikeway extends 1.5 miles – along the southeast side of Valley Boulevard from Humane Way to Temple Avenue.

Map of Pomona's Valley Blvd protected bikeway - base via Google
Map of Pomona’s Valley Blvd protected bikeway – base via Google

The City Manager’s newsletter notes that the Valley Blvd bikeway is the first protected bike facility in Pomona. That’s true, but it’s even better: Pomona’s Valley bikeway is the first significant-length curb-protected bikeway in all of L.A. County. The Valley Boulevard bikeway shares some design elements with protected bikeways elsewhere in the county (in Hermosa Beach, downtown Long Beach, Temple City, and downtown L.A.’s MyFigueroa, Los Angeles Street, Main and Spring bikeways), but none of those feature more than a quarter-mile of continuous two-way curb protected bikeway; Pomona’s includes 1.35 miles of curb-protection.

The bikeway doesn’t quite extend into central downtown Pomona; it stops just east of the 71 Freeway. It does makes needed safe bike connections between west Pomona neighborhoods and Cal Poly Pomona university (connecting via the recently installed Kellogg Drive bike lanes), Kellogg Polytechnic Elementary School, Cesar Chavez Park, and International Polytechnic High School.

Most of the Valley bikeway is asphalt at street level, and separated from adjacent car traffic by a narrow curb/median.

Raised concrete
Extended raised concrete medians separate the bikeway from Valley Boulevard car traffic
At interections
At intersections, crosswalks extend across the bikeway. At the few driveways, there are gaps in the raised medians.
Bus stops
The Valley Boulevard protected bikeway features bus islands at transit stops

The bikeway has relatively few interruptions (typically at driveways) as the southern half runs parallel to now-abandoned railroad tracks.

southern end
Pomona’s Valley Boulevard bikeway – note the abandoned railroad tracks on the right side
South end of the Valley Blvd bikeway - rail right-of-way on the right side
South end of Pomona’s Valley Blvd bikeway

(Railroad tracks run along Valley Boulevard through more than ten miles of the San Gabriel Valley – though there are stretches of Valley that diverge from the tracks. This largely vacant right-of-way could present opportunities for a lengthy continuous bike facility – rail-to-trail and/or rail-with-trail – connecting across multiple municipalities. Though Valley is a flat and direct route across the San Gabriel Valley, much of it is today a relatively uncomfortable place to bike, due to fairly heavy car traffic volume, a lack of shade, and no bike facility.)

The northeast end of the Valley bikeway extends about a thousand feet on a wide sidewalk shared by cyclists and pedestrians.

The end of Pomona's Valley Boulevard bikeway at Humane Way
The end of Pomona’s Valley Boulevard bikeway at Humane Way
The sidewalk portion of Pomona's Valley Boulevard bikeway
The sidewalk portion of Pomona’s Valley Boulevard bikeway
Between xxx and xxxx the bikeway runs on a wide sidewalk
Between Humane Way and Ridgeway Street the bikeway runs on a wide sidewalk

ValleyPomona3At several key points along the bikeway, the city installed colorful bicycle rack structures, less for bike parking and more to promote the city and its project partners: Cal Poly Pomona, the Pomona Unified School District, and International Polytechnic High School.

The new Valley bikeway is the largest component of a $10 million project that includes new bike lanes on nearly ten miles of five Pomona streets:

  • Valley Boulevard (Temple Avenue to Humane Way)
  • Orange Grove Avenue (Fairplex Drive to Casa Vista Drive, and Artesia Street to Arrow Highway)
  • Park Avenue (Mission Boulevard to Olive Street)
  • San Antonio Avenue (County Road to Franklin Avenue, and Phillips Boulevard to Mission Boulevard)
  • McKinley Avenue (Fairplex Drive to Towne Avenue)

The Valley bike facility was part of the larger reconstruction/resurfacing of Valley Boulevard, which cost roughly $7 million according to Rene Guerrero, Pomona’s
Director of Public Works.

The five-street resurfacing/bikeway project received a $3 million active transportation grant from Metro. The rest of the project was funded by the city of Pomona using a combination of transportation sales tax and CA gas tax monies.

The new bikeway goes under the 1974 pedestrian bridge built where
The new bikeway goes under the 1974 pedestrian bridge installed where a driver killed five-year-old Kellogg Elementary School student Rebecca Lopez while she was walking in a crosswalk

SBLA San Gabriel Valley coverage, including this article and SGV Connect, is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

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