Old Pasadena Learns New Tricks

I don’t often go to Pasadena, but every time I do, I am pleased by some new step towards livability the old city’s taken. I’ve noted their growing network of bikeways in the northern part of town, but yesterday a meeting took me to Pasadena’s downtown, where I noted a increasing emphasis on bicycling and walking.

Since I had to find a place to lock my bike, of course I was looking out for bike racks, and I found them…not scattered singly hither and thither—Pasadena has had those for years—but now in wholesale lots, as in the photo below.

Not quite a bike corral—for one thing it’s on the sidewalk, not in the street—but nevertheless an excellent way to provide plenty of parking spots for cyclists. There were several of these along the couple of blocks of Colorado Boulevard that I strolled in search of a beer-enabled meeting venue, along with plenty of single racks, and a fair number of bikes parked on them, considering that it was a Tuesday midday.

Then, behind the storefronts, several alleys had been converted to pedestrian plazas, with the bars and restaurants siting patios along them for a quieter (ie, car-free) dining experience. The alley below, called Mercantile Place, had attracted a good proportion of the lunch crowd (including me, eventually), and—you may be able to note by squinting—includes a long row of bike racks.

The alleys are protected from motorized incursions by sturdy metal bollards.

So different, sad to say, from LA, where if you choose to eat outside you’d better wear a gas mask and earplugs…and where even a row of bike racks is deemed “controversial” by the very merchants whose fortunes it would make!

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  1. […] Times readers weigh in on the new three-foot law, as the writer gently corrects a negative commenter. West LA’s Martin Cadillac could become a bike-friendly mixed-use housing, office and retail development; an apparently less bike-friendly car dealer in DTLA says he’s not trying to kill the MyFigueroa project. The aforementioned CMs LaBonge and O’Farrell belatedly celebrate the city’s first Bicycle Friendly Street. Celebrate the new and improved Colorado Boulevard this Sunday. Malibu gets a $900,000 Caltrans grant to improve the existing bike route on PCH through the west side of town. Boyonabike looks at how Monrovia could become more bike friendly in advance of the coming Gold Line station. Old Pasadena gets bike racks. […]

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