Looks like they’ve got us surrounded, pardner…with great bike infrastructure.

I’ve made a habit of comparing LA’s efforts with how cities such as Santa Monica and Long Beach, and even little Hermosa Beach, are forging ahead with intelligent, progressive bicycle infrastructure, ranging from neighborhood greenways to separated bike lanes to comrpehensive bikeways networks that actually connect destinations. Now it looks as though I’ll have to add Pasadena to the list.

While they’ve been steadily adding bike racks and standard bike lanes throughout the town—including the unglitzy northern part—what I saw last Sunday at Orange Grove andMarengo was really intriguing. Here are three views of it:

Only cyclists are allowed to turn right here

Approaching the intersection from the south, cars are turned aside, while bikes may continue on

And here’s the odd couplet heading north on Marengo from Orange Grove

Yep, pardner…they’ve taken what appears to have been a one-way street and turned it into a two-way street—that is, one way for cars, the other way for bikes. I haven’t ridden it yet, but I’d guess it connects to the standard bike lane on Mountain.

Intelligent out-of-the-box thinking. Not just doing the same old safe thing, not just giving up at the slightest difficulty, but figuring out how to make the best use of present resources. A street that’s too wide for just one lane but not wide enough for two…if you’re look at it from the windshield perspective. But—there’s room for a bike lane, increasing the capacity of the street, serving pedalers, and adding in a bit of traffic calming!


Meanwhile, here in Dodge (the cars) City, we’re seriously considering that we ought to let the Spring Street green lanes fade away because it makes a little extra work for whiny film industry types who need a downtown background for their car chases and artisanal dog food commercials….

Well, at least we’re still better than Beverly Hills…that ain’t saying much, pardner, but sometimes it feels as though it’s all we’ve got.

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  1. Phil Miller
    Posted April 11, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    That one-way on Marengo is on my commute route from downtown Pasadena up to Altadena. Yes, it goes to Mountain, but its not one-way for bikes all the way. The one-way bike-only lane only goes for a block or two. But I agree that its good. One thing you may have missed is the traffic light. There’s a special light with a bike on it that allows bikes to cross Orange Grove. The light is actually in your photo in the upper left corner.
    There is another street in Pasadena that does the same thing east of there, but the street name escapes me. It’s been there a lot longer.

  2. Posted April 15, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Funny, I was told by LADOT that signs excluding bikes from traffic regulations, like the one shown above, were illegal under California law.

  3. Ralph
    Posted April 16, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    I saw several of these types of roads in Liege and streets in Holland. Many had cyclists going one way with traffic and a separate bike lane. The roads were too narrow for 2 car lanes to fit. Makes perfect sense.

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