Now You’re Talking!

This week I am privileged to heap unmixed praise on LADOT for what they did in the southeast corner of Highland Park. For yesterday, on my way to South Pasadena (as usual for a Tuesday), I pedaled along the nearly-finished extension of the York Boulevard bike lanes. And part of them will be buffered lanes, as you can see in the first photo, though the markings aren’t quite done yet.

They now continue southeastward from Figueroa past Avenues 63, 64, 65, and 66, and San Pascual Avenue, and continue right over the York Boulevard bridge over the 110 freeway and the Arroyo to the border with South Pasadena.

The new bike lanes on York between Fig and the bridge…

And on the bridge itself….

Where that little city’s own bike lanes take over, albeit after a gap of a hundred yards or so.

This is great news for both local riders and commuters, as there’s a good deal of bike-borne traffic between Highland Park and South Pasadena, what with roadies, students, shoppers, and folks going to work and back.

I was told by a DOT engineer a couple of years ago (when I raised this issue to my contacts in the agency) that York (specifically the bridge) didn’t actually see much motor traffic there, and was over-engineered, with lanes to spare. This, of course, led to speeding and other forms of scofflaw driving, so the narrowing of the curb lane on the wide parts of York, and the removal of one motor lane on the bridge, will make the passage safer for all—drivers, cyclists, and folks trying to cross the street on foot.

Equally important is that it will further connect residential and commercial neighborhoods in that part of NELA with nearly door-to-door bicycle facilities, enticing the less-bold among us out of their fossil-fueled armor and back into the community.

Now the formerly isolated lane on San Pascual makes a bit more sense.

The big lack here is, of course, the missing lanes on Figueroa Street. But that’s not the DOT’s fault: the lanes had been funded, designed, and scheduled, but when Gil Cedillo replaced Ed Reyes as council member a few months back, he put many of his predecessor’s projects on hold, in an apparent frenzy of petulance. Now he has graciously scheduled a whole new round of community meetings to duplicate the dozen or so we went through over a year ago to win approval from both stakeholders and bureaucrats. Time (and public money) wasted….

Nevertheless, with lanes on Eagle Rock/Cypress from Fig to Colorado, fresh new lanes on Colorado, the now complete lanes on York from Eagle Rock Boulevard to South Pasadena, and lanes on Avenue 50, San Pascual, and other smaller streets, we have an actually usable if not quite complete set of bikeways serving both local and long-distance riders in and through the area.

And that’s worth talking about!

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