On Saturday December 2, 2017, BikeSGV will host its annual party - 'Noche de las Luminarias' - to celebrate the progress towards a more pedestrian-, bicycle-, and transit-friendly SGV. This profile is one of a series of posts highlighting some of the people at the forefront of this movement. Event information can be found here.
Over the past decade the City of South Pasadena has become a leader in supporting the development of more walkable, bikeable, transit-friendly communities. After 8 years of effort, fundraising, and planning, the City is in the midst of constructing the San Gabriel Valley’s newest section of greenway, the Arroyo Seco River Path, which will link to an existing 4-mile section of path that begins at the City’s border with Los Angeles. Since adopting an updated Bicycle Master Plan in 2011, the City has striped buffered and standard Class II bike lanes on several streets frequented by people who bike, including Mission St. and El Centro Ave.
The City played the lead role in securing and administering the grants which funded the historic, 8-community 626 Golden Streets ciclovia, the largest open streets event in the United States insofar as number of participating jurisdictions, and one of the longest distance-wise in California at 18.5 miles. Designed to celebrate and encourage the use of the Foothill Gold Line, historic event was successfully staged on the one year anniversary of the Azusa extension opening - Sunday March, 5, 2017 - and attracted an estimated 100,000 participants over the course of 6 hours. According to a survey of event participants, 50% of attendees had never attended an open streets event before, and 17% used the Gold Line for the first time as a result of the event.
The City’s experience in hosting bike events is not limited to 626 Golden Streets, either. In 2003 City leaders supported the ‘Arroyo Fest’, an ‘open freeway’ event that allowed people to walk, bike, skate and scoot along the Pasadena freeway. More recently, the City hosted the start of Stage 2 of the 2016 Tour of California, the largest professional bike race in the United States.
South Pasadena staff and leadership also have a track record of facilitating award-winning Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) projects, notably the Mission-Meridian project adjacent to its downtown Gold Line station. The transit-friendly mixed-use development has been recognized as among the best of the entire LA Metro system.
City planners and leaders have also placed South Pasadena on a trajectory to build upon this work. An updated Mission Street Specific Plan calls for future, walkable TOD projects. The City is scheduled to implement a Downtown Bicycle Parking grant in 2018 to improve access to bikes, recently secured funding for a local Bike Share program, and is looking to host another ciclovia in the next few years. Last but not least, an update to the City’s General Plan is underway, with community-driven working groups already envisioning opportunities to create a greener, safer, and more sustainable network of downtown streets.