Paralleled by two high speed arterials that are generally unwelcoming and unsafe for cyclists – Fair Oaks and Los Robles – Marengo has long been a favored north-south corridor for cyclists, thanks to work done years ago to restrict cut-through, north-south automobile traffic that limited half block sections of Marengo north of Orange Grove and south of Washington to one-way traffic.
The new Class II bike lanes on the south and north sides of Orange Grove Ave. allow for contra-flow bicycle access north on Marengo for the first time. To do so, a centerline was painted north of Marengo for bi-directional bicycle traffic, a major step towards transforming this corridor into a "neighborhood greenway" or "bicycle boulevard” as envisioned in the bike plan.
Although the City's updated Bicycle Master Plan has yet to be approved – it has been included in the Mobility Element of the City’s General Plan update, which is being finalized and awaiting Council approval – the project moved forward in conjunction with road resurfacing work along this section of Marengo.
The project, especially the Marengo/Orange Grove intersection, realized a number of firsts for the City:
- First intersection with a bike lane that clearly designates where automobiles and cyclists should position themselves (all other lanes in the City end before intersections).
- First intersection that utilizes striped lines to highlight where autos/bicycles intersect paths.
- First one-way street that permits bi-directional bicycle travel.
As anyone who rides a bike in the City knows, this is a huge step forward, and a project that raises the bar for bicycle infrastructure in the San Gabriel Valley. Our congratulations to all the City staff, planners, public works employees, residents and local cyclists who helped make this project a reality.