Cyclists in Pasadena now officially have a safer place to put their wheels down.
Dozens gathered at the intersection of Marengo Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard for a ribbon-cutting ceremony that officially opened the city's "Bicycle Boulevard," which was designed to give riders a low-traffic area they could call their own.
The bike boulevard consists of the stretch along Marengo Avenue between Orange Grove and Washington boulevards, which is about three-quarters of a mile. Cyclists are also aided by posted signs halting traffic from coming into the boulevard.
But what most helps set the boulevard apart for cyclists are specialized traffic signals outfitted with red, yellow and green "bike rider" icons to let them know when it's safe to enter. These signals can be found at intersections along the bike boulevard, such as the one Lance Agusto found when he was riding up from his Day One Pasadena job to check out the ceremony.
"This is great, I know the city has a goal of making a multitransit-oriented community that's friendly to bikers," Agusto said. "Actually, when I came up on Marengo, I saw that it was a one-way street and immediately got on the sidewalk ... then I realized I could actually come over."
Mayor Bill Bogaard and Councilman Victor Gordo addressed the cyclists and spoke about the new boulevard, mentioning that it is the first of its kind in Pasadena and the second ever in Los Angeles County. Bogaard said more "bike boulevards" are in the city's future as more funding becomes available. It's also part of a greater bicycle transportation plan that would include miles of bike paths, lanes and routes. Overall, Bogaard said, it's part of sharing the benefits of "slowing down and enjoying the journey."
While the boulevard – funded through a California Department of Transportation grant of $500,000 – is not open to through vehicular traffic, residents on Marengo Avenue can still access the bicycle zone using the side streets. The boulevard is still considered a residential street with on-street parking.
"I think it's about time we move forward with looking out for people who cycle ... it's healthy, it's green, it's the way to go," said bike rider Chuck Hall. "It's nice to have a lane for us."
For footage of the ribbon cutting, check out the video attached to the article.