By Ted AYALA
The Crescenta Valley area is about to get a little more accommodating to local bicyclists. Glendale City Council approved a road diet test to be conducted along Honolulu Avenue at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.
The road diet, which would be set from Las Palmas down to Ramsdell avenues would remove a car lane from each side of the affected street. The removed lanes would be allotted to bicyclists and a buffer zone would be in place to protect them from automobile traffic.
Support for the road diet was broad among area residents and cyclists.
“Our café has become somewhat of a stopover for a lot of the cyclists, especially in the mornings during rush hour, and we want to help out,” said Daniel Richardson, speaking on behalf of Leon Café and Bakery. “We do want to support our patrons and the community by providing safe access to the roads for all local transportation in Glendale.”
“I would like to argue that we already have a test case – a very successful test case,” said Montrose resident Ry Berg. “It’s the Montrose Shopping Park. This street probably had four lanes originally, now it has two. It’s a very popular place to go shop and have dinner. My wife and I like it that we can walk there and walk back home. It’s safe. It’d be great if what is in Montrose Shopping Park can be continued. I know it’s not the exact same configuration that’s there, but I would really support it.”
“We’ve seen a lot of these [road diets] conducted in the surrounding cities, and have seen most of them to be very successful,” said Colin Bogart of the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition. “Because of the proximity to the [Montrose] Shopping Park, the [road diet] will encourage locals to bike to it, instead of driving there.”
Bogart also added that he felt that road diets weren’t “just for bicyclists” as, according to data his organization provided to the City Council, road diets help motorists avoid collisions with bicyclists. “They’re also good for pedestrians,” he said. “This will benefit people walking in the area.”
Opposition was voiced by some including by Margaret Hammond, who cited concerns for motorists.
“I am totally against this [road diet],” she said. “I myself think it’s ridiculous. You’re not taking into account the inconvenience this is going to cause people. This isn’t right at all, to consider such a thing. I do believe it needs to be thought over very carefully.”
Resident Bill Wiseman, however, dismissed concerns of traffic congestion.
“If the site is chosen properly and the implementation is done properly, you really don’t run into these problems,” he said and then cited a stretch of Las Tunas Canyon Road as a successful road diet.
“Typically what you will find is that the traffic is moving right at the speed limit, at 40 mph. I’ve yet to see it congested,” Wiseman added.
“This [road diet] makes sense,” agreed Councilman Frank Quintero. “It’s the right thing to do. Change is always difficult for some people, but [this] has to be done. Like everything else, you’ll get used to it. It’s a much safer situation.”