By Ted AYALA
New councilmembers and a new mayor met Tuesday, April 19 to tackle the issues that face the city of Glendale. After the tumultuous inauguration meeting of the night before, the new council arrived on the dais ready for work.
Of particular import was the full adoption and implementation of its Safe and Healthy Streets Plan (SHSP), which would be a boon to the city’s bicyclists.
Colin Bogart of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Commission came to explain what the SHSP means for the city. Bogart informed the council that various public meetings were held to formulate the plan as well as accepting city staff comments. The SHSP complements the city’s Bicycle Master Plan. “It’s a big picture plan,” said Bogart.
Councilman Dave Weaver noted that the SHSP was more of a “data and reference plan” that addresses some of the points it complements.
Mayor Laura Friedman told the council that it was important to pass the SHSP as it could preclude the city from obtaining funds to fuel counterpart programs.
Residents stepped one after the other to proclaim their support for the SHSP. Verdugo Woodlands resident Booth Hartley was one of the many that voiced his support.
“I’ve been bicycling for many years and have seen a lot of changes in the city of Glendale, not all of them good for bicyclists,” said Hartley. “This plan is symbolic of making life better for bicyclists.”
Steven Messer, a representative from various bicycle councils, said “he was very excited to see this plan come before you. As a resident of the city of Glendale, I’m very aware of the dangers bicyclists face. I’m very happy to also see an education plan included. This will guide us to a better life for bicyclists, pedestrians, and the community.”
Mayor Friedman fully supported the SHSP.
“I’m idealistic enough to believe that bikes are the future and the solution. That is why [bikes] have to be a focus,” Friedman said. “Many European cities finally got that. They realized that they couldn’t sustain a [car-centric] lifestyle. [Bikes] really becomes a solution for a lot of problems. If you at least make streets safe enough to ride a bike, that’s the goal. It’s a solution for a city on the grow. We really can’t have cars to be the only transportation option we use. [This plan] is really a necessity.”
Implementation of the SHSP was passed by the council.