By Jason KUROSU
The city of Glendale recently drafted a new Bicycle Transportation Plan, which intends to integrate bicycling further into the city’s transportation system. The latest draft of the plan, which can be read on www.BikeGlendale.org, outlines various plans for improving bicycle transportation, including creating new bike lanes where they do not currently exist, thoroughly maintaining existing bike lanes and producing a series of promotional campaigns about bike safety for both bicyclists and the motorists that interact with them.
If the ultimate intent of the plan is achieved, bicycling will become much more commonplace as a means of transportation. The plan calls for a “complete network” of bikeways, approximately 80 miles more than currently exists, in which every neighborhood within the network will be “within a half mile of a bikeway (bike lane, bike path, bike route, etc.) in the north-south and east-west directions.”
The complete network would also connect with the bicycling networks of the surrounding cities such as La Cañada-Flintridge, Burbank, Pasadena and Los Angeles.
“With sufficient bicycle facilities and programs,” the plan’s introduction reads, “the City can reach the ‘tipping point’ with enough bicyclists to create significant cultural change and make cycling a way of life.”
The truly all-encompassing plan covers areas throughout Glendale, including downtown and the Los Angeles River, where the plan suggests a multipurpose bicycle and pedestrian pathway either along or inside the concrete channel of the river.
Within the foothills, the plan calls for numerous alterations to the current bikeways. These proposed changes range from adding bike lanes where they do not exist to altering the current bike lanes in various ways such as adding shared-lane markings (or sharrows), adding additional bicycling signage, widening some of the lanes and adding traffic circles.
Glendale is also planning to add more bicycle parking throughout the city as well as maintaining the existing bike parking. The city hopes to make bike parking, in the form of inverted U-racks and bike lockers, among others, a mandatory inclusion at schools and businesses.
The plan states, “All land uses shall have a minimum of short term parking for four bicycles, and a minimum of long term parking for two bicycles.”
To further integrate biking, the drafters of the plan are hoping to go further than creating more physical bike-friendly structures like bike lanes and parking, to implementing promotional bicycling programs and more bicycle safety campaigns. Some of these promotional ideas include more bicycle safety education at schools and workplaces and providing free helmets and lights.
The changes that the plan proposes in the city’s transportation system appear drastic, but the goal of full implementation will be realized gradually.
“The City sets a goal of 5% of all commute trips to be made by bicycle when this plan is fully implemented 20 years from now,” reads the plan.
For those interested in voicing their opinions on the current draft of the plan, a community outreach meeting will be held on Jan. 18 at the Glendale Police Community Room.