When California almost built a bicycle superhighway



Copenhagen has been hailed for its so-called bicycle superhighways, started in 2012.

But a Southern Californian had the idea more than a century earlier.

It was this week in 1900 that saw the opening of the California Cycleway, an elevated wooden path designed to link Pasadena and downtown Los Angeles.

At the time, commuters slogged along rutted roads between the suburbs and downtown, where most of the jobs were.

Dan Koeppel, a Los Angeles-based writer who has researched the cycleway, said it offered an alternative that combined the cutting-edge bicycle with a novel idea — rapid transit.

“It really was visionary,” he said.

Conceived by Horace Dobbins, a millionaire businessman and later mayor of Pasadena, the nine-mile route was to soar up to 50 feet along the Arroyo Seco river valley. The toll was 10 cents.

On New Year’s Day, the first portion opened to great fanfare, prompting news reports as far as England.


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Pasadena Proposes ‘Stops’ to Rose Bowl Loop Use


The City of Pasadena has recommended the installation of 3 ‘Stop’ Signs to the Rose Bowl Loop (hereafter the ‘loop’), according to a November 9, 2017 presentation by Pasadena Transportation Department staff to the City’s Parks and Recreation Commission. Citing “increased use of the recreation loop by various groups, concern for pedestrian and bicycle safety, recent injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists as a result of collisions, and claims against the City”, City staff outlined a plan to implement the changes at some point during the first quarter of 2018.

One of the most popular and well-known areas to walk, bike, run, and skate in the region, the Rose Bowl Loop draws thousands of people attracted by the opportunity to exercise, train and recreate in the relative safety of its 5km oval around Brookside Golf Course along West Drive, Washington Blvd, Rosemont Ave, and Seco St.

However, due to recent collisions between people on bikes and on foot, City staff has floated several different options to stop traffic. The first option would add stop signs to the southeast, southwest, and northwest corners of the loop (3 total). A second option would remove right-turning yield lanes from the southeast and southwest corners of the loop, directing automobiles to existing stop signs, and add a stop sign to the northwest corner of the loop at West Dr. and W. Washington Blvd. If implemented in 2018, either scenario would add the first stop sign to the loop in over two decades, according to local sources.

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BEST Ride: Bike Art Night Pasadena: Friday Oct 13

Experience a two-wheeled tour of “Art Night Pasadena” presented by the Metro Bicycle Education Safety Training (BEST) program.

On Friday October 13th the Downtown Pasadena Neighborhood Association and BikeSGV will host a special, beginner-friendly ride including Metro Bike Share bikes for those who would like to try the system free of charge.

The flat, 2.5 mile route will include stops at several art venues, allowing participants time to explore temporary installations, historic Pasadena buildings and arts institutions, as well as socialize with fellow bike- and art-lovers.

All participants will also receive a free raffle ticket, with t-shirts and other goodies up for grabs!

Register Here

Find out which stations are the most popular in Pasadena’s new bike share program



Pasadena’s average ridership in the month since Metro Bike Share launched nearly matches the usage by bike riders in downtown Los Angeles a year into its bike-sharing program, according to Pasadena’s Department of Transportation.

Pasadena’s 31 stations averaged 0.7 rides per bike per day in the first month of operation, while downtown Los Angeles, which rolled out Bike Share in July 2016, averages 0.74 per bike per day.

“It sounds like for our first month or so we’re holding our own,” said Fred Dock, Pasadena’s transportation director. “We just have to wait and see what the long-term performance is. That’s why the project is on a two-year pilot.”

The goal of the program is to close the “first mile/last mile” gap between homes, train stations or bus stops, and work places.

More than 6,700 bike trips were taken in the first five weeks, with Memorial Park Station serving as the most popular location. Oak Knoll and Colorado, Del Mar Station, the Rose Bowl and Pasadena City College were the top used stations, according to statistics released by Pasadena.

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The original bike superhighway from Pasadena to DTLA



Drivers in Los Angeles spend an average of 90 hours a year stuck in traffic. But back in the 1890s, California imagined a different future for the city’s streets.

The state planned to build a for-profit, six-mile bike-only highway only for bikes that would stretch from Pasadena to downtown Los Angeles. It was the brainchild of Pasadena resident Horace Dobbins, who began construction after city approval in 1897.

Three years later, it opened as an elevated tollway that collected 10 cents per biker, or about $2.50 in today’s money.

Only 1.3 miles of the cycleway were actually built. The city tore it down a decade later since it never made a profit.

The cycleway may sound like a far-fetched idea today, but at the time, most Americans moved through cities by foot, historian and authorPeter Norton told Business Insider. City folk weren’t yet sure if they should adopt cars.

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New Metro Bike Share launch could mean an additional 400 cyclists on city streets every day



The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority bike sharing program will launch officially in Pasadena on Friday, July 14. If statistics on bikesharing use collected by Metro hold true for Pasadena, city streets could see an additional 400 cyclists on city streets every day.

Image: Metro

The rollout this summer of 400 bicycles is expected to see 31 kiosks from the Arroyo Seco on the west to Allen Avenue on the east, and from Hammond Street on the north down to Fillmore Street on the south.

This just the latest in a string of Metro Bike Sharing programs rolling out across the region this year. But combined, the region’s bike share expansions will result in approximately 1,400 bicycles at up to 125 stations across LA County.

In Pasadena, it is estimated that there will be a minimum of at least one trip per bicycle per day as Metro riders detrain and grab the easily-accessible bikes to take to the streets — and some of those riders might be either inexperienced at riding city streets, or just a little rusty.

But Metro, along with a host of City leaders and bike advocates, is feeling positive over the new wheels.

“The Metro Bike Share program offers a unique, shared economy means of transportation that is both economical and good for the environment by providing bikes as new mobility options that get people out of their cars for short trips around our beautiful city,” said Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek.

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Pasadena Traffic Reduction and Transportation Improvement Meeting

Community Meeting
Thursday, May 25th, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Pasadena City Hall, Grand Conference Room,
City Hall Basement, Room S038, 100 North Garfield Ave
Pasadena, CA 91101

The purpose of this meeting is to update the City of Pasadena’s Traffic Reduction and Transportation Improvement Fee (TR/TIF).  This fee is designed to plan for the needs of projected future development within the City through the horizon year 2035.  New development projects will pay their “fair share” of the cost of future transportation improvements.  The fee anticipates and mitigates the impacts of growth on City streets by providing quality transit service, building bike and pedestrian infrastructure, and implementing intelligent transportation systems (ITS).

Included in the City’s transportation facilities needs list are Complete Streets projects, Traffic Operations, Bike Facilities, Pedestrian Improvements, and Local Transit Improvements.  Sources of the projects include the General Plan – Mobility Element, the Pasadena ITS Master Plan Framework, the Pasadena Bicycle Master Plan, the ADA Transition Plan, and Specific Plan.

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These Pasadena-area Rotary Clubs assembled 200 bicycles to give away for Christmas


Some local elves were already hard at work Saturday preparing Christmas gifts for local families.

Members of the Altadena, Pasadena and San Marino Rotary Clubs worked to assemble 200 bicycles at the Pasadena Unified School District yard, which offered the space.

The bikes, purchased from Huffy at basically cost, will be donated to the Salvation Army, which will distribute them to preselected underprivileged families with young children.

Though there are usually toy drives for the holidays, Paul Martin, Pasadena Rotary community service chair, said they chose bicycles because they represent “a good thing for the children.”

“They give them some independence, and it fosters good health by encouraging them to be active,” he said.

The Pasadena Rotary has worked with the Salvation Army before, and with other Rotary Clubs, but this is the first time all three clubs worked together on this project.

Service clubs from local high schools, including John Muir and Pasadena, also helped with the assembly.

“We had good participation,” said Craig Cox, Altadena Rotary community service chair. “We also had people from the Sheriff’s, from the Pasadena Police department.”

Cox and Martin agree that these types of projects is the reason their clubs exist.

“We have always been about service,” said Cox. “You have people from different parts of the community coming together; we look and see how we can address the needs of the community.”

The donated bikes range from tricycles for toddlers to bikes for 10-year-olds. Each family also will receive a helmet and lock.

The Altadena Rotarians provided a pancake breakfast for the volunteers on assembly day.


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Amgen Bicycle Tour Announces a Pasadena Finish Line for its 2017 Men’s Race



The 2017 Amgen Tour of California announced today that its 600-mile men’s competition will race down the California to a Pasadena finish line next May 20.


Peter Sagan, the 2015 overall Amgen Tour of California winner and record holder with 15 stage victories since riding for the first time in 2010, will headline an all-star peloton when the prestigious cycling stage race men’s competition begins in Sacramento on May 14, 2017.


Pasadena Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Paul Little reacted happily to the news.


“It brings a lot of attention to Pasadena it also brings visitors, which we appreciate,” Little said. “People in hotel rooms, restaurants and shops. But really the big value is the attention we get for different kind of sporting events that we are generally known for.”


“It does have an economic impact. There’s an investment made to get them here, but it certainly is paid for in trade and tourism that we get in return,” Little said.


He added that the television coverage of Pasadena makes the city “look very good.”


Amgen said the 2017 Amgen Breakaway From Heart Disease Women’s Race Empowered with SRAM will begin three days earlier than the men’s race, on May 11 in South Lake Tahoe. The women’s competition will conclude its four-stage race in Sacramento on May 14.


The remaining Host Cities (start and finish destinations for each stage) were also announced and include Big Bear Lake (Men’s Individual Time Trial), Modesto, Morro Bay, Mt. Baldy, Mountain High, Ontario, Pismo Beach, San Jose, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, and first time Host City Elk Grove which will host the Stage 3 women’s competition start.


“The Amgen Tour of California has long been the most esteemed cycling race in America. Its designation as a UCI WorldTour event will continue to expand its international exposure and attract the best teams and cyclists yet, giving fans even more to cheer about from the streets of California next spring,” said Kristin Klein, president of the Amgen Tour of California and executive vice president of AEG Sports.


Sagan, one of the most popular cyclists ever to compete in the Amgen Tour of California will be racing for his recently launched BORA-hansgrohe team hoping to add on to his current record of 15 stage wins including two in 2016. The 2015 and 2016 (current) World Champion will be racing in the Golden State for the 7th consecutive year.


“Racing in the Amgen Tour of California is always one of my top priorities every year. While spectacular to watch from a scenic standpoint, the route is consistently tough and challenging and one that brings out the best in all of the riders,” said Sagan. “The incredible fans and all of the cities of California that we get to visit truly makes the Amgen Tour of California one of the best experiences of the year for me.”


The men’s competition will climax in Pasadena as part of the final Stage 7 on May 20, a fast and largely downhill run into Pasadena from the Mountain High ski resort. The riders will have two significant climbs that will top out at over 7,900 feet. The crowds in Pasadena will be watching the top teams try to deliver their sprinter to the line to claim the finish.
The Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race featuring both men’s and women’s competitions created and presented by AEG. More information is available at


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Pasadena’s Bike Share Program Moves Closer to Reality

Public transportation is about to get a whole lot more affordable with news that Pasadena’s Bike Share program is expected to launch in July, 2017.

Details of the proposed program will be discussed at a Bike Share community outreach meeting Thursday night, according to Conrad L. Viana, P.E. Engineer, City of Pasadena, Department of Transportation.

“The D.O.T will discuss the proposed information with the public and solicit feedback on suggested locations for stations,” Viana said. Pasadena’s program structure will mirror the existing Metro Bike Share in Los Angeles.

According to an information sheet provided by Viana, the program could place around 400 bicycles in 34 bike share docking stations around the city. Service would be provided in general areas of the Central District, the Playhouse District, as well as colleges, Metro Gold Stations, hospitals, office and residential locations.

Bicycles would be supplied and serviced by Bicycle and Transportation Systems, who would also handle the rebalancing of bicycles at the docking stations. Bicycle and Transportation Systems is the vendor used in L.A Metro’s Bike Share program.

“We have identified potential stations that will be discussed at Thursday’s meeting,” Viana said.

Each station would have a kiosk to accommodate any of the three available rental options by credit or debit card. A monthly pass is projected to cost riders $20 a month. An unlimited number of trips of 30 minutes or less would be covered by the monthly pass, and additional 30 minute increments would cost $1.75 each, under the current proposal.

Flex passes would run $40 per year and all trips would cost $1.75 for every 30 minute increment. Walk-ups would have no monthly charge or yearly fee. Riders would pay a flat $3.50 for 30 minute increments.

The program would be funded by Metro.

Viana said bike share programs foster environmental awareness by providing a non-motorized, convenient mode of transportation, and may even encourage healthy lifestyles.