Union Street Bike Track Is on Track
By EDDIE RIVERA, Community Editor
Arguing only against the lengthy timeline for implementation, the City Council Municipal Services Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to initiate Metro grant funding for the first phase of a new east-west two-way protected cycle track to be built along Union Street, from Wilson Avenue to Arroyo Parkway.
As part of a new “road diet” — a lessening of lanes to include bike lanes — fourteen intersections on Union Street will eventually be upgraded with new bicycle signal heads in both directions from Hill Street to Arroyo Parkway, along with the installation of protected left turn pockets for vehicles, as part of the track.
Total cost of the track is estimated to be S3.3 million. Metro will reimburse the city for costs up to $2.7 million, and the city will provide matching fund of $684,613.00.
While a group of bike advocates and enthusiasts praised the track, all three members of the Committee present — Chair Councilmember Margaret McAustin and Councilmembers Tyron Hampton and Andy Wilson — questioned the lengthy timeline of the project, which would not actually begin construction until 2021.
Asked Hampton of Rich Dilluvio, senior transportation planner and Pasadena’s pedestrian and bicycle coordinator, who presented the project to the Committee, “How can we do this faster?”
Dilluvio explained that the timeline presented was a “worst case scenario” timeline.
Councilmember Andy Wilson then told Dilluvio, “Give us best case numbers and details. This construction timeline is frankly, embarrassing.”
Committee Chair McAustin also voiced her concerns about the timeline, but praised the project, saying, “This has a ‘If you build it, they will come’ feel to it, and I think this could really change people’s thinking and create critical mass, in a good way.”