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Alhambra's biking future: Mixed reactions to Master Plan spread to Council

After bikers and activists challenged Alhambra's Bike Master Plan for not doing enough to promote a safe local bicycle culture, City Council members are now chiming in and expressing mixed reactions, the Pasadena Star-News reports.

Councilman Steven Placido told the Star-News that he was initially impressed with the education, enforcement, and safety aspects of the plan that consultant group Alta Planning and Design drafted. "I think the professionals open our eyes to different options and different issues that should be addressed in a bike plan," Placido said. "While people may have thought the lanes were more important, me included, education and parking for bikes may be just as vital and critical to a good bike plan."

However, Councilman Gary Yamauchi wants to see more specific ways to educate the community and enforce bike policies. "It's easy to say, `Well, we have to educate the bike riders,' but who's going to do that? Who is going to spend the money?" Yamauchi told the Star-News. "It was very general. I was looking for a little bit more than what was in the plan."

Many bikers and activists called the first draft of the Bike Master Plan "timid" and claimed there were not enough designated bike paths. At the first hearing on the draft plan on Nov. 19, a vocal critique was that major arteries such as Fremont Avenue were not included.

Jeanmarie Zimmerman and her son Pablo spoke about his near fatal bike accident, and warned city officials that there would be more accidents if they fail to act. "Friday the 26 was my worst nightmare," Zimmerman, an active rider, told the Council of the day that she received a call from Mueller's Automotive that her son had been in a serious bike accident. "I’m concerned because of the collision. Where we live have to cross three lanes. And then another three lanes onto Huntington…Seriously, it's a miracle my kid’s alive, and if we do a good bike plan we don’t know how many kids' lives we save."

Yet, while Zimmerman expressed enthusiasm at the prospect of creating a plan, like many in the audience she was not satisfied with the results and felt that there should have been more public outreach. "I had no idea there was a survey," said Zimmerman, who encouraged expanding it to high school students.

Janet Irvin, 70, suggested that the Council also consider older riders, saying she recently purchased a bike, but needs a place where she will feel secure. "I’m planning on riding my bicycle again and it’s after 30 years," she said. "It’s very important to consider the fact that you’ll have bike riders of all ages. Particular needs of children or senior citizens."

The plan includes 41 miles of bike lanes and routes: 3.5 miles of class II bike lanes, lanes marked off on the street, and 38 miles of class III lanes, which include markings and "bike route" signs. 

City Council will hold another public discussion of the draft at the Dec. 10 council meeting. Read the full plan and share your opinion.

Read the full article at Pasadena Star-News.

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2 thoughts on “Alhambra's biking future: Mixed reactions to Master Plan spread to Council”

  1. I don’t understand why so many “studies” (really delays to discourage bycycling in the city)are needed to implant something for bike riders. City of Los Angeles a much larger city quickly approved their plan & within weeks they had bike paths & other activities to encourage & protect bike riders; same with Pasadena & Long Beach who are known as “bike-friendly cities.” What’s the hold-up, we don’t need so many “studies” let’s DO IT!!!!

    1. Yeah lets get the master plan in action too many people have been killed or injured on our streets. I was hit on Marengo on January 22 2013. Im very blessed to still be alive . My Bicycle was totaled and I broke 3 ribs and my left clavicle. Mr. Nieto I agree with you a hundred percent. Chris Paulson must help push this through before another child is killed.

      Let’s DO IT!!!!!