Bike advocates met with Alhambra leadership last Thursday at City Hall and urged the city to install bike lanes and consider a Master Bike Plan.
"For those who choose to ride, they want to ride without putting their life on the line," Vincent Chang, the president of the West San Gabriel Bike Coalition, said.
Chang joined Alexis Lantz, planning and policy director for the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition, members of West San Gabriel Bike Coalition, and the new group Alhambra Beyond Cars in meeting with Alhambra leaders including the city manager, police chief, director of public works, and Councilwoman Barbara Messina.
Advocates (who, disclaimer, include various Alhambra Source contributors) said that creating a more bike friendly environment would improve overall safety and decrease people riding on sidewalks, be good for local business, and promote healthy living. They presented cities that have created bike plans — such as Long Beach and Temple City — as models. As well as bike lanes, these cities have created additional signage and bike parking.
Lantz encouraged a Master Bike Plan that would connect Alhambra with other cities. She suggested that the plan include both bike boulevards as well as residential streets. In residential neighborhoods, speed humps could be installed to slow down traffic and stop signs could be replaced with roundabouts for smoother traffic flow. She stressed that additional signage would slow traffic down and that installing bike boulevards would not take driving lanes away.
The commission and the supporters discussed potential streets in Alhambra that could be used as bike boulevards. Alhambra City Manager Julio Fuentes noted that Valley Boulevard, Mission Street, and Huntington Boulevard have more flexibility for potential bike boulevards. For north-south streets supporters suggested a route that would make use of residential streets.
At the close of the meeting, Fuentes invited the advocates to present at a City Council meeting during the beginning of September. He stated that trying to put cars, buses and bikes all on the main streets frightens many people. But, if the bike plan allows modes of transportation to be spread out using a variety of methods, then "there is an opportunity here."
The bike advocates said they were pleased with the outcome. “We are a constituency that is willing to work and bring in the larger community to help create a vision of Alhambra as a more bicycle and pedestrian friendly community,” Lantz said.