LocationAlhambra , CA United States
Alhambra is notorious for not having any bike lanes and routes, but that might change with the general plan update.
The draft general plan includes a map that identifies potential locations for bike travel in Alhambra. This includes bike lanes that are separated from cars on some of the city’s major roads by painted stripes, known as Class II bike lanes. Proposed Class II lanes would link Huntington Drive and West Main Street, and are also located on some parts of Marengo Avenue, according to an environmental impact report that accompanies the general plan.
The plan also identifies potential Class III bike routes where the right-of-way is shared by vehicles and bicycles on Alhambra’s smaller roads. The general plan has also identified a Class I bike path through a proposed linear park on Mission Road.
This aspect of the general plan picks up where a 2013 draft bike plan left off. The plan had proposed adding 44.18 miles of bike lanes and routes in Alhambra, as well as extensive parking facilities for bicycles. Alhambra’s City Council tabled the plan that year.
“They didn’t have the desire to put forth a good plan that would bring about a safer network of bike lanes through the city,” said Efren Moreno, an Alhambra City Council member from 2000-2004 and a champion of biking in the San Gabriel Valley, in an interview with the Alhambra Source last year. Moreno did not return a request for comment on this article.
Local organizations like Bike SGV advocate for cities to build networks of bike lanes for safe cycling, rather than isolated segments for biking, according to Amy J. Wong, Women on Wheels coordinator for Bike SGV, an organization that advocates for bike-friendly transit in the San Gabriel Valley.
“It is encouraging to see Alhambra’s general plan be visionary ‘to move toward consideration and enhancement of alternative transportation modes,'” said Wong in an email. “It is only equitable that the City meet the needs of residents who bike, walk and take transit, particularly for the young and elderly.”
One change from the bike plan to the general plan is fewer proposed bike lanes on major roads. “One of things we had heard from some of the council people was a concern about putting bikes on the heavily traveled roads, the big arterials like Fremont and Valley,” Power said. “So we took the draft bike plan that had been put together and kind of revised it a little bit to reroute some of the bike paths and bike routes onto less heavily traveled roads.”
The general plan emphasizes continuity with existing bike lanes just outside of city limits, connecting with bike lanes in Los Angeles, South Pasadena and Monterey Park.
Power also said that the general plan’s bike map is conceptual and is subject to change depending on whether the city itself adopts a bike plan.
Updated Sept. 6, 2018 with comments from Bike SGV’s Amy J. Wong.
Updated Sept. 7, 2018 to clarify bike lane designations.