Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Glendale By Bike

Glendale is definitely not a cutting edge city when it comes to cycling. Recently I've had the opportunity to bike in cities that have really made an effort to provide amenities for cyclists, such as Santa Cruz, Aptos, and Santa Barbara. In fact, I was able to bike the 10 miles from Aptos to Santa Cruz entirely in a bike lane without any major traffic conflicts.

There's no reason Glendale can't become a leading bike friendly city: we have good weather, fantastic pavement, fairly wide streets, and a central downtown area that is becoming more dense and urban by the minute.

To my amazement, this week I discovered an existing bike lane in Glendale. For three blocks. It's on Riverdale between San Fernando and Central. It's a nice touch on a pretty street, but not exactly a comprehensive solution for getting around Glendale safely.

Whaa? A bike lane, in Glendale? Are there others? Nothing is listed on the city website.

The bike lane also intersects with the city's only traffic circle.

Neat house on Riverdale.

Searching the city website for information on bike lanes doesn't yield anything specific or useful, other than a few vaguely worded studies about downtown traffic flow. I've heard rumors that Glenoaks will be getting a bike lane soon, which is at least something.

I get around Glendale fine on my bike now, but when cities start building amenities such as bike lanes that make biking in traffic less stressful, it entices more casual riders into taking their trips on bikes instead of cars. I would love to lobby the city for bike lanes, and am looking for ways to get involved.

While walking around Glendale today, I noticed the Verdugo Wash and couldn't help but think, wow, that concrete is beautiful! I'd love to ride down there! Maybe I'm hopelessly naive here, but doesn't this look like a perfect spot for a bike path? Four miles of pristine, level, grade-separated concrete. Is this a rampaging river during winter? Would there be too much gunk draining across the bike path? What if the path were raised to allow drainage to flow under? The layout appears similar to the Arroyo Seco bike path...

Looks pretty appealing, aside from the drainage.

What do you think?

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