Lane blocked off to cars cleared the way for cyclists, walkers, joggers and baby strollers
Published : Wednesday, March 13, 2019 | 4:50 AM
City officials declared “success” Tuesday with the first test of a plan to manage traffic at the Rose Bowl loop, particularly the southeast corner at Seco and Rosemont, and particularly on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
City crews set up a series of orange plastic barricades to shut off vehicular traffic at a right turn lane at that corner. The barricades prevent cars from entering the lane but not cyclists, walkers, and joggers, as well as baby strollers.
Cyclists may enter the lane, but may also proceed straight on Rosemont to a stop sign at Seco, where they may then turn right.
City Manager Steve Mermell along with City engineers and more than a dozen motorcycle officers stood watch as the cyclists, many of them part of a large, organized “peloton” riding group, which has ridden the Rose Bowl loop route on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 60 years, approached the barriers carefully, before being motioned through the lane by officers and city staff.
The cyclists immediately adjusted to the change and moved swiftly, single-file through the lane, as they circled the Rose Bowl.
According to City Manager Mermell, the orange barriers will eventually be replaced by white heavy plastic “delineators,” blocking off the lane permanently to car traffic. The delineators are still movable, however, explained Mermell, and can be removed or replaced as necessary.
Lon Bender, a longtime member of the peloton group “(“peloton” refers to a large group of cyclists traveling together in a pack), said Tuesday he feels that the City is trying to squeeze out the cyclists altogether.
“The goal of this traffic pattern is to close off this area, where people are going to be coming through here at 20 to 25 miles an hour, even individual recreational cyclists,” said Bender.
According to Pasadena police, the average speed of the peloton riders was 16 miles per hour. At least 50 riders participated in the group Tuesday evening.
Said a satisfied Mermell, after a few hours of traffic through the lanes, “I think it’s going pretty well. The bicyclists are able to continue to ride, the walkers continue to walk, I think we have the cars channeled to the controlled stop sign.
Mermell added that “the average speed of the big group was considerably slower than what it had been in the past, when it was completely uncontrolled, and we will continue to experiment with it, but I think we are moving in the direction that we wanted to.”