Proposed Union Street Bicycle Track is On Track, Possibly Ahead of Schedule

Published : Monday, August 28, 2017 | 5:50 AM

Pasadena is on track to realize its plan to install a modern protected bicycle track on Union Street, perhaps even sooner than previously thought, using grant funds from Metro and some local counterpart funds.

In fact, the City’s Department of Transportation is now seeking authorization to start engaging the services of a consultant to prepare the environmental documentation, preliminary engineering, plans, specifications and estimates, and conduct right-of-way and public outreach projects for the Union Street Cycle Track project.

Based on projections from the Transportation Department, project construction may also start earlier, instead of the previously projected start time of 2021.

According to an agenda report for Monday’s City Council meeting, Transportation Director Frederick Dock is recommending that the City Manager be authorized to enter into a contract with Oakland-based transportation planning and transportation engineering firm DKS Associates for consultant services in connection with the Cycle Track project.

The contract will cost $999,714, with about $745,000 reimbursable from the Metro grant funds, and some $254,714 from local funds. A contract administration and staff time cost of approximately $100,000 will be paid partially by the Metro reimbursable grant and partially by the Department Operating Budget.

Before the City develops the design for the project, DKS will address all safety and ADA concerns identified by the public, and will conduct three outreach phases: the first to reintroduce the project and solicit input, the second to present and solicit input on 60 percent design, and the third phase to present and solicit input on 90 percent design.

The contract with DKS includes securing “authorization to proceed with the construction” of the project from Caltrans. On Monday, staff will seek City Council’s approval of the project construction contract in Fiscal Year 2019. Funding from the balance of Metro Call for Projects grant and other sources will be used for the construction of the project.

The Cycle Track project, one of 25 projects approved by the California Transportation Commission under the Active Transportation Program, received about $3.7 million, enough to fully fund the 1.5-mile bike track that already received a $2.7 million grant from Metro.

The City will provide matching funds of up to $684,000.

In November, the City Council approved the Letter of Agreement and directed staff to ensure meaningful outreach with the affected constituencies during the project’s design phase, and report back to the City Council on how safety and ADA issues will be addressed.

The Cycle Track Project supports the General Plan guiding principle that Pasadena will be a city where people can circulate without cars. The project will directly assist the Department of Transportation in implementing the objectives of “enhancing livability” and encouraging walking, biking, and other alternatives to motor vehicles in the Mobility Element of the General Plan.

Under the Union Street Cycle Track project, 14 intersections along the route will be upgraded with new bicycle traffic signal displays and protected left-turn lanes and left-turn traffic signals for vehicles. The track will also feature a concrete barrier between the track and the travel lane at all intersections and a painted barrier in locations where parking is available.

The service area for the project will include Pasadena City College, Caltech, the Playhouse District, the Central District and Old Pasadena. Later on, under Phase II of the program, the track will extend from Hill Avenue out to Wilson Avenue, and will also include a bicycle boulevard on Holliston Avenue, with two new signalized intersections to more easily connect the Union Street cycle track to bike lanes on Cordova Street.

According to the Department of Transportation, the new track is the beginning of what will eventually be 10 new bicycle corridors throughout Pasadena.

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