More than $32 million was allocated Thursday to Los Angeles County transportation projects by the California Transportation Commission, which set aside a total of $1.18 billion for projects to fix and improve transportation infrastructure throughout California.
On the list of approved projects: $5.6 million for Pasadena’s Union Street Cycle Track Project, which will install a 1.5-mile, two-way, protected cycle track on Union Street from Hill Avenue to Arroyo Parkway.
The project includes signal modifications and a bicycle boulevard that will connect Union Street along Holliston Avenue to Cordova Street’s bicycle lanes;
Plans for the bikeway first started making waves five years ago, when business owners protested that portions of the route would reduce parking needed for their businesses.
The Pasadena City Council approved and initiated contracting for the Union Street Protected Bike Lane design in 2017.
The project began with a public meeting in May 2018, with initial engineering designs presented one year later at the last public meeting in May 2019.
Based on the public’s feedback from 2019, the project team advanced engineering and design to where it is today.
Final plans will call for parked cars to act as a wide physical barrier between people driving and people riding bicycles. A striped buffer will provide anywhere from three to nine feet of additional separation between the bikeway and parked cars. This buffer provides space for people to get into and out of their parked cars, as well as an accessible path to reach the crosswalk.
In other areas closer to intersections or driveways, where parking and stopping are not allowed for safety reasons, concrete curbed medians will provide separation between bicyclists and moving motor vehicles.
At intersections, dedicated bicycle signals will separate people bicycling from motor vehicles by ensuring these different road users pass through the intersection at different times. This will avoid conflicts and helps to prevent crashes, injuries, and fatalities.
“California has the most heavily traveled transportation system in the country,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “Today’s investment will allow Caltrans to make critical repairs and upgrades to our state’s roads and bridges, increase options for transit, rail, walking and biking, and support thousands of jobs.”
The Commission’s allocation also includes:
$5 million to the Transforming California: Bus Electrification Service Expansion & Rail Integration Project. This project includes the procurement of 20 zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell buses, will improve service frequency and create a transit corridor between the Pomona Metrolink station and El Monte station.
$1.6 million for a project on Las Flores Canyon Road in Malibu that will install protected left-turn signal phases for southbound traffic, extend the left-turn lane, upgrade facilities to Americans with Disabilities Act standards, and upgrade signal poles, mast arms and hardware; and
$20.4 million for a project on state Route 2 in the Angeles National Forest, from Bay Tree Road to Big Pines Highway. The funding will upgrade existing guardrail, install new guardrail and install stormwater treatment to reduce the number and severity of collisions.
More than half of the total $1.18 billion allocated Thursday for transportation infrastructure projects was provided through Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, according to the California Department of Transportation. The bill provides $5 billion each year, which is split between state and local agencies.