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City Opens New Union Street Protected Bikeway

Inaugural ride attracts hundreds to Pasadena’s new 1.5-mile two-way bike lane, which offers enhanced safety for bicyclists riding to public transit and major city destinations

Published on Sunday, September 10, 2023 | 5:35 am

State Senator Anthony Portanino rode his own teal-colored road bike from Burbank to Pasadena City Hall Saturday morning to join Mayor Victor Gordo, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Vice-Mayor Felicia Williams, Councilmembers Jessica Rivas, Justin Jones, and Jason Lyon, for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Union Street Protected Bikeway.

The Union Street Protected Bike Lane runs east and west between Hill Avenue and S. Arroyo Parkway along Union Street and connects to a 0.3-mile section on Holliston Avenue from Union to Cordova streets.

Approximately 200 cyclists were also on hand to participate in the historic first ride on the bikeway.

“I’m certainly looking forward to joining all of you for about fifteen feet,” joked Mayor Gordo as he pointed to the bike lane, “and then letting you go on your way to enjoy a nice ride.”

Congresswoman Chu added, “What a significant milestone in sustainable transportation, safety and accessibility.”

Chu also recounted hearing about a Caltech student who lamented that it was easier to get to Downtown LA by bus or Metro than it was to get to Old Pasadena. 

“That’s why this project is so important,” Chu said, “because it will connect resident populations that previously saw this area as out of reach.”

The previously portly Portantino said he had lost about 160 pounds while riding his bike over the last three years. 

“Riding my bike,” Portantino continued,  “has really given me a whole new sense of who I am, and the world around me and an appreciation for all of the activism that cyclists have been doing, so thank you!”   

The $10 million project was supported by the American Rescue Plan Act, a gas tax, the Measure R Transportation Fund, a $745,000 MTA grant, and $113,000 in private funding, among other funding sources.

The bikeway also includes new traffic signals to help pedestrians and cyclists cross the intersections of Union Street and Mar Vista Avenue; Union Street and Michigan Avenue; Union Street and Chester Avenue; Union Street and Holliston Avenue; Holliston Avenue and Colorado Boulevard; and Holliston Avenue and Green Street.

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