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Photos: Community Celebrates Bike Lanes on Colorado Boulevard

Councilmember José Huizar hosts "Ride Colorado" as scores of bicyclists enjoy the fruits of the Colorado Boulevard Safety Improvement Plan.

Councilmember José Huizar gives a speech outside Eagle Rock City Hall. (Photo credit: Ajay Singh)
Councilmember José Huizar gives a speech outside Eagle Rock City Hall. (Photo credit: Ajay Singh)

Photos by Herb West and Ajay Singh

About 150 people, including dozens of children, joined Councilmember José Huizar at Eagle rock City Hall Saturday to celebrate new bicycle lanes and crosswalks installed along Colorado Boulevard recently as part of the Colorado Boulevard Safety Improvement Plan.

In an City Hall event titled Ride Colorado, scores of bicyclists went on a half-mile family ride from Maywood to Argus and back. Others pedaled five miles on a group ride. And as if that wasn’t enough fun, children participated in a bike rodeo, and children and adults alike went around popping in and out of Colorado Boulevard stores, where just showing up entitled them to a sticker that qualified for a raffle.

In a speech, Huizar outlined the steps that led to the creation of the Colorado Boulevard Safety Improvement Plan, starting with Eagle Rock’s homegrown Take Back the Boulevard initiative, a collaboration among various organizations, including TERA and the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council, and Huizar’s office.

“One component of TBTB’s plan was to slow traffic to a reasonable speed on Colorado Boulevard and make it more accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists alike,” Huizar said, adding: “This fit in well with initiatives that I’ve been working on throughout all the major thoroughfares in my district—I believe in the ‘complete streets’ model of planning.”

Slower traffic goes hand in hand with such community projects as parklets, parks and green spaces “to get people out of their cars and walking, riding a bike,” Huizar said, speaking from a podium facing Maywood Avenue.

Besides adding medians and turning lanes on Colorado, Huizar said his office worked with the Department of Transportation to add Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons, that is, pedestrian-activated warning lights for two new crosswalks on El Rio Avenue and Glen Iris Avenue.

“These flashing lights will be installed in the next few months at our two new crosswalks and at one existing crosswalk on Hermosa Avenue,” Huizar said.

How to support local businesses is one of the key elements of the Colorado Boulevard Safety Improvement Plan, Huizar said, adding that “complete streets” are integral to creating a business-friendly atmosphere.

“Enhancing commercial corridors so that they are well-kept, walkable and ride-able, and for everyone, safe—that creates an inviting atmosphere that supports and promotes our local businesses,” Huizar said.

Improving commercial corridors has been one of his priorities across CD 14, Huizar said, pointing out that this has been done elsewhere by installing bike lanes on Broadway in Downtown, 1st Street in Boyle Heights, Huntington Drive in El Sereno and York Boulevard in Highland Park.

“Bike lanes don’t just benefit bikes,” Huizar said. “They benefit pedestrians and drivers as well.”  The councilmember listed the following observations in light of the recent installation of bike lanes on Colorado:

• Traffic is still flowing well, even during peak hours.

• It’s easier to parallel park.

• Drivers don’t have to worry about their “door being ripped off when you open it on the street.”

• “Walking down the street doesn’t feel like you’re walking next to the 101 freeway anymore.”

• Calmer traffic makes crossing the street safer.

“So today really is about celebrating a huge victory for us all—for business, for pedestrians, for bicyclists and most importantly for the great community of Eagle Rock,” Huizar said.

Correction: The initial version of this article incorrectly stated that purchases had to be made in Colorado Boulevard stores to get stickers for a raffle. Just showing up was, in fact, enough.

nonoise October 27, 2013 at 12:54 PM
John, maybe you should have your eyes checked. I don't think you have driven down Colorado next to those new bike lanes. They are painted crooked and do not even line up from street to street.
Janet October 27, 2013 at 01:03 PM
What about the residents of Eagle Rock? We were here before these shops that are popping up. .. As we take our children to school the traffic on all our residential streets is a nightmare as we try to turn onto Colorado Blvd. ..reducing the Blvd to 2 lanes has caused a huge time delay as we wait in a line of traffic to make the right turn onto Colorado...we are forced to either turn into traffic as cars are flying up the street or early morning as cars are bottlenecked and it takes forever for ONLY 2 cars. time ......getting our kids to school and ON TIME is priority!! not how much business a store is getting. Huizar and TBTB have really screwed up the streets......DIDNT THINK THIS ONE THROUGH!!!!!!
Janet October 27, 2013 at 01:12 PM
@John. .who are you speaking for...feeling safer???? CHECK YOUR GLASSES....at this point who cares about the pop up businesses.... trying to get our kids to school and in time is priority...Trader Joes, Tritch, Casa Bianca, BMPP and Petes are the only businesses worth visiting....everything else who cares!!!!
Dianne Ennis October 27, 2013 at 06:41 PM
John is either, blind, disabled and doesn't drive or he goes the other direction on Colorado Blvd. Maybe he doesn't even live in ER...Most of the people turning ER into a "yuppie" city don't live her OR haven't lived here as long as we have Janet. They don't have the appreciation for the ER that we have grown to love. It doesn't mean I am not open to changes, But man think the changes through. They have these "non thinking" people on the ERNC and this is the mess they leave us with. I hope the people living on Hill Drive and the streets in between, possibly ERNC members, get a belly full during the Holidays and SCREAM...talk about traffic nightmare...HD will become the "little Colorado Blvd." People will then find a "short cut" home and not use Colorado Blvd at all anytime of the year. There was a really bad accident just off the freeway on Wednesday...but we just gotta have that bike lane there! Just say 'in ..AND I wonder how much shopping the "scores" of the bikers did on Colorado Blvd. today...
heywood October 27, 2013 at 09:40 PM
Please tell me just how many parents would allow their children to peddle their bicycles with training wheels down Colorado Blvd? I am thinking about 90 proof. Are pedestrians allowed to walk down the bike lanes? From the thousands of bicycles featured in the photos, I would say that the bike lanes are smashing success. Hopefully you aren't one of the motorists that wish to make a left turn onto Colorado Blvd anymore. Good Luck with that.
S.M. October 27, 2013 at 11:00 PM
I'm loving this rush to declare the new configuration a failure. Who wants to wait a year to study traffic safety impacts and change in bicycle ridership?
Janet October 27, 2013 at 11:28 PM
@ SM while your off at school in another city I am still here in ER...which means us ER RESIDENTS are left to deal with this mess TBTB and HUIZAR left us with...the ONLY thing a year will prove is that we ER RESIDENTS learned to deal with what was was forced upon us even though the majority voted against it
S.M. October 27, 2013 at 11:51 PM
I visited a couple weeks ago, observed no traffic nightmare. The bike lanes were nice and comfortable– I did not fear for my life for once, what a feeling! And don't worry, others are documenting the carmageddon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpV91AP8jms
S.M. October 28, 2013 at 12:03 AM
In Long Beach they study their "travel lane to bike lane" conversions. Check out what the found: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2t6rYsWFgY
heywood October 28, 2013 at 01:17 AM
@SM.... I love how Nathan came to a full and complete stop before entering and turning west on Colorado Blvd. Then please notice how he slowed down for the person running across the street at 00:54. Did you notice that the traffic on east bound Colorado Blvd at Eagle Rock Blvd was backed up to the Bank of America (03:11)? At 07:49, eastbound Nathan is backed up to Casa Bianca. At 08:04 Nathan not only illegally blocks the intersection at Colorado and Townsend, but he illegally changes lanes in an intersection. Look at all of the cars backed up in the right lane trying to access Trader Joe’s parking lot at 08:16. It also appears that Nathan’s vehicle is over the double yellow lines and driving in the left turn lane??? Again at 09:47, Nathan is stopped in the middle of an intersection. Nice job Nathan on making that right turn from Colorado Blvd onto southbound Genevieve Ave, your vehicle is clearly in the middle of the road and not in the travel lane you should be in. Maybe you should let your child drive? The one thing that was missing from this entire video clip was a bicycle. 10 minutes on the boulevard and not even one bicycle. Bend over Dear Taxpayer…. And by the way Nathan thanks for buying an American car….
Janet October 28, 2013 at 01:24 AM
Just curious SM...WHAT DID YOU EXPERIENCE AS YOU TOOK YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL AT 7:30???? I drive 1 block and it takes me 12 minutes there and 8-9 to get back!!
Marcus October 28, 2013 at 01:44 AM
@Janet - your school is one block away?! And you drive?!?
Marcus October 28, 2013 at 01:47 AM
I'm enjoying the new traffic markings, the new configurations that help pedestrians cross the street. The traffic has slowed at certain times of the day, but for the most part, it flows easily. And yes I do cyclists on the street as well. No I don't see thousands, but I didn't expect that. But there again neither do I see thousands of people crossing the street, or thousands of disabled making use of the specially designed sidewalks. Still they were installed. Come on you old timey-Eagle-Rockers, step into this century.
S.M. October 28, 2013 at 04:18 AM
red light = red light. red light ≠ traffic jam. The video very well illustrates that when traffic has green lights, traffic is moving. Colorado Blvd has always been two lanes by trader joe's, and back ups have always occurred there. Note, the back up is occurring from the presence of too many cars trying to access a parking lot in high demand. Because there is no room to expand the parking lot, how can we improve this situation? Knock down the adjacent dry-cleaners and pave that to add parking? What a lovely community we will have when we have surface parking lots as far as the eye can see. You point out he's in an intersection at 9:47. A few things should be noted here: 1) That's not a heavily used intersection, just saying. 2) this is a T-intersection, which further reduces the severity of this action and 3) most importantly, no lanes were removed on this portion of Colorado Boulevard so it would appear this situation would occur irrespective of bike lanes. But yes, obviously what a nightmare Colorado Boulevard is now. People are going between 25 and 35mph– the horror! It's not like Colorado Boulevard is a commercial street that serves more purposes than funneling traffic through as quickly as possible.
Janet October 28, 2013 at 04:23 AM
MARCUS...if you must need my schedule. ..I attempt to drop my son off by 7:40 so I can drive to WORK 14 miles further to be there by 8:30......there are people who STILL work MARCUS!!!
Janet October 28, 2013 at 04:31 AM
SM...really???? take out a cleaners that has been in ER for many many years because an idiot politician and some self appointed board TBTB decided to screw up our streets....seriously????
S.M. October 28, 2013 at 04:55 AM
Sorry if I wasn't clear– it was a sarcastic suggestion, Janet. I'd never recommend a street facing, surface parking lot along any portion of our boulevard. But if we decide to make driving the most appealing option to reach our local businesses, are we really surprised that it is so hard to find parking? Why not make the more efficient, healthier, and economic transportation options more appealing? Wouldn't we all be better off if more people walked and cycled for local trips? If that's the case, then why are people opposed to encouraging more walking and cycling? We need to think about the impact of our actions on the future. I wholeheartedly believe that the status quo has to change whether we like it or not. If we care about climate change, local air quality, community health, a just transportation system, traffic safety, and historic preservation, we simply cannot continue to make the automobile our highest priority. Lastly, what you call screwing up our street I call making our street safer for our friends and neighbors who cycle. They may be small in number but their safety is no less important than the safety of those that drive. My mother cycles for her health and for economic reasons, she is now safer when she visits local businesses along Colorado Boulevard. Please, don't call improving the safety of my loved ones who cycle "screwing up our street." Also, every time my mother or anyone else cycles, they are freeing up one parking space for folks like you, Janet, who have apparently no choice but to drive.
Suzanne October 28, 2013 at 10:37 AM
I was neutral on the idea of bike lanes, but I find I appreciate them now that they're in. I especially like the buffered lane (better than the small lanes on ER Blvd and York). It makes me worry less that I'm going to accidentally clip a biker. At certain times of the day (commuter times especially), there are a number of bikers, and I think that as the city develops these lanes, there will be more. I agree with some of the other commenters who have noticed that it's slowed down traffic, especially between ER Blvd and Trader Joe's. That's a good thing. And I appreciate that there are now more crosswalks, especially on that long stretch between ER Blvd and Ellenwood, where there was nothing. It's nice to be able to park, go to the ATM at BoA, then cross the street to go to La Fuente or Super Copy without having to move your car. My only regret is that this issue continues to bring out the worst in both sides of this debate. Eagle Rock is a lovely community that, like many, is undergoing demographic change. So far, we've managed to weather it fairly well, without too much sniping. Let's see if we can tone down the rhetoric on both sides, try to see the other person's point of view, and then work on getting along.
Hooper Humperdink October 28, 2013 at 01:36 PM
OMG, people are stopping at red lights!!!! AAAggghhhh! The congestion! It is killing us! My kids! They need to be carted 1,000 yards to the door of school instead of walking and I am angry that the world is not designed for my wasteful and unhealthy lifestyle! Where are the milkshake dispensers and ammunition vending machines I've requested on my block! City hall just doesn't get it! Bantu-stan here wecome.
Raymond Gonzalez October 28, 2013 at 02:32 PM
"Trader Joes, Tritch, Casa Bianca, BMPP and Petes are the only businesses worth visiting....everything else who cares!!!!" Looks like the cleaners didn't make the list.
Larry October 28, 2013 at 04:59 PM
It's just amazing to me that so many people are against bike lanes. As for the woman driving her kids to school. Put them on a school bus. And for everyone else, get a bike! Or better yet, TRAVEL!!! See how the rest of the world travels. They travel by bike. Or just keep supporting terrorists by buying their liquid gold. As for me, I own two bikes and a fully electric car. I don't support the Saudi's that brought down the twin towers and you shouldn't either. What we really need are two bike lanes!!!
Janet October 28, 2013 at 05:08 PM
@ RAYMOND. ...I DO MY OWN LAUNDRY
Janet October 28, 2013 at 05:13 PM
@Larry....1 bike lane for each of your brain cells???...if I'm the woman your talking about who drives my child to school and needs to utilize the bus system when I live 1 block you have issues
Larry October 28, 2013 at 06:32 PM
I don't converse with people that stoup to name calling.
Marcus October 29, 2013 at 09:32 PM
I still find it amazing that a certain few citizens believe that a six lane 'freeway' system is the future of travel here in ER. While they bleat about their journey being slowed by a few minutes because of the new traffic measures, they seem to forget that Pasadena and Glendale are two lanes as well. Are they furious every time they drive into Old time Pasadena and proclaim they need extra lanes and less traffic lights, pedestrian crossings? I like that the majority of ER peeps support the traffic calming measures. When the new lights are added to those crosswalks on Colorado Blvd, it should go further for supporting our pedestrians who still need protection on our streets.
Jonathan October 29, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Right on Marcus!!!
nonoise October 30, 2013 at 11:20 AM
What we really need are the lights sync. Traffic limit on Colorado and on North Figueroa should be 40 miles a hour. On Cypress Ave it should be 35. Traffic studies have been done to support this. Ask your city councilmember about traffic studies that have been done. They support an increase in the miles per hour.
Hooper Humperdink October 30, 2013 at 01:10 PM
You can make the speed limit 50 miles per hour on either of those streets and cars will still only be able to go 8 to 20 mph on average because this is a built-up urban area with lots of curb cuts w. driveways, crosswalks, commercial access points, etc. If you want uninterrupted 50 mph driving use the freeways at night or rural roads any day. It is inappropriate to design urban streets for anything faster than 20 mph - and any survey of LA's streets will show that we rarely average speeds higher than that on surface streets. Pointless speeding only leads to more injuries, deaths, and property damage. To really get average car speeds up we'd need to wall off intersections, close off driveways, and be cool with destroying property values just to bump up your average speed to 25 mph. And for what? It will not make anyone feel happier. It will not bring in more city revenue. It will not help bring the community together. So I think we are stuck with a push for slower designed speeds on our surface streets because they make a lot of sense for everyone but the rare psychopaths with cars who "need" to go 40 or 50mph on average for every trivial trip in their car.
Jonathan October 30, 2013 at 01:25 PM
Well said Mr. Ali! I wasn't even going to comment on nonoise's post because of its epic stupidity but if I did I'd say exactly what you did.
Marcus October 30, 2013 at 01:51 PM
Josef Bray-ali makes interesting observations about speeds. I agree that if ER citizens were so obsessed about speed, then we really would have to wall off every intersection on ER and Colorado Blvd, shut down any crosswalks so that fast uninterrupted travel could exist through ER. Then we'd really get to work on time! Btw, I like how "nonoise" says that 'traffic studies' have been done to support increasing road speeds. Please provide links etc etc yada yada yada..... You want public reaction? You certainly would get a huge turnout if road speeds increased in ER. We're trying to reduce injuries, death, accidents not increase them. Oh boy.....

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