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.
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
• 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.