San Pascual Avenue, recipient of one of Highland Park’s newest bike lane
Avenue 66 and San Pascual Avenue recently received bike lanes as part of the LA Bike Plan; the bike lanes were implemented by simply narrowing existing travel lanes, no parking or mixed-traffic travel lanes were removed. The Avenue 66 bike lanes run for about half a mile, between York Boulevard and Meridian Street. The San Pascual Avenue bike lanes run for about 0.7 miles, between York Boulevard and Comet Street.
Looking South on the San Pascual Avenue, with new bike lane
As locals may know, both San Pascual Avenue and Avenue 66 are relatively calm streets. In fact, some may even question the merit of implementing bike lanes on already calm streets but a couple of observations can help put things in perspective, and justify their installation.
New bike lane on Avenue 66, looking North
Currently York Boulevard, which intersects with both streets, only has bike lanes between Eagle Rock Boulevard and North Figueroa Street. However, as part of the City’s bike plan, York Boulevard will eventually have bike lanes running in its entirety between Eagle Rock Boulevard and the South Pasadena city border. Once those bike lanes are in place, bicycle access in Northeast LA will vastly improve. One will be able to cycle from as far as Glassell Park and travel to San Pascual Park, being in a bike lane the entire time since Eagle Rock Boulevard – the street one would likely use to cycle from Glassell Park to San Pascual Park – already has bike lanes.
Another look at the San Pascual Avenue bike lanes
San Pascual Park is itself a beautiful, tranquil place to be but immediately adjacent there is also an access point to the Arroyo Seco trail. The dirt trail – popular with dog walkers and runners – runs along the Arroyo Seco, leading all the way to the Rose Bowl area, which of course also offers recreational opportunities. The bike lane is a piece of a developing bicycle network that can connect people to park-space and recreational opportunities without relying on private automobile or public transit.
Also, since the presence of bike lanes tend to make cycling more appealing to those who don’t cycle, the San Pascual Avenue bike lanes may even make biking to San Pascual Elementary an attractive alternative to walking or driving to school.
As for the Avenue 66 bike lanes, they admittedly do not lead to any particular destination but the lanes themselves do offer utilitarian and recreational opportunity for immediate area. It’s not unusual to see children cycling in the parking lot adjacent to the intersection of Avenue 66 and York Boulevard– now kids have bike lanes on Avenue 66, in addition to lanes on San Pascual Avenue, to ride to their hearts’ content.
The Avenue 66 bike lanes could also serve utilitarian purposes for adjacent residents. Once the York Boulevard bike lanes are extended, residents along Avenue 66 will be able ride to nearby Rite Aid and other business by bike and enjoy the comfort of being in a bike lane the entire time.
In themselves these new bike lanes may not seem very significant, but as Northeast LA’s bike network continues to grow, they will surely become more relevant and useful to the community.