Bike and Pedestrian Advocates Cautiously Celebrate Pasadena's First Bike Lane

Protected bike lanes, like the one Pasadena is installing on Union Street, increase safety for all road users and reduce the likelihood of fatal crashes.

January 20, 2021, 11:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Washington D.C.

Eric Dale / Shutterstock

As the city of Pasadena installs its first protected bike lane, the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition is encouraging the city to ensure its plans for bike safety move forward despite concerns from some critics about slowing down car traffic. Melanie Curry, writing for Streetsblog California, says that "in the past, the city has watered down plans for robust bike infrastructure in response to complaints about traffic being slowed down." But slower traffic is crucial to reducing the number and deadliness of car crashes, particularly on residential streets. Because slower speeds increase safety for everyone, "good design should be prioritized over concerns about slower car traffic."

"Protected bike lanes are safer for everyone using them, not just pedestrians and bicyclists," says John Lloyd of Pasadena Complete Streets in the article. The reduced speed required by protected bike lanes "leads to fewer fatalities and better road-safety outcomes for all road users." A 2019 study of 12 cities found that protected bike lanes "dramatically" reduced fatalities. "People make mistakes," said Lloyd, "but designing streets for slower speeds means fewer of those mistakes result in people dying."

Thursday, January 7, 2021 in Streetsblog California

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