Federal Stimulus to Fund Improvements to Santa Anita Ave.

Clarifying Usage and Adding Bicycle Lanes Top List

santaanita looking N_4656With funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the City of Arcadia is preparing to re-stripe the pavement on Santa Anita Avenue in order to clarify lanes and add a bike lane.

The stimulus project involves re-striping the street from Foothill Boulevard to the northern city limits, where there is currently no marking for how many lanes there are.

“It’s an interesting situation because its wide with a median, but each side of the street is wide enough for two cars to drive side by side when it’s really just intended to be one lane and parking lane,” said City Engineer Phil Wray.

“But people derive it; they drive two cars on the road and it shouldn’t be that way.”

Wray said the city receives many complaints from drivers confused about the number of lanes, and that the re-striping will stop “daredevils” who try to pass.

Due to the low volume of cars on the street, the re-striping will not increase traffic, he said.
At the next meeting, the city council will approve the contract to enter into a construction contract, Wray said. The striping will likely begin right after the first of the month.

A bike lane will also be added to the wide road, which staff reports say has the potential to be a significant bike corridor for both recreational and residential uses.

According to Development Services Director Jason Kruckeberg, the street is heavily used for bikes.

“We’re taking advantage of the current situation and trying to plan for the future a little bit,” he said. “That’s something that we have been talking about internally and we’re seeing more and more opportunities lately for grant funding out there, for bike lane improvements and such. We just haven’t been in a position to take advantage of it.”

Applying for more grants for more bike lane improvements would require a master plan, which is currently in the process, he said.
“We’re excited about that, about trying to establish a backbone and master plan and then we can start more improvements,” he said.
“We’re always trying to operate under the assumption that we should promote all types of transportation,” Kruckeberg said. “People should be able to bike and walk and take transit. When we do our planning … we always try to consider that.”

The addition of the bike lane will have no impact on traffic, he said.

“Anytime we allow for all modes for transportation as an option is a good thing,” he said.

November 19, 2009

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