Getting around on two wheels is becoming a little easier in Glendale, with city officials installing censors to improve the flow of bicycle traffic through intersections and planning a series of other pedal-friendly infrastructure upgrades.
About a quarter of Glendale's 234 signal-controlled intersections now include bicycle detectors that trigger traffic-light changes for riders, and more are on the way, said city engineer Roubik Golanian.
Previously, bicyclists would have to wait for an automobile to arrive at an intersection for a light to change, causing delays that forced riders to use pedestrian crosswalks, tempting some to pedal past red lights.
“It's definitely helpful for us to get around, because at night time, in places where there were no cars, you would have a long wait time,” said Glendale cyclist Alek Bartrosouf, 27. “But there are many things beyond these censors that would increase safety for bicyclists.”
Intersections with bicycle detectors are marked by small bike-shaped stencils on the roadway.
But just as Bartrosouf and others are hoping, other noticeable changes that will impact bicyclists and drivers are in the works for Glendale — including miles of new bike lanes and a proposed city bicycle-rental program.
Ongoing upgrades to Central Avenue between Colorado Boulevard and the Ventura (134) Freeway due for completion this fall will include dedicated bike lanes on both sides of the street, and new bicycle-centered amenities are planned as part of other street upgrade projects, Golanian said.
The city has also applied for a $2.2-million Los Angeles County grant to install bike lanes along Verdugo and Cañada boulevards.
Officials are also seeking $2.3 million in funding to implement a citywide bike-share program that would make as many as 225 bikes available at 20 self-service rental stations throughout the city.
“In Anaheim, there are bike stations you can walk up to, use your credit card, and rent a bicycle you can drop off there or at another station. We thought it was really cool, so we put in an application,” Golanian said.
In the meantime, the Public Works Department has put up 275 new bike racks in public areas and has another 60 more for installation in the near future, Golanian said.
Follow Joe Piasecki on Twitter: @JoePiasecki.