In a 3-1 vote, the Monterey Park City Council accepted grant funding for a safer, more sustainable Monterey Pass Road on Wednesday January 17th.
The 1.6 mile project will replace aging water pipes, add new sidewalks, and install the City’s first protected bikeway to create a safer, more comfortable connection for local residents to get to East LA College (ELAC) and the Metro Gold Line.
In December 2017 the Monterey Park City Council voted 2-1 in favor of the project, one vote shy of the required 3 votes for passage (one council member abstained citing lack of staff outreach to businesses along the project route, another was absent). Public support is essential to make Monterey Park’s first bikeway a reality.
Bike lanes for Monterey Pass Road were included in the City's unanimously adopted 2014 Bicycle Master Plan, which recognized the need to improve non-automobile connections to East Los Angeles College and the Metro Gold Line for local students and residents interested in making short-trips by bike. The other major street connecting these important destinations - Atlantic Blvd. - is not slated for a dedicated bikeway in, in part because of the higher automobile volumes on Atlantic and narrower width than the roughly parallel Monterey Pass Road. The proposed bikeway would provide direct connectivity to Class II bike lanes planned for unincorporated East Los Angeles.
One of 5 SGV cities to adopt a local bicycle plan in 2014 as part of the San Gabriel Valley Regional Bicycle Master Plan project, Monterey Park remains the only community that has yet to implement any of its plan; over the past 3 years the neighboring cities of San Gabriel, El Monte, South El Monte, and Baldwin Park have all constructed Class I, II, or IV bikeways. If realized, the project would also be the City's first on-street bikeway of any type; at present the City only has a few sign-posted bicycle routes stemming from the 1980s.
The project will support the City's adopted Climate Action Plan (2012). The transportation sector currently accounts for almost 40% of Greenhouse Gas emissions in the state of California, trend increasing. Vehicle emissions are the largest source locally, as well as the primary driver of region’s poor air quality, which unfortunately has failed to improve in recent years. The City’s Climate Action Plan acknowledges these pressing issues, and the need for a more multi-modal Monterey Park. The implementation of this project and the City’s adopted Bicycle Master Plan will be a step towards supporting zero-emission transportation modes in the City, making short bike trips a viable alternative for residents, and ultimately achieving the City’s climate goals.