The City of Pasadena has recommended the installation of 3 'Stop' Signs to the Rose Bowl Loop (hereafter the 'loop'), according to a November 9, 2017 presentation by Pasadena Transportation Department staff to the City's Parks and Recreation Commission. Citing "increased use of the recreation loop by various groups, concern for pedestrian and bicycle safety, recent injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists as a result of collisions, and claims against the City", City staff outlined a plan to implement the changes at some point during the first quarter of 2018.
One of the most popular and well-known areas to walk, bike, run, and skate in the region, the Rose Bowl Loop draws thousands of people attracted by the opportunity to exercise, train and recreate in the relative safety of its 5km oval around Brookside Golf Course along West Drive, Washington Blvd, Rosemont Ave, and Seco St.
However, due to recent collisions between people on bikes and on foot, City staff has floated several different options to stop traffic. The first option would add stop signs to the southeast, southwest, and northwest corners of the loop (3 total). A second option would remove right-turning yield lanes from the southeast and southwest corners of the loop, directing automobiles to existing stop signs, and add a stop sign to the northwest corner of the loop at West Dr. and W. Washington Blvd. If implemented in 2018, either scenario would add the first stop sign to the loop in over two decades, according to local sources.
The proposed changes would not be the first to the popular facility, which has seen a number of design alterations implemented over the past decade. In 2007 conflicts with the historic Rose Bowl Ride - a fast training group ride every Tuesday and Thursday evening during daylight savings time - prompted City staff to re-examine the design and layout of the loop. At the time, passionate discussion about the issue even caught the attention of local media, with the LA Times covering the story. The City subsequently tried to separate user groups by striping a buffer zone between people on the walking zone and the inside (clockwise) travel lane, and encouraging people on foot to walk against the flow of traffic (see image below). A Historic Rose Bowl Ride working group was also created to foster and encourage safer cycling among the ride participants.
A few years later in 2010, citing a lack of compliance of the buffer zone and signage instructing counterclockwise pedestrian use consistent with state law for persons walking in a roadway, City Transportation officials rolled out an updated design that sanctioned 2-way pedestrian use, eliminated the striped buffer zone, and installed flex posts (see below), a configuration that remains in place to this day.
At the time the above-pictured design alternative was implemented, a strong push by the local community advocates had also been underway to implement a safer design option. Supported by over 600 signatories of the below petition (including BikeSGV), the 'one-way' option called for limiting automobile traffic to one-way on the east and west sides of the loop, in order to provide more space to recreational users while retaining automobile access to Rose Bowl facilities, Brookside Golf Course, and parking areas. This option was also formally studied by a City consultant in 2010 - Alternative Circulation Plans for the Rose Bowl Loop.
The proposed changes are scheduled to be considered by the Pasadena Public Safety Committee Wednesday January 17th (6pm). The meeting will be held in Council Chambers at Pasadena City Hall (175 N. Garfield Ave). A meeting agenda will be available 72 hours before the meeting here. A copy of the Transportation Department's November 7 powerpoint presentation can be viewed below.
If you would like updates on the proposed changes to the Rose Bowl loop, please fill out this sign-up form. BikeSGV will be tracking and commenting on this process as it moves forward.
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