By Gus Herrera
Pasadena has renewed efforts to improve the efficiency of transportation throughout the city for pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists alike.
At their latest regular meeting, the city council approved six infrastructure-related projects that will improve roads, bicycle pathways, and the accessibility of city parks.
Motorists will soon feel the benefits of an upgraded intelligent transportation system that utilizes an integrated fiber optic network to manage congestion within the city, specifically along the I-210 Freeway.
Council approved a $2.14 million contract with DVX Inc. to complete the citywide fiber optic traffic communications system that is theoretically capable of redirecting drivers in case of traffic congestion.
According to city staff’s report, the system will obtain real time data from existing sensors along the I-210 and then use the information to guide drivers towards “predetermined routes” via “dynamic message signs” along the freeway.
Drivers will be “diverted and guided off the” congested freeway onto local street corridors. Additional signage will then redirect motorists back onto the freeway once congestion has cleared up.
The traffic communications system will allow local street signals and their timing to be synchronized with live freeway conditions. Live traffic-related data, driver alerts, and automatic re-routes will also be available through navigational applications such as Waze, according to city staff.
A total of 13 stretches of major city corridors will be fitted with fiber optic cables and new traffic signal equipment. Streets involved will include Fair Oaks Blvd., Los Robles Ave., Washington Ave., California Blvd., and Allen Ave., to name a few.
Construction on the project is expected to begin in October and conclude in May 2018.
Additionally, council approved a project that will resurface 1.3 miles of Orange Grove Boulevard, from Lincoln Ave. to Lake Ave.
The city is expected to receive $796,793 from Governor Jerry Brown’s Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. The resurfacing will utilize a new, sustainable method known as cold-in-place recycling paving, according to staff’s report. Work is expected to be completed in FY2019.
Council also approved two items that will benefit those who travel throughout the city on two wheels. The first will begin preparations for the Union Street two-way protected bikeway project, funded, in part, by Metro grants.
The city will contract with the firm DKS Associates to design the bike path and engage in extensive community outreach. According to city staff, the completed plans will return to council in FY2019 to be greenlit for construction.
The city will also engage in a year-long bike safety outreach program, as part of Safer Streets Pasadena – a wider campaign to promote “complete streets” that cater to all forms of pedestrians and travelers.
In addition to distributing educational material, the bike safety program will be giving out safety equipment, including 1,000 head/tail lights and 300 bicycle helmets. Various street teams will engage the public from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2018.
City parks will also receive a makeover – council approved a citywide parks accessibility project that will install concrete walkways, accessible site amenities, ramps, handrails, and accessible parking spaces in 13 city parks.
Council did not forget about the hikers – the East Arroyo neighborhood connector path will be rehabilitated into a drought-resistant recreational trail. Construction will be completed in February 2018, according to city staff.