June 3rd, 2013

I grew up in Pasadena, California close to Los Angeles. Pasadena is well known for the Rose Parade, a festival of flowers, which dates back to 1890. But more interesting perhaps during the 1890s with a population of 500,000, there were 30,000 cyclists, i.e. 6% of the population rode bikes. Biking was so popular that a biking superhighway toll road was nearly implemented from Pasadena to LA. But the car craze took over, and the rest is history. LA is known for its legendary traffic jams. And Pasadena is known for having the first freeway in the world. The Rose Parade is now officially the “Rose Parade presented by Honda”.

But there have been amazing developments in LA’s transportation system recently. Light rail is being developed throughout the city, helping to restore a streetcar transportation system that existed before GM and other companies had them ripped up.

Bike paths are popping up everywhere like the ones that I saw in Santa Monica last week. LA’s Ciclavia is on a roll and has an amazing event planned for June 23rd to close Wilshire Boulevard to traffic. Maybe it’s time to rethink that 1897 bike superhighway?