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The beautiful and historic Arroyo Seco Parkway (State Route 110), formerly known as the Pasadena Freeway, marked an important transitional moment in the history of American freeway engineering and transportation.
The Arroyo Seco Parkway opened to the motoring public in 1940. At the dedication ceremony, California Governor Culbert L. Olso declared the Arroyo Seco Parkway to be the "first freeway in the West." It was hailed both as a "modern" and "novel" road by state highway engineers due to its safety features. A 1945 study pointed to these safety features as an explanation for the remarkably low ration of traffic accidents that the parkway enjoyed in comparison to other major highways with similar traffic volumes. Residents of the region described it as the "hanging gardens" of the Arroyo, or more simply as "picturesque."
The historic Arroyo Seco Parkway was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in February 2011, designated a National Scenic Byway by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation in 2002, and designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1999 by the American Society of Engineers.
The City of South Pasadena was awarded more than $400,000 in Bicycle Transportation Account (BTA) Grant funds to implement its Bicycle Master Plan (BMP) approved August 2011. From a total of 124 applications submitted, South Pasadena was one of 39 agencies awarded competitive grant funds. The grant was awarded to fund two high-profile projects from the City’s BMP: the Mission Street Green Sharrow Lane Project and the South Pasadena Bicycle Parking Project.
The Mission Street Green Sharrow Lane project is an enhanced class III bicycle facility that will be installed in the center of the right travel lane in both directions on Mission Street from Grand Avenue to Fair Oaks. In addition, bike boxes will be installed at certain intersections as a safety and mobility enhancement for cyclists.
The City’s Bicycle Parking project consists of installing 70 new bike racks, 10 bicycle lockers and 3 bicycle shelters at various locations throughout the City. Locations will include business areas/places of employment, transit stops, government buildings, parks and activity centers. Bike parking is an essential component to support bicycling as a viable mode of transportation. Just as cars need parking, bicycles also need a location to park safely and securely.
“These grant-funded projects will promote healthy, environmentally-friendly mobility options supporting the City’s goal of multi-modalism while maintaining the City’s small-town character. A transportation system that incorporates bicycling can lead to a reduction in vehicle miles traveled, traffic congestion and related auto emissions, while providing healthy lifestyle choices and improved economic vitality,” stated Mayor Schneider.
To find out more information about both projects and the City’s BMP, visit the City’s website. The BMP is also available at the City Clerk’s Office located at 1414 Mission Street and at the South Pasadena Public Library, 1100 Oxley Street.
A study was launched in November 2011 regarding the Historic Arroyo Seco Parkway National Scenic Byway. The initial report being generated from this study in October 2012 is referred to as a Corridor Management Plan, or more specifically for the Arroyo Seco Byway, it is the Corridor Partnership Plan (CPP). This document is a requirement of National Scenic Byways Program, sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
" . . . Development and implementation of a corridor management plan to maintain the scenic, historical, recreational, cultural, natural, and archaeological characteristics of a byway corridor while providing for accommodation of increased tourism and development of related amenities, 23 U.S.C. 162(c)(2).
The CPP for the Historic Arroyo Seco Parkway National Scenic Byway establishes a framework and structure by which the future of the byway corridor can be effectively managed. To accomplish this, the CPP identifies a series of strategies, recommendations and implementation measures to be undertaken for the benefit of the Arroyo Seco Parkway and the overall Byway Corridor:
1. A corridor management plan is a written document that specifies the actions, procedures, controls, operational practices, and strategies to maintain the archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities that support the byway’s designation. The plan should:
2. The plan must address the 14 points of corridor management planning that are included in the Federal Highway Administration’s Interim Policy for the National Scenic Byways Program published in the Federal Register on May 15, 1995; see http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-1995-05-18/html/95-12211.htm.
3. Development of a corridor management plan includes:
Please refer to the following web links for further information on corridor plans.
This planning study integrates a significant, related study completed in 2012 by Caltrans, in partnership with the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority,called "Interpreting the Arroyo Seco Parkway." The series of reports creates the first comprehensive tourism plan to interpret and market the Byway corridor as a regional destination.
For questions or comments regarding the Arroyo Seco Parkway Corridor Partnership Plan, please e-mail ArroyoSecoCMP@gmail.com
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