Glendale City Council voted to abandon the Honolulu Avenue Road Diet project in Montrose, between La Crescenta Avenue and Orangedale Avenue, and find another bicycle lane opportunity in Glendale.
The council asked transportation staff for more bike lane options in Glendale, which will now be the from Glendale transportation officials since January.
Funding Question Prompts Council Concern
The Montrose project would have been funded by the Transportation and Development Act and costs about $125,000. Funding from the act can only be used for bicycling transportation purposes.
However, Glendale transportation staff did reveal during Tuesday's meeting that although there were funds to create the lanes and repave the road, there were not funds available to reverse the project.
"Although we have the funds to install the stripping and improvements for the bike lane, we do not have the funds available to revert it to the original," Najarian said. "That's a problem."
To reverse the bicycle lane project in Glendale, the city could use funding from Proposition A and C, which is gas tax money mostly reserved for pothole paving and road repair, Najarian said.
"We can't talk about this as being only a test... there's funding that needs to be attained," Najarian said.
Community Outreach: Did Montrose Locals Want a Road Diet?
Large opposition to the project from locals during community outreach meetings -- despite the -- propelled Glendale Mayor Frank Quintero, Councilman Ara Najarian, Counciwoman Laura Friedman and Councilman Rafi Manoukian to side with Councilman Dave Weaver in his opposition to the bike lane on Honolulu Avenue Road Diet.
Friedman emphasized that the council could have done more outreach, especially when the elected officials chose Honolulu Avenue from one of the Glendale transportation staff options back in January.
"Let me say first of all that I am very committed to making our streets safe for all methods of transportation," Friedman said. "I think that traffic safety is a problem in Glendale and it’s something I’m committed to addressing ... I don’t think the streets are just about cars I think they’re about bicyclists as well."
Friedman remains supportive of cyclists, pedestrians and having a road diet at another Glendale location. She explained how outreach will change the traffic jam at Trader Joe's, at Honolulu and Orangedale avenues.
"I do hope that the community understands that they were listened to... some of the concerns that were voiced have led to direct action during this process. The traffic routing around Trader Joe's is going to be changed because of the outreach on the road diet," Friedman said.
Councilman Manoukian spoke about mountain biking and explained that he's been yelled at by cyclists and seen drivers act recklessly toward bicyclists in the area.
"It's difficult being a pedestrian in Glendale," Glendale City Councilman Rafi Manoukian said.
First, Manoukian sided with the road diet.
"I'm in favor of it. Let's go forward with it. This is a test."
However, he voted to put the road diet on hold and ultimately opposed the Honolulu Avenue Road Diet project.
Councilman Weaver, whose background is engineering, explained how Glendale's main arterial streets were built in the 1930s and 40s.
"Our streets were designed for automobiles, not bicycles," Weaver said.
Weaver did not think the Honolulu Avenue experiment could be examined based on failure or success measures.
"Personally, I don't think you can legislate the safety of bicyles on the streets. The bike will always lose in an accident," Weaver said.
The Honolulu Avenue Road Diet would have been a first for Glendale.
The first attempted road diet was on Verdugo Road in the 1990s, Najarian said.
The attempted road diet was removed just before it was installed, said Steve Zurn, Director of Public Works.
Najarian, who opposed the Honolulu Avenue project, said he would like to examine another option on Verdugo Road.
"I cannot support Honolulu," Najarian said.
Mayor Frank Quintero, a cyclist, said he wants people to access all types of transportation throughout Glendale, including bus and train.
"I am committed to bike lanes and bike baths throughout the city...," Quintero said.
Glendale's bicycle transportation plan will be headed back to Glendale City Council for review later this month. That's when council can choose another plan.
"We may not be prepared to do this, this evening, on Honolulu... I think it's very important to Glendale ... we'll wait for the bike plan and look forward," Quintero said.
The name, road diet, or any bicycle lane projects will have to wait. It could be the reason people were opposed to Montrose bike lanes, Quintero explained.
"Nobody in America likes to diet, so the idea of calling this a road diet was a mistake," he said.