So Pas Chamber’s monthly breakfast meeting, ShopTalk, was on “626 Golden Streets.” Photo by Henk friezer

The monthly South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting Tuesday known as ShopTalk focused on a massive bike-friendly event that is going to shut down streets to three neighboring cities.

Edward Duong from ActiveSGV spoke Tuesday morning about the upcoming “626 Golden Streets” event at the Lost Parrot Café, 1929 Huntington Drive, as part of the chamber meeting.

Duong told the gathered business leaders from South Pasadena that people will be coming from all over Southern California to join in this open streets’ event. 

They will be biking, walking, running, skating, dancing, playing for the upcoming 626 Golden Streets Mission-to-Mission event scheduled for Sunday, May 19, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., he said.

The event will link the business districts of So Pas, Alhambra and San Gabriel to the public by temporarily opening up five miles of city streets to all modes of self-propulsion, except for motorized vehicles. The streets will be closed to cars, busses, and motorcycles.

Moreover, South Pasadena is the lead city in planning and hosting the event along with Bike San Gabriel Valley (BikeSGV), city officials said.

The City Council recently unanimously approved accepting a $332,000 grant award from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority specifically for this event.

“626 Golden Streets Mission-to-Mission will invite the public to explore the cities of South Pasadena, Alhambra and San Gabriel like never before,” a city staff report explained. “Connecting each community’s historic central business district, this first-time event will close the gap between these distinct communities by temporarily opening five miles of city streets for walking, bicycling, skating and more. With an overarching Earth Month theme, the event will provide participants with a wide array of opportunities to learn about sustainable living, green mobility, and active lifestyles, as well as sample some of the San Gabriel Valley’s best food.”

Local city officials have been promoting the event for the past month and did so at the last City Council meeting.

“We are very excited to be the lead city in partnership with Active SGV, Alhambra and San Gabriel, with grant funding from Metro for this event,” John Pope, So Pas spokesman, said in an earlier email to The Review. “This will be the first open-streets event to link the historic South Pasadena downtown with the San Gabriel mission district. This will be a fun, community event with a message: promoting cycling for recreation and transportation.”

Councilmember Michael Cacciotti agreed with Pope, saying this was the best bike-friendly idea to come before the city in a long time.

“Of all the proposals, dozens and dozens in the county, we got the highest vote, and received over $300,000 to put on an open streets event,” Cacciotti has said. “Five miles from mission to mission, it will be exciting. It’s a great project.”

Moreover, the proposed route connects the downtowns in each city by this five-mile stretch of streets.

The route will begin on Mission Street at Meridian Avenue and head east towards Marengo Avenue. It will then head south on Marengo and turn east on Alhambra Road. It will then turn south on Olive Avenue, northeast on Woodward Avenue and south on 5th Street. It will then head east on Main Street, turn south onto Mission Drive and finish at Mission Road.

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Steve Whitmore is the editor for the South Pasadena Review. Steve has spent more than four decades as an award-winning print and broadcast journalist with a 16-year stint as the senior media advisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Steve comes to us from the Keene Sentinel in Keene, New Hampshire, where he covered politics and was a columnist.

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