The map shows the scheduled route for the bike-friendly event in May that connects three cities. Courtesy photo

South Pasadena is leading the way in linking three cities to the public  by temporarily opening up five miles of city streets in May to walking, bicycling, skating and other modes of self-propulsion.

The City Council at its last meeting unanimously approved accepting a $332,000 grant award from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority for the upcoming 626 Golden Streets Mission-to-Mission event scheduled for Sunday, May 19, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The tri-city event is designed to link the central business districts of So Pas, Alhambra and San Gabriel through five miles of city streets that will be closed to cars but open to all other modes of self-propulsion.

“626 Golden Streets Mission-to-Mission will invite the public to explore the cities of South Pasadena, Alhambra and San Gabriel like never before,” the staff report presented to the City Council at its Jan. 16 meeting stated. “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.”

People had an opportunity to cycle, run, skateboard or use any mode of transportation other than a car during the 626 Golden Street event on March 5, 2017. Courtesy photo

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

“We are very excited to be the lead city in partnership with Bike SGV, Alhambra and San Gabriel, with grant funding from Metro for this event,” John Pope, So Pas spokesman, said in an 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 said during the council meeting. “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,” according to the city staff report presented to the council at the Jan. 16 meeting. “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.”

The council voted 5-0 to accept the grant award and begin the process of putting together the May event.

Steve Whitmore
Author

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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