Could pop-up bike safety initiatives be key to reducing bicycle accidents?

On Behalf of | Sep 22, 2021 | Bicycle Accidents |

The Los Angeles County city of Alhambra recently wrapped up its participation in a pilot program funded by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). The city allowed for the installation of high visibility crosswalks, temporary bike lanes and curb extensions between August 22 and Sept. 8 along a half-mile stretch of Poplar Blvd.

Reimagine Poplar Boulevard petitioned SCAG for a $10,000 mini-grant that they would use to buy the necessary materials and to cover labor costs associated with the design and installation of the pop-up crash avoidance measures. 

What is the problem where the pop-up measures were installed?

There weren’t any bike lanes in Alhambra at the time this pop-up installation occurred. Reimagine Poplar Boulevard officials convinced city officials that it was high time to give bike lanes and other measures a try to reduce crashes. It didn’t hurt that the advocacy organization said that they’d handle the design and pick up the cost to execute the project. 

Residents have become increasingly concerned about the stretch of Poplar Blvd., where city officials ultimately allowed for the installation of the bike lanes to take place. There has been a lot of reckless driving, including motorists failing to yield to others’ right of ways at stop signs, speeding and truckers failing to maintain their lanes in the recent past.

How do these pop-ups work, and what are the expectations for them?

Workers were brought in ahead of the pop-up’s launch to put down temporary line barriers and to spray paint bike insignias aimed at warning motorists that the newfound lanes were only for bicyclists. The workers also used blow torches to temporarily install bollards at intersections to provide a barrier between the curb and traffic lanes to discourage motorists from cutting it tight and striking cyclists. 

The Reimagine Popular Boulevard advocates also installed signs at intersections letting passersby know of the dangers cyclists face and how their efforts aim to protect them. The sign also outlined how residents could vote on the initiative in hopes of city officials approving a more permanent solution. 

It’s unclear how residents responded to this Alhambra initiative, and if it impacted bicyclists’ safety during the two weeks it was in existence. If this project has success, it could pave the way for similar initiatives throughout Los Angeles County, which could significantly enhance bicyclists’ safety.