COVID-19 Update: Monday, May 25, 2020

WHITTIER, Calif. – The revised Safer at Home Health Order impacts an expanded list of recreational facilities, retail businesses, and manufacturers, while stressing continued social distancing measures as LA County aims to reopen by July 4. (Read latest information here)

Whittier Bicycle Transportation Plan

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In 1972, the Whittier Ad Hoc Bicycling Committee and City staff prepared a Bicycle Routes Plan that was incorporated into the Circulation Element of the Whittier General Plan. The plan was based upon the experience of the committee participants with input from staff and local cycling organizations. The goal of the 1972 plan was the identification of future bikeway facilities throughout the City. A bike route map was also developed but was not consistent with the eventual 1972 plan. In 1982, as the City adopted a Bicycle Master Plan, very few bikeways existed within its boundaries. Since that time, the majority of bikeways identified in the 1982 plan have been developed. In addition to implementing all bikeways within the Master Plan, the City of Whittier Public Works staff had completed additional bikeways not previously addressed in 1982. Many of these routes were additional Class II Bike Lanes that were implemented as part of roadway resurfacing projects. These additional routes were documented and added to the 2008 Bicycle Transportation Plan.

Within the 1993 Whittier General Plan, a Bicycle Plan was included in the Environmental Resources Management Element. The 1993 Plan encouraged the City to provide incentives for alternate modes of transit, pursue the development of additional bikeways, and analyze parking development standards. The 1993 update was not specific about where bikeways could be added and generally brief on guidelines for implementing proposed objectives. Since the implementation of the 1982 Plan, the most significant change is the addition of a Class I trail along the abandoned Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) line. Although the 1982 Plan discussed the possibility of such as trail, the document indicated the project to be infeasible due the UPPR not allowing bikeways on active railroad right-of-ways and thus redirected its focus on the development of a parallel Class II and Class III bikeway along Lambert Road.

With the aid of federal and state funding through Metro’s Call for Projects, the City obtained ownership and developed approximately 4.5 miles of Class I bikeway path along the abandoned rail line. The City purchased the property in December 2001 and completed construction of the Whittier Greenway Trail in 2008. As later discussion will reveal, the Whittier Greenway Trail not only enhanced bike travel within Whittier, it is an important and unprecedented opportunity to link bikeways in the Southeast region of Los Angeles County and the Northwest region of Orange County.

The City continues to negotiate with UPRR for a perpetual easement along the active rail line from the terminus of the Class I Whittier Greenway Trail at Mills Avenue and Lambert Road to the City’s eastern shared border with La Habra. The eventual goal is to connect a Class I bicycle path into Orange County through La Habra and Brea along the active rail line. Although the purpose of this Transportation Plan involves comprehensive goals and objectives for the City’s bikeway system, the significance of the Whittier Greenway Trail warrants special focus on enhancing existing and potential connections to the abandoned rail line as well as its impact to the overall network. It also provides the opportunity to consider changes in adjacent land uses within close proximity to the Whittier Greenway Trail to improve local business and advocate mixed use developments with lower parking requirements. Benefits include improve health, air quality and safety.

With the implementation of the majority of bikeways proposed within the 1982 Bicycle Master Plan, the City has developed a functional system for the community. Additional bikeways identified in the 2008 Bicycle Transportation Plan have also been implemented that has enhanced bikeway connectivity. The City continues to commit to establishing bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation and further recognizes an increasing need for the future as traffic congestion and gas prices increase. Through planning and implementation, the City shall seek to continue to enhance the existing bikeway system and thus increase community usage.

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