The city of Pomona, in coordination with Cal Poly Pomona, broke ground on a new protected bikeway project this summer that will be open in the fall. The new bikeway will stretch along Valley Boulevard from Temple Avenue to Humane Way, covering about 1.5 miles. The new bikeways along with the current protected bike lanes along Kellogg Drive will make biking to and from campus safer and more comfortable for students, faculty and staff.
According to the League of American Bicyclists, “Colleges and university campuses are unique environments for their high density, stimulating atmosphere and defined boundaries. These factors make them ideal environments to incorporate bikes.”
The new protected bikeway will feature a concrete buffer between the bike lane and regular traffic lanes, ensuring safety to people who commute on bikes. The bikeway will also include signal improvements at the intersections of Temple Ave. and Valley Blvd. and Kellogg Drive. and Valley Blvd.
“For those who ride to campus or who have thought maybe they’d like to but didn’t like the conditions, the bikeway will make it safer to bike to and from campus,” said Gwen Urey, professor of urban and regional planning and a longtime bike commuter.
Urey noted that some of her students have shown an interest in biking to and from campus but were intimidated by the conditions. The addition of the buffered bikeway may encourage more students to commute via bikes, she said.
John Lloyd, co-chair of the university’s Alternative Transportation Committee and history professor, pointed out that the bikeways, “could help us to achieve climate goals, provide affordable transportation options, and help students on campus get to and connect with their surrounding community.”
“The Valley Blvd Protected Bike Lane project is part of a larger roadway rehabilitation project, sponsored by the city of Pomona and LA Metro,” Executive Director of Transportation and Planning Danny Wu said. “The roadway rehab work covers portions of Valley Blvd, Orange Grove, Park, San Antonio and McKinley Avenues.”
Like many universities, finding parking close to the center of campus is a challenge during peak times. Students have suggested various ideas to improve parking, including building another parking structure or offering free bus passes.
“It’s also important that we think about trying to avoid building new parking structures, because with every new structure, student parking fees go up,” Lloyd added.
He explained that with every new parking structure, the university has to increase parking fees to pay for the structures. In order to keep fees as low as possible, it would be ideal to improve conditions for alternate forms of transportation instead of adding more parking structures.
The bikeway project’s mission to increase alternative transportation infrastructure and biking opportunities to and from campus aligns with the university’s Strategic Plan, which includes a commitment to social and environmental responsibility
In addition to the new protected bikeways, Cal Poly Pomona will pilot a Class Pass program, in partnership with Foothill Transit, providing a free bus pass to all currently enrolled students for the 2021-22 academic year. Also, the Alternative Transportation Committee is collaborating with Associated Students Inc. to explore a potential bikeshare program to provide e-bikes to campus and establishing a student bike hub/coop to help provide equipment like helmets and locks and services such as flat tire repair and bicycle safety classes.
“I hope that we also offer amenities and events that will help students become comfortable with biking,” Lloyd said. “One thing we’re working on is a bike hub/coop on campus in case students get a flat tire, need lights, locks or helmets.”