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Rose Bowl Loop closed to vehicle traffic

September 25, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
People who use the Rose Bowl Loop for exercise had the 3.3-mile stretch of road all to themselves Thursday evening.The road and a portion of the Brookside Golf Course was closed to vehicle traffic from 5 to 7 p.m on Thursday.

The move was part of an experiment aimed at making the road safer for cyclists, walkers, runners, skaters, and others. The city will evaluate the benefits of setting up and taking down barricades along the road.

Pedestrians and skaters/Rollerbladers were asked to go counter-clockwise along the loop using designated boundaries marked on the road. Bicyclists should go clockwise, observing all stop signs.

Riding, running, or even walking around the Rose Bowl had never been as popular as it was Thursday night.

"I speak to people who come from San Bernardino and Fresno and wherever, and they tell me, 'I want to ride here this summer.' I tell them, 'Man, I'm lucky. I live a few miles from here,'" said Pasadena resident Vince Gomez.

Vince has been riding the Rose Bowl since 1970.

"As long as it's safe for everyone, it's truly an enjoyable ride," said Vince.

For decades, the crowds have been getting bigger around the Pasadena Rose Bowl. Recreational users on bikes, Rollerblades, or their comfortable sneakers have increased. However, the popularity is leading to some problems.

"It's become an exercise Mecca," said Mark Rich, a cyclist. "Basically, the Rose Bowl has evolved into a recreational facility for the city of Pasadena and its users."

Mark is also on an ad-hoc committee to help the city deal with certain growing pains. One specific issue is managing the needs of the recreational users with the vehicles on the 3.2-mile loop.

"The main issues are that you have a lot of people out here that are not walking the right way, or not running the right way. And sometimes people who aren't driving the right way," said Mike.

As part of an ongoing effort to strike a balance, the city has decided to ban vehicles on the loop for one night.

"We've experimented with about a half-a-dozen different models for how we can achieve the best balance. And, one of the suggestions has been, 'Well, let's take the cars out of here, at least at certain times. So we're going to see how that works," said Bernard Melekian, Pasadena Interim City Manager.

The other question will be cost. There are officers on duty to monitor the recreational time.

If the city likes what it sees it may close the loop on a regular basis.

Eyewitness News Reporters Sid Garcia and Robert Holguin contributed to this report.

 

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