Cordova Street Enhancements

Project Overview

The City of Pasadena is leading the way in Southern California to develop balanced policies involving the mobility choices for all residents. The Cordova Street Enhancement project creates a complete street environment, improving safety and accessibility along Cordova Street with Class II bike lanes, bicycle detection, pedestrian ADA accessibility upgrades, curb extensions, and incorporating sustainable water quality improvements.

The project is consisted with the City of Pasadena updated Mobility Element objectives that “Streets should reflect neighborhood character and accommodate all users; Streets should accommodate all users such as pedestrians, bicyclists, public transit, skateboarders and scooters; and Streets should reflect individual neighborhood character and needs, and support healthy activities such as walking and bicycling.”

Goals and Objectives

  • Reduce pedestrian crossing distance and time in the street.
  • Improve safety of non-motorized users by adding east and westbound bike lanes.
  • Enhance Cordova Street’s character by incorporating sustainable water quality features.
  • Provide critical pedestrian accessible improvements for the corridor by upgrading curb ramps to meet current ADA requirements.
  • The project will maintain or reduce vehicular speeds.
  • Provide connection to Del Mar Metro Gold Line station, businesses and homes in the South Lake District of Pasadena, as well Pasadena City College and California Institute of Technology.

Existing Conditions / Proposed Enhancements

Existing Cordova Street between Lake Avenue and Hill Avenue was re-striped in 2011 to reduce traffic speeds and implemented safer non-motorized, and pedestrian improvements. The striping configurations consist of a two-lane divided arterial with bike lanes for cyclists. Cordova Street west of Lake Avenue transitions to a four-lane divided arterial without protected bike lanes. (See existing/proposed images below)

Cordova Street between Marengo and Euclid Today
Cordova Street between Marengo and Euclid Today
Cordova Street between Marengo and Euclid with proposed enhancements
Cordova Street between Marengo and Euclid with proposed enhancements
Cordova Street at Oakland Avenue Today
Cordova Street at Oakland Avenue Today
Cordova Street at Oakland Avenue with proposed enhancements
Cordova Street at Oakland Avenue with proposed enhancements
Cordova Street between Madison and El Molino Today
Cordova Street between Madison and El Molino Today
Cordova Street between Madison and El Molino with proposed enhancements
Cordova Street between Madison and El Molino with proposed enhancements

Project Limits

Cordova Street Enhancements project is located along Cordova Street between Marengo Avenue and Hill Avenue.

Cordova Street Enhancements Project Limits Map
Cordova Street Enhancements Project Limits Map

Community Meetings

Previous Community Involvement:

  • Cordova Street Design Public Workshop - September 11, 2014
  • Cordova Street Enhancements Meeting - January 8, 2019
  • Transportation Advisory Commission (TAC) - January 24, 2019 You may email Cordova@cityofpasadena.net to provide your input on this project.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is this project funded?

Please see below a breakdown of funds for this project:

Gas Tax $49,000 FY2018
Measure R Transportation Fund $457,500 FY2018
CMAQ-Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Federal Funding $2,115,000 FY2018
Private Capital $5,113 FY2018
Traffic Reduction Fee $100,000 FY2019

Why is the proposed bike lane not connecting to the Gold Line?

The current configuration of Cordova Street between Marengo Avenue and Arroyo Parkway has a raised median that was constructed as a condition of a new development project on Cordova Street. The raised median prohibits left turns in and out of the project on Cordova Street, but has resulted in inadequate roadway width to match the planned bike lane configuration east of Marengo Avenue. However, given the amount of interest demonstrated to connecting the bike lane to Goldline station, staff is looking into options to provide a seamless bike connection to the Goldline.

Why haven’t dedicated and protected bike lane been considered for this project?

The existing Cordova street roadway width is inadequate for the installation of a protected bike lane. The project, however, offers buffered bike lanes. Additionally, installation of a protected bike lane would necessitate removal of some on-street parking along the bike route which will be challenging for the surrounding uses.

If Cordova is so quiet already, why do we need a bike lane? Seems like a bike lane is more necessary on a street which is traveling at higher speeds and has higher vehicle trips.

The intent of the road diet is to manage speeds on Cordova Street and to enhance pedestrian safety crossings at un-signalized intersections. Cordova Street traffic volumes are well below volume capacities of a four-lane roadway leading to speeding by motorists. Repurposing a travel lane in each direction to a bike lane in an industry-standard strategy to manage speeds and improve pedestrians' safety.

How will the current residents of the City get impacted by this project?

Based on our findings, the project is not expected to impact the area residents. The adopted Mobility Element illustrates balanced traffic volumes citywide based on projected number of traffic lanes on streets and its associated volume capacity. As an example, the Cordova Street is modeled with two lanes of traffic with bike lanes and estimated range of 9,000 to 16,000 daily cars on different segments by 2035. The forecasted traffic volumes assumes full build-out of the adopted General Plan Land-Use Element!

Why would PCC and Caltech bike users use Cordova to access Del Mar Station? Would Lake Station be closer?

For bicyclists, a safer calmer street with bike lanes is preferred over streets with higher volumes and no bike lanes albeit a longer route.

How will this project effect the traffic flow and congestion in the vicinity of the project? Will the reduced lanes on Cordova push travelers to Del Mar?

The lane reductions to the west of Lake will not impact Cordova’s ability to carry the existing 11,000 trips. Even with the reduction, the carrying capacity will still be able to handle higher volume. Consequently, drivers will not experience new delays and are not expected to switch to Del Mar.

How will the City address the needs of visually impaired and persons with limited mobility?

The project will be installing 20 curb extensions with 38 ADA curb ramps along with 45 ladder crosswalks. Additionally, 44 new APS (accessible pedestrians signal) for visually impaired will be installed.

By 2035, the Cordova Street will hold 15,400 cars. Currently it holds 10,300. This is an increase of 5,000 cars. How will this work on a street that gets a reduction?

Forecasted volumes are estimated at full build-out of the General Plan adopted Land use Element with the proposed two lanes of traffic and bike lanes. Furthermore, despite new developments in the area, the increase in traffic volumes in the past 9 years have been non-existent and/or negligible. Cordova has the capacity to handle the forecasted volumes should they arise.

By 2035 Del Mar Street will hold 19,800 cars. Currently it holds 21,000. Why is there a decrease on Del Mar while an increase on Cordova?

The forecasted reduction in volumes on Del Mar are based on full build-out of non-vehicular infrastructure such as bike lanes, better pedestrian environment; and increase in transit ridership by improving transit amenities, and shortening transit headways (shorter wait for the next bus).

What was the vehicle travel on Cordova Street before and after the road diet?

Since 2009, the traffic volumes have not significantly increased or decreased:

Cordova Two-way 24 Hour Counts West of Lake Ave
Location Year Four Traffic Lanes and No Bike Lanes East of Lake Two Traffic Lanes and Bike Lanes East of Lake
e/o El Molino 2009 11016
e/o Oak Knoll Ave 2016 10019
e/o Oakland Ave 2016 10916
e/0 Los robles 2016 11893
e/o Euclid Ave 2016 9549
e/o Marengo 2016 9260
e/o Arroyo Pkway 2016 7634
Cordova Two-way 24 Hour Counts East of Lake Ave
Location Year Four Traffic Lanes and No Bike Lanes East of Lake Two Traffic Lanes and Bike Lanes East of Lake
e/o Catalina Ave 2009 8565
w/o & e/o Catalina 2018 8997
e/o Chester Ave 2009 7196
e/o Michigan Ave 2016 6557

How will cyclist get a green light at signalized intersections? What kind of Bicycle detection technology will be used?

The project will include bicycle detections at signalized intersections to detect cyclist on the road and change the signal timing as needed. The technology used is a newer approach compared to traditional traffic loops that may not detect bicycles at all time. This new technology detects the cyclist by using a camera to sense the cyclist in the intersection.

Will this project include signage along Cordova Street to direct people to the Del Mar Gold Line station?

This is not part of the scope of this project, however, it will be looked into as a future project.

Will this project look into possibility of a wider sidewalks with better lighting and trees for shade?

This is not part of the scope of this project, however, it may be considered as a future project.

There is only one lane left turn wait on the corner of Arroyo/Cordova for those accessing 110. Wouldn’t this be an issue?

The current lane configuration at the intersection of Cordova Street and Arroyo Parkway has two left-turn only lanes and one right-turn only lane for motorists travelling westbound. Current traffic volumes have been collected to determine if the existing lane configurations should be modified or maintained at the intersection.