Can you imagine a highway in Los Angeles that is dedicated specifically to cyclists?
In 1897, a wealthy American businessman started the construction of the California Cycleway, an elevated wooden bicycle highway that would stretch from Pasadena to Downtown Los Angeles. The project would cost approximately $187,500 at the time. The idea of having a bicycle super highway became an instant fad among the cycling community, which consisted around 30,000 cyclists in Los Angeles (about 6% of the population at that time).
To use the cycleway, cyclists had to pay a toll of either 10¢ each way or 15¢ for a round trip. Bicycle rentals would also be available, which would allow cyclists to leave their bikes at either end of the cycleway. If users of the cycleway wished to forgo the climb back to Pasadena, they had the option of taking one of the four trains and trolleys adjacent to the cycleway.
The construction of the cycleway was never completed and was eventually abandoned as the automobile craze emerged in the late 19th century. Some of the cleared areas for the project subsequently became the Arroyo Seco Parkway / Pasadena Freeway.
Although we never had the privilege to use the California Cycleway, more bike-friendly facilities are continually being created for Los Angeles cyclists.