The California Cycleway Company was incorporated on August 23, 1897, by the visionary Horace Dobbins, to develop a bicycle tollway from the Green Hotel in downtown Pasadena to downtown Los Angeles. Although everything pointed to a successful venture, Dobbins' plans for an elevated wooden bike turnpike were rudely interrupted by the unexpected invention of the automobile. Constructed in an era known for thinking big, the Cycleway was nevertheless considered an engineering feat of the times. The Cycleway fell into disuse and the right-of-way subsequently became the Arroyo Seco/Pasadena Freeway, Dobbins became known as the father of the modern freeway, and the Cycleway was forgotten.
The Arroyo Seco Bikeway Project takes Dobbins' idea into the next century, in the same location. It will be built along the Pasadena Freeway, connecting downtown Pasadena to downtown Los Angeles. The Bikeway is envisioned to provide a serious alternative to motorized commuting, designed to attract people of all ages and abilities.
Initial support from cyclists and communities along the route has been strong. The Arroyo Seco Bikeway is seen as the core of an extended, self-supporting bicycle transportation network. At a time when mass transit and highway alternatives have become very expensive, the Bikeway offers a low cost, low impact alternative.