Construction for Separated Bikeways Begins in Downtown Long Beach

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Long Beach will soon become the first Southern California city to have separated bikeways in its downtown area, designed to help cyclists and vehicles share the road more safely.

Construction on more than two miles of separated bike lanes on Broadway (heading east) and 3rd Street (heading west), between Alamitos Avenue and Golden Avenue, is scheduled to begin on Monday, January 31, 2011.  Upon completion of the project, scheduled for mid-March, bicycles traveling on the two one-way downtown thoroughfares will be separated from vehicle traffic by a painted median island and an asphalt curb adjacent to on-street parking. 

“This bicycle project is an example of what makes Long Beach a leader in improving mobility,” said Mayor Bob Foster. “As a regular cyclist myself, I know that this lane will greatly improve road safety for both bicycles and cars in Downtown Long Beach.”

The protected bikeway on Broadway and 3rd streets is a pilot project to create an attractive transportation alternative for travel into downtown. Modeled after a similar design installed in New York, it also creates a more livable environment for the increasing number of residents who make downtown their home.

The ultimate configuration of the bikeway project will allow for two lanes of through traffic, one parking lane and a protected bike lane on both Broadway and 3rd Street.  New “bike signals”, traffic signals designed specifically for bikes, along the separated lanes will help regulate vehicle left turns across the bikeway, helping to further reduce bicycle-car conflicts.

“This project will improve the livability of the downtown area by providing safe and sustainable transportation infrastructure and esthetics that are attractive to new businesses and residents,” said Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal.  “As an employment center where nearly 80 percent of the people who work downtown drive alone in a car, these separated bikeways will encourage people to consider riding a bike to work. It’s good for their health, good for the environment and it’s good for Long Beach.”

The separated bikeways in downtown Long Beach are part of the City’s plans to provide throughways for Long Beach residents and visitors of all ages and skill levels to ride safely throughout the city.

“These new bike lanes will connect Downtown neighborhoods and provide a safe route for cyclists,” said Councilmember Robert Garcia. “This is a major step towards becoming America’s most bike friendly city.”

The project is funded by local transportation funds, no general funds are used.

For construction updates and information, please contact the project hotline number, 562-908-3518. More information about the project is available online at http://www.bikelongbeach.org or on the City of Long Beach YouTube channel.

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