Downtown Celebrates Opening of Separated Bike Lanes on April 23rd
2011-04-18 · By Editor
Construction was recently completed on more than two miles of separated bike lanes going east on Broadway and west on 3rd Street, between Alamitos Avenue and Golden Avenue. Cyclists traveling using the new downtown thoroughfares will be safely separated from automobile traffic by a painted median island as well as an asphalt curb adjacent to on-street parking.
The protected bikeway 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.
Separated Bikeways Grand Opening
The Grand Opening & Celebration will take place Saturday, April 23, 2011 from 11am – 2pm on The Promenade at Broadway & 3rd Street. The opening ceremony is at noon. The celebration will include a variety of activities including a scavenger hunt, Bike Rodeo for kids, guided bike tours of downtown, bike decorating, and a movie screeing of Riding Bikes with the Dutch by Michael Baugh.
More information about Long Beach’s bicycle friendly efforts can be found at www.bikelongbeach.org.
The separated bikeways 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. The project is funded by local transportation funds, no general funds are used.
Separated Bikeways Project Details:
- The separated bikeways were approved as a 12-month demonstration project by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the California Traffic Control Devices Committee (CTCDC). The project allows the City to test the safety and efficiency of this new design. We will conduct studies and if the project is found to be successful, the FHWA and the CTCDC may choose to adopt this design as a standard application that can be used by all cities. A successful project may also allow the City to make the bikeways more permanent by installing landscaped medians.
- While vehicle lanes will be reduced from three to two lanes on Broadway and 3rd Street, improved signal timing and a reduction in vehicle-bicycle incidents will benefit all road users. During most hours of the day and night, two lanes can easily accommodate the traffic demands on Broadway and on 3rd Street.
- Bike signals are the primary safety feature of this project, and will be coordinated with the new left-turn arrows that have been installed at most of the intersections on Broadway and 3rd Street. When the left turn arrow is green, people on bikes will see a red bike signal, requiring them to stop and allow cars to complete the left turn.
- Residents benefit from a community that promotes walking and cycling, which is attracting new retail and service businesses to the downtown area. Home ownership in downtown has increased at a faster rate than any other part of the city, and more people who live downtown do not own a vehicle as compared to the rest of Long Beach. Many people choose to live in a place like downtown because they enjoy a more active lifestyle that they can walk or ride a bike to most places they want to go. This separated bikeway will go a long way toward making that a reality.
- Businesses benefit from increased customer access and bike and foot traffic. In many ways, Broadway and 3rd Street have served as a high-speed throughway for people getting on or off the 710 Freeway to rush to their homes or jobs outside of downtown and beyond. The new bikeways will encourage people in cars to drive within the stated speed limit making businesses along those two streets more visible to people driving by.
The City has made a commitment to create a more livable, healthy, and active community. This goal requires an investment in infrastructure that encourages people to walk and ride a bike. With the City Council’s vision to become the most bicycle friendly city in America, an investment in this type of bikeway is important to the health and vitality of the community.