Long Beach Bikeway Route 70: Del Amo Boulevard
2010-03-12 · By Peter Dopulos
Long Beach Bikeway Route 70 (along Del Amo Boulevard) seems to serve the purpose of getting cyclists to and from the LA River Trail (aka Long Beach Bikeway 7).
After traveling north on Bikeway Route 17, I turned left onto Route 70 and spotted the first sign at Del Amo Boulevard and Bentree Circle.
Here at its beginning, traffic flows quickly with three lanes in each direction, that’s the downside. The upside, at least from Orange to Atlantic avenues, is that there is a painted bike lane in both directions and since street parking is prohibited, cyclists don’t have to worry about getting doored. From Atlantic Avenue until Bikeway 70’s official terminus at the LA River, cyclists must ride next to the gutter with cars zooming past. Happily, I was riding after the morning rush. However, I have traveled this stretch on my bike during evening rush hour and traffic can be heavy, so stay extra alert during these times.
As I approached the river, a sign clearly marked the end of Route 70 and for the first time I saw a new sign indicating that the LA River Trail will be Route 7.
Although the route ended here, I decided to continue on.
I wanted to see what it would be like to bike to the Del Amo Metro stop, a seemingly natural destination point for cyclists on Route 70. I immediately understood why the planners ended the bike route where they did.
After crossing over the bridge, cyclists must navigate across the exit, then entrance, for the 710 Freeway. This potentially deadly stretch of Del Amo Boulevard has cars and semi’s jockeying for position in an attempt to get into the right-hand lane and pass each other at the same time, all while moving under the 710 freeway. In addition, the road through here has seen so much heavy traffic that it’s torn up and creates the unsettling sensation of riding on cobblestone.
On the other side of the freeway, Del Amo Boulevard crosses over Susana Road where the southbound traffic debouches. Do not expect a welcome reception from motorists here, especially the truckers who seemed openly hostile to anything or anyone who might slow them down. I did make it to the Metro station, but I would highly recommend finding another way to get there if you can.
The official distance came out to 1.3 miles, with another .5 miles from Orange Avenue to Cherry Avenue, which accounts for the unofficial distance of 1.8 miles. I did not include mileage to the Metro stop.
Route 70 is an efficient way to ride a bike to the LA River. But, I would suggest beginners find an alternate route if possible.
Bikeway: Route 70
Streets Travelled: Del Amo Boulevard
Official Mileage: 1.3miles
Unofficial Mileage: 1.8 miles
Landmarks: City of Lakewood, Long Beach Police Department North Division, LA River
Long Beach Bikeway Route 17 (Orange)
Long Beach Bikeway Route 7 (LA River)