Long Beach – informing communitites in So Cal on how to be more bike friendly
February 8, 2011 Leave a comment
Les Miklosy, the Chair of the Complete Streets Task Force in Laguana Beach shared this great write up on a recent meeting in Newport Beach. He captures some great elements of what is helping Long Beach be so successful in becoming such a great bikable city.
He attended the Bike Safety Meeting for the city of Newport Beach chaired by Councilwoman Nancy Gardner. Guest speaker was Charlie Gandy, Mobility Coordinator for the City of Long Beach. Charlie spoke about the infrastructure changes made to Long Beach streets like bike sharrows on Second street into Belmont Shores, Bike Stations, bike racks, bike lanes and separated Class I bike lanes. Here are the highlights of this meeting.
- A culture shift has occurred in Long Beach to adopt bike infrastructure like lanes, Sharrows, bike stations and racks.
- 100% of Long Beach city council support bicycle use campaigns
- Bikes are seen as a vehicle for quality living
- Bicycles are perceived by public as supporting an active living agenda
- Culture shift: blend bike riding into daily trips as alternative to car use
- Long Beach is re-assessed as a beach tour destination, not a suburb of Los Angeles, so make it user friendly (sound like Laguna Beach here?)
- Traffic Calming in Long Beach, threshold traffic speed is 20mph, above that businesses suffer, below that businesses thrive
- Long Beach raised $21M in 3 years all from outside sources, hired a full-time employ to do funding research
Class I bike lanes raise property values on streets where implemented
- Over designed streets with reduced traffic counts justify reducing car capacity (LOS) and replacing lanes with multi-use bike lanes
- Mayor of LB is biggest fan of bike infrastructure, made political decision to support bike friendly infrastructure (complete street policy)
- Bike friendly business districts doubled through-traffic, the districts love the change to bike-friendly infrastructure
- Long Beach has not pursued Complete Streets Policy with state highways and Caltrans, worked on city streets only
- During Public Comments a vocal approval was given for cooperation and information sharing between activists working independently in different cities, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, CDM, Newport and Long Beach represented.
Thanks Les for providing this informative update! Did you know there are efforts in Laguna Beach supporting Complete Streets? Check out their blog