Sharing Lessons From Long Beach

January 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Posted in Bike News, Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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Long Beach Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal talk to County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky & County Dept. of Public Works leadership

Earlier this month LACBC organized a bike tour of Long Beach with Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. The Supervisor invited a team of LA County Department of Public Works (DPW) staff to join him including Deputy Director Pat DeChellis, John Walker, Head of Programs Development, Dean Lehman, Head of Traffic & Lighting Division, Sree Kumar, Head of Design Division and Allan Abramson who works in the Programs Development Division and is responsible for the LA County Bicycle Master Plan. Our goal with this tour was to show the staff of DPW the type of bikeways we want to see in the many unincorporated communities of LA County.

One of the best way for anyone, including engineers, to understand innovative infrastructure treatments is to experience them. And as LACBC members know, Long Beach has become the local leader for innovative bicycle infrastructure projects. The City was a generous host and we were joined on the tour by Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal, staff from their traffic engineering department responsible for helping design and implement the many innovative treatments, bike coordinator Allan Crawford and local bike mobility guru Charlie Gandy.

The tour included the protected bike lanes 3rd and Broadway, the Vista Bike Boulevard, the green sharrow lanes on 2nd Street, the beach bike path, and a number of other streets that have recently be upgraded with bike lanes, as well as stop at Bikestation and a few of the Bicycle Friendly Business Districts (BFBDs).

Charlie Gandy explaining to Supervisor Yaroslavsky & county engineers about protected bike lanes

The bike tour was a great opportunity for County engineers to experience the innovative new facilities in Long Beach, but more importantly it enabled them to experience the streets by bicycling, something many of these staffers have not done in years. There was a lot of good dialogue between the County engineers and the Long Beach engineers. Ideas were flowing about bike boulevards and traffic calming ideas. We hope that once the county bike plan  is adopted we’ll see many of the ideas discussed implemented in the many unincorporated communities the county plan covers. Already we’re hearing from DPW staff that they are looking for projects to enhance with some of the traffic calming treatments they saw implemented in Long Beach. As we recently reported, the county bike plan now includes an expanded design guide and language regarding innovative treatments, thanks to the leadership of Supervisor Yaroslavksy. We hope the Supervisor will continue his leadership and take an active role in improving the bike-ability of his district and the county.

In particular, we were excited to bring Supervisor Yaroslavsky on this tour because of his role on the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACTMA or Metro) Board. As a Metro board member he is also responsible for deciding how much funding is allocated to active transportation projects through the Metro Call for Projects. The ‘Call’ has provided funding for many of the project Long Beach has implemented or will be implementing in the next five years, including a bike share program they hope to get off the ground in 2012.  We hope that the Supervisor will draw upon this experience and continue to increase the funding allocated to active transportation through the Metro Call for Projects. We have and will continue to encourage the Supervisor to ensure bikeway facilities serve people of all ages, abilities, and experience in LA County as well as make sure bike parking facilities implemented by Metro follow the lead of Long Beach and Santa Monica and account for the future growth of cycling in LA County.

View a video from the tour put together by Supervisor Yaroslavsky office.

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  1. The Supervisor has been a pro-bike supporter in Westside Cities Council of Governments meetings last year. He waxed poetic about Carmageddon, saying he liked “hearing the birds” in his neighborhood. We agree. But that great handle has been misapplied.
    Our challenge is to recognize that Carmageddon isn’t the exception but the daily rule here in the Southland, and that we have to get busy waxing poetic about the birds that we *don’t* hear every day over the din of vehicular congestion. This outing seems like a great template for spreading that message.

  2. [...] reminds the Tea Partiers among us that bikes aren’t socialistic, but highways are. The LACBC tours bike-friendly Long Beach with County Supervisor and presumed L.A. mayoral candidate Zev Yaroslovsky. LADOT offers an update [...]

  3. I would like to thank the LACBC and in particular Jen Klausner and Alexis Lentz for making this happen and to Supervisor Yaroslavsky, his staff and the Public Works staff for taking time from their busy schedules. And for taking the time to do this awesome video.

    In Long Beach we are very proud of what has been accomplished in our city in only a few short years and are delighted to show it off. At the same time…there is so much more to do. Our next steps are to up our game in education, to put more infrastructure on the west and north sides of the city…and to continue to work closely with our school district, our parks, our police and our business community to make bicycling a viable and safe option for everyone living in, working in or visiting our great city.

    We are so fortunate to have the support of our political and business leaders to lead this effort.

    Please come to Long Beach for a bike ride…and stay for lunch…or dinner. Or make it your new home.

    Allan Crawford
    Bicycle Coordinator
    City of Long Beach

  4. [...] Zev Yaroslavsky. Supervisor Yaroslavsky joined us earlier this year and invited DPW staff to tour Long Beach by bike to see the kinds of projects that need to be implemented around the county. He introduced [...]

  5. [...] Zev Yaroslavsky. Supervisor Yaroslavsky joined us earlier this year and invited DPW staff to tour Long Beach by bike to see the kinds of projects that need to be implemented around the county. He introduced [...]

  6. […] Studies have shown that protected bikeways (i.e. those that are separated from moving vehicles by a curb or parked cars) can reduce injuries […]

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