Most of you have already made up your mind on the whole DecoBike fiasco:
- Worried about the extra 400 bikes.
- Don’t want our boardwalk sold to private companies.
- Just don’t want more people coming to Long Beach.
- Just don’t want more bicycles on the boardwalk and around Long Beach.
- Worried about the DecoBike racks taking up much needed parking spots.
- The impact on Buddy’s Bikes.
- The impact on Long Beach Bicycle.
- The impact on Local Cycles.
Like it or not, we are stuck with DecoBikes for the next 5 years. Will it work? Well, none of us went to school for bike sharing and its impact on small barrier Island cities, so I don’t think any of us really know that answer. Only time will tell. Our city officials are billing the ‘DecoBikes plan’ as a way to solve our parking problem, but it can’t and won’t. Out-of-towners still need to drive and park their cars here in Long Beach to use the service. One way we can solve our parking problem is to bring less cars to Long beach, but we can’t because our current infrastructure doesn’t support safe bike travel from other parts of Long Island. There are no bike lanes between Long Beach and Island Park, Lido Beach, Point Lookout, Atlantic Beach & even Oceanside. Heck, I would even go up Loop Parkway though the Meadowbrook to Merrick.
A lot of residents from these neighboring towns, especially Island Park, park in Long Beach to use our beaches and spend money at our restaurants. Maybe some of these folks would love to leave their cars at home and take a bike! Why take a bike when it’s so much easier to drive? Well, it’s simple: there is comfort knowing you won’t have the frustration of finding a parking spot near the beach. Exercise and fresh air are always good too! (Some people, like myself, actually like exercise and fresh air).
This, of course, brings me back to the bike lane over the Michael Valente / Long Beach Bridge proposal (see – Bike Lanes by the Sea). How many cars come over the bridge from Island Park and park in our spaces? I’m sure it’s a lot – especially on a hot Saturday in July. If we can offer them a safe alternative – some will bite. As of now, bike travel over that bridge is freakin’ dangerous & downright scary. Between the Harbor Island Condos & a redeveloped Island Park downtown, we are going to see an influx of folks coming to Long Beach and that only means less parking spaces for all.
Similar to my bike lane proposal for Long Beach (see – Bike Lanes by the Sea), I propose bike lanes for :
- Michael Valente / Long Beach Bridge
- E. Park Avenue & Lido Blvd to Point Lookout
- Loop & Meadowbrook parkways
- West end connection to the Atlantic Beach Bridge (which already has a bike lane, by the way).
They say that no man is an Island. Well, lets put those words to good use.