Biking on the Streets (with no boardwalk, will our streets be safe enough?)

photo-1Road safety has been a major topic on this hobby blog since … well.. since I started blogging back in 2008. We’ve dealt with plenty of drunk driving, kids on skateboards getting hit, pedestrians getting dragged under cars, automobiles going through “invisible” stop signs…Oh, the list goes on. This Spring/summer there will be a new road challenge in our bike-city by the sea: The increase in cyclists on roads since the boardwalk is temporary absent. This issue was brought to me by a local named JRLB, who writes:

As a LB resident, who is looking forward to the warmer weather, I believe the town needs to be proactive in protecting it’s citizens who will be  biking on the streets vs. the boardwalk this season.  I think the local bike shops should take an active role in their community.  We all know people’s lack of respect for street signs through the town, but as it warms up more and more people will be riding along Broadway and other heavy traffic areas.  How can we be proactive about protecting residents who get out on their bike during the nice days?

JRLB is absolutely right. Since the driving culture in Long Beach refuses to change (ignoring stop signs and speed limits), something or somebody needs to step up to make sure the roads are safe for all. Yes, I know some of you will say pedestrians and cyclists ignore road rules as well. You are correct, but I have repeated this before and it needs repeating again: Between pedestrians, cyclists and automobiles, the automobiles are the more dangerous weapon. It’s a privilege to drive; you don’t need a license to be a pedestrian or ride a bike.

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So what can get we do? Maybe we can get some proper bike lanes around town? The bike stencils aren’t enough. You need lines to actually create a bike lane. The streets are wide enough, so there is plenty of room. JRLB adds “Maybe it would be prudent for the bike shop owners to reach out to the bike manufactures for assistance for bike safety.  It’s something these bigger companies can help with communities who lose so much.” Umm maybe also Decobike? Long Beach is one of the few towns on Long Island that has a bike culture. We definitely need to make sure our streets are safe through this boardwalk transition.

Discuss 🙂

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(my frankenbikestencil -A combo of both the decobike and boardwalk stencils)

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25 thoughts on “Biking on the Streets (with no boardwalk, will our streets be safe enough?)”

  1. it’s an interesting concept, but how do you enforce it? Olive might be safer because Walnut is an alt-route for those who don’t want to wait at lights on Park Avenue.

  2. As a cyclist/runner I’m pretty vocal about the lack of respect drivers show pedestrians. Last week while running on Broadway I was nearly run over by an elderly driver. She saw fit to pull up very close to me and yell at me even though I obviously had the right of way (I was crossing Broadway and the light was in my favor). I did note in a previous comment that I am forced to run in the street due to the boardwalk being gone.

    I actually do follow traffic rules when I cycle. I stop at red lights and stop signs and always go with the flow of traffic. It ticks me off to no end when I have another cyclist coming at me going against traffic…it’s even worse when they’re texting or talking on their cell phone. How about a ban on cycling and texting/talking? It’s just as dangerous as driving while texting. Or actually making it a law that you have to go with the flow of traffic? Officers on bikes could issue a good amount of citations every single day.

    I have to ask…what are the bike shops expected to do? It’s the “driver’s rule” culture that is the issue. People need to slow the F down and stop running lights and stop signs with impunity. Drawing lines in the street will be as helpful as putting a stop sign on every corner…drivers will ignore them.

    The “somebody” that needs to step up is the City of Long Beach…we need enforcement of the laws in place and a lower speed limit. We need to dissuade visitors from driving here by instituting resident parking only during weekends. As long as the city continues to encourage drivers to do as they please we’re all just moving targets whether we’re walking, biking or running.

  3. Everyday I see people here just totally ignore stop signs. I was getting out of my car on beech the other day and someone whizzed by me, must of been going 45…and then they didn’t stop at the stop sign, didn’t even slow down. Very worrisome especially as this was by the temple which has boys walking to and from all day. Not to mention its a residential street full of young children.

    I used to live in the city, and the problem in long beach is no respect is paid to the pedestrians right of way and there just seems to be a total lack of caring about pedestrians.

  4. Last time I checked the size and weight of an automobile nears a ton, while that of a bicycle is 30 Lbs. I don’t know about LBFoodie, and Sam’s declarations of cyclists behaving more recklessly. My father was run over by an automobile when he was getting out of his legally parked car. my brother, who was bicycling, was run into by a girl driving a car through right through a stop sign, The next/first time I hear of a bicyclist sending someone to a hospital I’ll tell you, and by Sam and LB Foodie’s perception, that will happen sometime today..hmm?

  5. I met a trustee of a small north shore village who told me they have instructed their police not to strictly enforce traffic infractions since a large chunk of the money collected goes to the State and it’s a burden and finamcial loss on the court system of this tiny municipality. Is that why the LBPD is virtually invisible regarding the traffic mayhem here? Or is it just an extension of the ineptitude that permeates the government ?

  6. I spend a lot of time on my bike when the weather permits. I know that there are a lot of bad drivers in LB, but the vast majority of bike riders (myself included I’m sure) are pretty reckless. I never see bikes stop at stop signs or red lights, ever, unless there is a car in the way.

    You would also cut down on driver frustration if you didn’t have asinine traffic light patterns and making people wait at 2 lights to make a freaking turn like on broadway.

  7. Those 2 light turns are a disaster waiting to happen. Last year I was riding west down Broadway and had a green light. An elderly driver (seeing a pattern here?) going east made a left at the green light and went straight on through the red nearly hitting me. Of course there was the yelling at me as if it were my fault. I’ve been nearly hit so many times that I am extremely cautious when riding (I’m a cyclist in training, not a bike rider..there’s a difference).

    I do agree a lot of bike riders are inconsiderate but so are drivers. There’s no respect between each other but when I’m driving I’m smart enough to recognize my truck will do more damage to a person than a person will do to my truck.

  8. What is wrong with running on the beach… is that too safe a place to run….the air is cleaner and the only one you can run into is each other……your not supposed to run in the street unless you have a lic. plate on your arse… You are obstructing The FLOW OF TRAFFIC……Run around the block….I am a runner and have no desire to run in traffic. Stop signs and Traffic lights apply to us all and you show me runners and bikers that obey the them …NOT ONE ! they are the more Dangerous weapon on the road ….When someone tells you to go play traffic …..it is not because it is safe!!!!

  9. Has there been any sign of plans to resurface the streets? There are a few intersections on Monroe between Broadway and Park that are just deplorable and there are many others around that are even worse. They are dangerous to walk on, drive on and biking has to be a nightmare.

  10. I agree, our streets were never awesome, now they’re deplorable. I take Monroe from Park to Shore daily to get home.

    (On the positive side, it forces me to drive 10 mph, so here’s to traffic calming :))

  11. I have to agree with Chrispeck and Brian Puccio. The streets are SUCH a mess! Something needs to be done asap. Bikes need to veer into the center of the road in order to avoid huge potholes and other hazards. Take a look at Riverside– the entire street needs to be repaved (no more sloppy patchwork jobs). It is a hazard to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians…not to mention it makes the town look like a dump!

  12. Is Deco gone for good? All the recent coverage about the NYC Biking project made me wonder Are there plans for them to come back when the Boardwalk is completed? Does anyone know?

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