Bike Lanes on Broadway and riding around LB in general. Plus narrower car lanes makes the streets safer for everybody.

Sent in by a reader who is very concerned about bike safety (as she should be):

“Just curious if there’s anyone I can talk to about this… I ride my bike to the train in the morning and home in the evening. There are bike lanes on east Broadway, but most are occupied by dumpsters parked in them, cars waiting for people, or garbage trucks. This morning, I was almost hit by a car speeding out of a parking lot only looking for other cars, not for bikes. This is not the first time I’ve almost been hit trying to abide by traffic laws, and not riding on the sidewalk. Because of that, I was riding on the sidewalk on park ave last week and an older lady started screaming at me and saying it’s against the law in long beach. I know you’re not supposed to ride on the sidewalk, by what choice do you have if cars don’t pay attention to bikers, and there are no bike lanes to ride in, And the ones that are there are obstructed? Excuse me for being worried about my own safety, not the rules which don’t protect my safety. Am I the only one experiencing this issue? And if not is there a place this can be addressed? Anyone know?

(Cue is the a-holes who think bike riders are a nuisance in this town…) I said this once and I will say it again, I would rather be hit by a bike than by a car. But the goal is for nobody to get hit by anything. The person who wrote the above statement is absolutely right. And dumpsters are not supposed to be in bike lanes. YES, bikes and automobiles are supposed to share the road.

I know with speaking with our City Manager, the city is looking into narrowing the streets which would make safer roads. Now before you get your panties in a twist, narrower streets are the way to go and I am so happy to hear how our city is entertaining this. Please refer to this recent article on why 12 foot lanes (which we have on Park) should be down to 10 or less: 10-Foot Traffic Lanes Are Safer—and Still Move Plenty of Cars. The article has all sorts of charts and graphs as well. This concept isn’t something new. It’s being done all over America.

“The problem largely comes down to speed: when drivers have more room, cars go faster; when cars go faster, collisions do more harm.

“[civil engineer Dewan Masud] Karim linked lower crash rates to narrower lanes—those closer to 10- or 10.5-feet wide than to 12-feet. Sure enough, wider lanes meant speedier cars, and yet narrower lanes were perfectly capable of moving high volumes of traffic.

Oh and here is an article I did on bike lanes from a few years ago: ARE BIKE LANES ON PARK AVENUE EVEN POSSIBLE? [PHOTOS]

my frankenbikestencil: A combo of both the decobike and old boardwalk stencils
my frankenbikestencil: A combo of both the decobike and old boardwalk stencils

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12 thoughts on “Bike Lanes on Broadway and riding around LB in general. Plus narrower car lanes makes the streets safer for everybody.”

  1. It’s actually safer for bikes to be on a better lit, traffic controlled street if both bikes and cars are following the laws. Taking side streets and biking the wrong way/ignoring stop signs is way more dangerous for both bike and cars.

  2. Two of the most safest & cyclist friendly cities I have visited are Amsterdam & Coppenhagen. Perhaps LB city planners could look into their approach/strategy and implement some of their ideas.

  3. Once summer comes I am on my bike all the time. I ride a lot on Park Ave because that’s where I am usually heading. The side streets are a death trap for a bike. There are too many people blowing stop signs and acting like each block is a drag strip. Bike lanes are useless unless they are enforced and we all know how the that goes. They are more worried about people riding down the ramps at the boardwalk.

  4. Narrower car lanes makes the streets LESS safe. Bike riders never keep to one side, the streets are barely wide enough now to accommodate a bike riding on each side with a car between them. People exaggerate what is happening with cars to deflect from the worst and most reckless users of LB streets – the bike riders. Every single one of them is texting, riding the wrong way, obeying no stop signs or lights, not keeping to one side, etc.

  5. I usually drive or walk but I ride a bike too.

    Obviously, the City’s streets have been planned and rebuilt over the years before cycling became a popular as it is today and before the volume of traffic made sharing a roadway difficult.

    There’s lot of room for design and improvement here, and future street plans should consider cycling usage. New York City has done some good things with making real bike lanes in parts of Manhattan.

    Alas, Long Beach could use some good planning now. Unfortunately, our planner is just another hack with no planning knowledge.

    There’s some tremendous opportunity here…

  6. Where do they put the bike lane in relation to curb side parking? Protecting the bike lane or on the other side where cars will have to pull through the bike lane to park?

    Im also concerned that bike lanes on Park ave will just foster more double parking.

  7. For those of you who want to see a very detailed, quite informative study on Auto/Bike/Pedestrian safety; suggest you look at the Chicago Complete Streets program (easy to find via Google).

    This study supports the 10′ lane standard, discusses alternative ways to implement safer and more usable streets. While this is not the definitive study for Long Beach, it is a well-thought-out discussion of safety and quality-of-life topics that affect our life.

    Hope the City, Chamber and Civic groups grab onto this topic with enthusiasm and justified concern.

  8. I bike 30 minutes to work each day in the city (after I get off the lirr) and obey all traffic lights etc when I am commuting. When I am in Lb, just getting to the beach from the bayside or vice veda would take me 15 minutes if I stopped at the hundred stops signs along the way. I know people complain about this same issue with cars but it’s exacerbated on a bike. Not sure what the solution is but its not working right now.

  9. No. It wouldn’t. You should try it and report back. If it takes 15 min to get from beach to bay it takes you longer to ride than to walk.

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