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]