Unique resident idea for making the side streets safer

These images were sent in by a reader named Wes, who narrowed the car lanes on the side streets (as they should be), but he also added bike lanes with one side of parking moved to a curb in the middle.

It’s a really interesting idea. I could see something like this work, perhaps with the bike lane next to the car lane because I don’t know how residents will feel about having their cars further away, but I still love seeing somebody think outside the box.

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51 thoughts on “Unique resident idea for making the side streets safer”

  1. Some food for thought here. Drawing shows 2 way bike traffic on what I presume is a 1 way east-west street. Two way bikes are a disaster waiting to happen on any 1 way streeet All bikes and cars going the same direction is much safer.

  2. They have two way bike lanes on one way streets all throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. As long as the lane closest to traffic goes the same way as traffic, it’s very safe. Especially with a small divider in place.

  3. No thanks. Some bikers will use the bike lanes, others will continue to use the now narrower car lane – and bike while texting, with headphones, etc. Bikers are the problem in LB when it comes to road safety.

  4. It’s an interesting idea, but I think riding on the side streets as it is, is the safest idea, since most people I have seen that ride their bikes don’t stop at the stop signs at the end of each block. If they had bike lanes like this, more people would use it, and it would be more dangerous for cars, with even more bikes not stopping at the end of each block.

  5. I like the outside the box thinking prob not a perfect idea especially since now your passenger or the driver will be opening doors into the now small driving lane which most people do without looking and don’t realize that they are at fault if a car hits the door. Its nice on those blocks being so wide that people can dbl park and cars can get around them. It sucks driving through this town i never have a problem riding my bike be aware of your surroundings and avoid cars how hard is that. On that note i hope everyone knows that by law bicycles are supposed to follow traffic control devices i.e. stop at stop signs, stop at red lights, and follow the direction of traffic. Maybe try that? I do love maybe changing the ideas of the boring side streets. Lets keep ideas floating but either way one side of the street will have to sacrifice some space. Also when it snows who shovels or plows that bike lane the homeowner or the city? And will they need new vehicles and extra workers to plow a lane thats not even used year round? Just think if you had to shovel 8 more feet of sidewalk or bike lane to get to your car i dont think people would be so happy. Tough to please everyone but most successful products and ideas make life easier not harder and make things convenient not inconvenient. Just my .02

  6. Funny, I tend to notice more cars not stopping at stop signs than I do cyclists – but then again I’m prone to noticing cars not stopping because it usually within an inch of my life.

  7. yes, some some people on bicycles will use bike lanes while others use streets without bike lanes as is their inherent, irrevocable right.

    sam why do you have a bug up your ass about people who walk or use a bike? assuming you prefer to drive to the corner store, you could see each cyclist as one less car – now doesn’t that sound better? or do you get a boner for congestion?

  8. Here is an applicable excerpt from the New York Vehicle and Traffic Laws. I am a taxpayer who drives, bikes and walks throughout Long Beach. Do not try to tell me that ANYONE riding a bike in Long Beach follows the law. I am sick of seeing people riding their bikes the wrong way on one way streets, on sidewalks, in and out of lanes when they are checking their phones and never, ever stopping at stop signs. And my favorite is when they blow through a stop sign and yell at the cars for not letting them go! You have to stop at the stop signs bicycle people!

    If the bicyclists followed the existing laws we would not be having this discussion. There would be no claims that it is not safe.

    So NO, do not spend my tax dollars on some repaving remarking plan for the very, very minute amount of people that even come close to obeying the traffic laws cause those are the only people that will use these bike lanes anyway.

    Put a tiny bit of the effort that is spent complaining, into educating bicyclists. Bicyclists must do everything a car must. Stop at stop signs and red lights, signal, yield the right of way, obey all signs ect…….

    As a taxpayer I want to see enforcement by the Police of bicyclists that do not comply with the law. If they wrote tickets to even half of the offenders they wouldn’t have to raise taxes for 10 years!

    § 1231. Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles or skating or gliding on in-line skates. Every person riding a bicycle or skating or gliding on in-line skates upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this title, except as to special regulations in this article and except as to those provisions of this title which by their nature can have no application.

  9. You want to use the road, follow the rules of the road. I’m so sick of you crybaby bike people, holy cow. I have ridden my bike all over this town for years and have never had an issue, ever, with safety.

    First of all, only a clueless idiot rides along park. You take Walnut or Olive. It is far more enjoyable, and safer. Better yet, take the boardwalk. Your amorphous body will thank you later.

  10. Is common sense so rare among cyclists? Thank you Jake and Esq. for your sanity.

    You can’t further narrow a 30 foot roadway with parking or loading/unloading deliveries and parking cars will stop traffic.

  11. One vehicle is a privilege to drive and requires an operators license. The other can be driven by little kids who might be acting like… Well, little kids.

    As I write this, I look out my window and watch cars flying through a stop sign. Not even slowing down.

  12. Here are facts about bike lanes. There are many studies that consistently confirm the benefits to cyclists, pedestrians and motorists.

    New York City’s protected bike lane on 9th Avenue led to a 56 percent reduction in injuries to all street users, including a 57 percent reduction in injuries to people on bikes and a 29 percent reduction in injuries to people walking, as well as an 84 percent reduction in sidewalk riding.

    Streets with protected bike lanes saw 28 percent fewer injuries per mile than comparable streets with no bike infrastructure. People were also 2.5 times more likely to bike on the protected lanes than in general travel lanes.

    When protected bike lanes are installed in New York City, injury crashes for all road users (drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists) typically drop by 40 percent and by more than 50 percent in some locations.

  13. Call the Police if there is rampant disobedience of the stop sign near your house. Maybe they will send the cop in the smart car. That will be a real deterrent.

  14. I don’t think it is right that cars do the Long Beach stop at all. But bicyclists are legally bound to also stop at stop signs. There are many in this board that readily admit they do not obey the laws. Another story had someone commenting that if they stopped at all the stop signs it would take him 15 minutes to get from bay to beach.
    You can’t cry safety while admittedly breaking the laws.

  15. cyclists should stop at every stop sign? Never happen. Been riding for a lifetime and have never seen anybody come to full stops at signs or lights. As long as we do safely, that is sufficient. Motorists, on the other hand, must follow all rules of the road.

  16. In fact, if the cyclists did stop at the stop signs – it would so surprise most drivers, that it would probably cause a multitude of crashes from the shock of it. Better to just leave things the way they are – you see a cyclist coming, and you know for sure they have no intention of stopping or even slowing down.

  17. What truly amazes me is that the obsessed bike people act like there are people getting hurt every minute of every day as a result of car crashes. Guess what? That isn’t happening.

    While it is a legal responsibility to stop at all stop signs and traffic lights, it is also a common sense responsibility to look and see if there are any cars coming and to assess the speed at which they are traveling.

    I know you live in a vacation town, but it doesn’t mean you get to turn your brain off.

  18. I have lived here my whole life as well. The point is that for 50 years no one screamed and yelled about this topic. Suddenly people are coming here with NYC ideas for huge changes at the taxpayer expense. Ride your bike, have a ball, save the environment, stop global warming do all those noble things. But if you are breaking the law while doing it and then claiming it is unsafe, there is no justification for spending tax dollars under the guise of “safety”.

    And why would we mark the street with bike lanes when the City won’t even mark the Boardwalk’s bike lanes. This administration has gone to great lengths to make Long Beach a tourist stop but then won’t even Mark the bike lanes on the Boardwalk?

    And I understand the stop sign on bike problem, but how about starting small like hmmm going the right way on one way and at least slowing down at the intersections in case a car is coming?

    Oh and riding a bike intoxicated is NOT a safe alternative to driving in my opinion.

  19. It’s not that it’s a bad idea, but I would be shocked if It was used correctly.

    Comparing it to NYC is irrelevant. People in NYC ride their bikes more safely than in LB. Fact.

    I’m opposed to red light cameras, but it’s too bad you can’t install stop sign cameras.

  20. Even if both cars and cyclists don’t stop at stop signs, would you rather be hit by a car or a cyclist?

    I’d rather be hit by a bicyclist than a car, if I had to choose. Not all drivers and not all cyclists follow all the rules of the road. I don’t see that as a reason to not try to design safer streets.

  21. Yes, yawn at the fact that you can’t show me an epidemic of bicylists being run down by cars in our town. Yawn at the fact that our resident permanent-leisure crowd can’t be bothered to obey the rules of the road or even look out for their own safety.

    You’re obsessed with finding a solution to a problem that does not exist.

  22. And orders of magnitude more force from an automobile.

    There are both drivers and cyclists who disobey laws and make bad decisions and do things they should not while driving. As pointed out by Ed below, bicycle lanes have been shown to make the streets safer for EVERYONE–cyclists, pedestrians, and cars too.

  23. it wasn’t always that way. I went to college in NYC in the 90s and NOBODY road a bike. It was insane. They installed bike lanes and a bike culture and it works.

    I laugh at the idiots who think the same can’t be done for Long Beach. It can.

  24. We cannot exclude from the conversation the existence of parked cars. There are many more parked cars than there are moving cars on any given street.

    They are a outright hazard, particularly at night when one might be drunk or on “the dope”

  25. The internet is full of information, you know. I couldn’t find specific data on Long Beach bicycle accidents in 2014 in my literal two minutes of googling, but maybe you can pull it up on westlaw, I don’t know.

    Page 10, Long Beach has a high rate of number of crashes per mile, compared to the rest of the island: http://www.safeny.ny.gov/12data/Nassau-12.pdf

    If you are a cyclist and you are a hit by a car, you are more likely to get injured or die than you would if you were driving a car that was hit by another car: http://dmv.ny.gov/statistic/2013nyscrashsummary.pdf

    Cyclists killed zero people in all of New York State in 2013: http://dmv.ny.gov/statistic/2013bicycle.pdf

    Go to page six of that link. Approximately 17% of the cyclists killed or injured in accidents with an automobile in New York State were children.

  26. …and I’ve never seen one person struck by a car in all of my (many) years living here.

    The statistics you cited are only stating the obvious. Your first link, page 10, does not even mention bicycle accidents. You are extrapolating numbers in order to cherry pick for your argument.

    Again, you people are obsessing over solutions to a problem that does not exist. Show me the bodies piling up at a significant statistical rate. Furthermore, even if you could show me people getting hit or killed you would still have to prove that it was the negligence of the motor vehicle driver, and not the pedestrian/bicyclist, that caused the accident.

    I wait with bated breath for your reply.

  27. I agree that future design should consider cyclists and pedestrians. Accommodating them better in new construction will make Long Beach a more attractive place.

    But some of this discussion appears to lean toward “looking for places to spend money that we don’t have”. As Esq. suggests, this isn’t a problem of huge proportions. And nobody has shown that it’s any problem other than one with courtesy and enforcement.

    As a city, we’re virtually bankrupt. We are borrowing to pay salaries.

    The villages and communities that are flourishing — attracting new residents and growing — are the ones that aren’t seeking new places to spend money. They’re certainly not the places increasing taxes and new spending by millions each year.

  28. “Bicyclists must do everything a car must.”

    If you want a person on a bicycle to obey all traffic laws then you must give them full access to all of the streets in a safe manner. This means I am taking the full lane and you may not honk or yell at me to move over or get on the sidewalk.

    Otherwise without knowing that they can safely navigate a street without fear of being maimed or harassed, they will choose to maneuver my bicycle in a manner that they deem safest which may include the following:

    -riding on a sidewalk (as is often suggested by drivers yelling out windows
    -pedaling down the wrong way so they can see whats coming at them on a wide street with plenty of room to pass
    -pedaling dow the wrong way because they learned to ride against traffic in grade school
    -pedaling down the wrong way because that is how they ride in their country / language barriers to proper bike law& education exist
    -pedaling down the wrong way because quite simply they are kids who take short cuts because they are kids
    -not stopping at stop signs because yielding and getting a headstart on the car that’s driving next to me is safer than chancing he/she will take a right and plow into me – many crashes occur in crosswalks
    -not signaling when turning because they do not know the signals. There aren’t buttons to push.

    And most importantly they do not follow the rules of the road because of YOU.
    You demand that people exercising their inherent rights to follow antiquated laws when a bicycle is simply not an SUV. No education, license, age requirement or revokable privilege attached to a bike…
    I am not saying BREAK the law, I am saying that you need to understand the vast differences between a person on a bicycle and a person in a car = and that when you expect them to behave the same without giving one the tools necessary to not get their face smashed over with a 4000 weapon, well then you need to understand THAT is the top reason why a person on a bicycle is breaking one of those rules. Its for their own safety, not to be a criminal and not because they’re saying “fuck the system”.

    A person behind the wheel, on the other hand, who is breaking the same laws is doing so with complete disregard because they don’t have to worry about getting their head smashed in as they are sitting in a 4000lb steel cage with air bags. In this case it is saying “fuck the system”.

    “So NO, do not spend my tax dollars on some repaving remarking plan for the very, very minute amount of people that even come close to obeying the traffic laws cause those are the only people that will use these bike lanes anyway.”

    OK, so you want bicyclists to obey law like an SUV but you refuse to give them safe access to streets. Realize that this just reinforces the above – the need for people to create their own rules so they can ride safely.

    I hope I make an inch of sense to you, Jake. If you want to go on a bike ride with me and see firsthand what its like from our perspective I’ll even spring for the bike rental for you. allison@longbeachstreetsny.com

  29. Thank you Ed Glister for your sanity with numbers. In addition to safety, bicycle lanes pump up local economy across the board. Such a no brainer, right?

  30. Show you the bodies piling up? So basically it is not an issue until there is a pile of bodies? How many bodies do you need for this to qualify as a problem – 10? 20? 100? 5000? Do you award extra points if the body is under the age of 12?

    Do the bodies need to be dead or will you accept maimed? Do those people count?

  31. Bike lanes not only increase safety (and the quality of life), their presence (along with increased bike ridership) make *both* automobile and bicycle drivers aware of laws and safety and their responsibilities while on the road.

    In exchange for bike lanes (it would be nice to have bike racks around the business areas of town too) I would gladly accept getting and paying any tickets or fines if I got if I were to violate traffic laws, on my bike or in my car.

  32. If this is a problem, you should be able to easily show me the staggering amount of people struck by cars. This is the same mindless reactionary BS that led to that inane red light camera and 20 mph zone on Lido that is over 2 football fields away from a school.

    Show me that this is an issue, versus a personal vendetta.

  33. Indeed. The bikers are the reckless ones – if anything, I see more cars having to evade bike riders, than I do cars “blowing through stop signs” as people claim is routine in LB. Just tonight coming home, on west park, two young riders transitioning between the sidewalk and the street, on and off as they used driveways and curb cuts to make the switch, with cars having to almost cross the center line to avoid hitting them. I should buy a dash cam and just ride around LB, and post video clips of the bike riders.

  34. “This is the same mindless reactionary BS that led to that inane red light camera and 20 mph zone on Lido that is over 2 football fields away from a school.”
    No that was purely fiscal.

  35. I have the dispatch logs from the LBFD to all crashes involving cyclists and pedestrians from 2009 through 2014. I have DMV records of all tickets issued as well, broken down in Excel by car /ped/bike. How would you like this information as its rather lengthy. How about you get me your email address and i will send you the Excel files.

    Oh, I almost forgot- do you want just LB or should I include the whole peninsula?

    Will this shut you up or are you going to keep distracting from real issues?

  36. Why just pick on bike lanes, LBEsq? Lets get rid of traffic lights and crosswalks too, they infringe our personal liberty and autonomy. Plus the cost a lot to maintain and repair them.

    And who cares about somekids riding their bikes on side streets after school not acting like responsible adults.

    Bike lanes and racks are about more than accidents, Like the Farmer’s Market and boat launch, skate park, movies on the beach and concerts on the Boardwalk, it’s also about improving the quality of life. And for biking the health of year round residents, and making it a more inviting place for others to visit and spend dollars.

  37. No way- if LBEsq wants this info he needs to fess up an email address. I have over 40 pages of just LBFD dispatch logs that contain bike and pedestrian stuff- the DMV files are bigger.

  38. I just want to clarify, that something like this, however reasonable it may appear, may create substantial issues throughout town. there is a tremendous parking issue in all of long beach and eliminating an entire lane of parking from long beach will only make things worse. people are currently trying to work on ways to increase parking, and something which decreases it may cause horrendous issues.

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