Tag Archives: bike lanes

We are getting a $500,000 grant for bike lanes on Park Avenue from LB Blvd to Grand Blvd.

I am an advocate of bike lanes. I know safe bike riding can be done around our city, especially on Park Avenue, if done the right way. I remember living in Manhattan in the 90’s thinking how bike riding there was insane. Only crazy messenger or delivery folks did it. Well, go to manhattan today and you will see that it works. It needs to be executed properly. 

“New York City has doubled its bike lane networks since 2006, bringing the total mileage to more than 400. Most bike lanes are selected for installation based on the Department of Transportation’s 1997 Bicycle Master Plan. New York has some of the most innovative bike lane designs in the country, including physically-separated cycle-tracks (8th Avenue, 9th Avenue and Broadway in Manhattan), parking-protected bike lanes (Grand Street in Manhattan) and two-way separated lanes (Prospect Park West and Kent Avenue in Brooklyn). [LINK]

I am please to hear about this grant, however pretty bummed east of LB Blvd gets the shaft. It would be so easy. It’s an old photo, but look at how much room east of Park Avenue has:

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Lanes should be for the entire avenue. There is room to make the vehicle lanes narrower. Don’t quote me on the exact measurements, but our lanes are 12 feet and wider. They should be 10 feet. It would be safer for everybody, drivers and cyclists alike. No impact on your precious driving. Here is a great article on that topic: Why 12-Foot Traffic Lanes Are Disastrous for Safety and Must Be Replaced Now. Let’s make “10 not 12!” a new mantra for saving our cities and towns.

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PRESS RELEASE: December, 2015

CITY OF LONG BEACH AWARDED $500,000 GRANT
TO ESTABLISH BICYCLE LANES ON PARK AVENUE

Long Beach, NY –The City of Long Beach is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a generous grant from the New York State Department of State, in the amount of $500,000, to help fund the City’s streetscape improvements to create a more resilient and connected commercial corridor with the addition of bike lanes on Park Ave. from Long Beach Blvd. and Grand Blvd.

This project will enable the City to address significant safety issues by reducing conflicts between motorists, pedestrians, & cyclists, alleviate parking demand, and generate essential economic activity while encouraging alternative and environmentally-friendly modes of transportation and transit-oriented development. The funds will be matched by the city’s Capital budget, and community engagement will be a critical component of the final design.

“As part of our Complete Streets goals, we have envisioned a more bike-friendly Long Beach,” stated City Council President Len Torres. “After aggressively advocating for several years to obtain funding for this project, we are absolutely thrilled to finally see it come to fruition. The addition of bicycle lanes is yet another component of rebuilding a stronger, smarter, and safer Long Beach.”

“In 2013, the City Council approved the Complete Streets Policy in an effort to help our local businesses as well as promote a healthier lifestyle and cleaner environment,” commented City Council Vice President Fran Adelson. “The City’s Department of Economic Development and Planning applied for this grant for each of the last two years, and we would like to sincerely thank the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council and Assemblyman Kaminsky for their support in helping us obtain this funding.”

“I was pleased to assist the City of Long Beach in securing this grant to promote bicycling, a healthy and environmentally friendly mode of transportation,” said Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky. “Bike lanes are essential to cyclist safety and by increasing residents’ ability to bike on Park Ave, I am confident that more residents will choose to bike and therefore move toward healthier and greener methods of transportation.”

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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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

Edwards Blvd Grant: Downtown to the Boardwalk Resilient Connectivity. So many questions!

This is what you currently see when you travel down Edwards Blvd from the LIRR to the beach:

2014-11-15 12.03.43YUCK!

With that, I was happy when I first heard about the Downtown to the Boardwalk Resilient Connectivity grant that was announced October, 2014 by Governor Cuomo [LINK]. This funding is for 68 Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects across New York State. Our ‘City of Long Beach’ share is $1,063,851, which, according to our city, will be used for Edwards Blvd:

The proposed project, covered by this grant, will transform one of the major boulevards in the City of Long Beach, Edwards Boulevard, into a more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly thoroughfare that includes elements of resiliency and green infrastructure.Edwards Boulevard is the gateway to the beach from the Long Beach multimodal transportation hub. [LINK]

So exactly for what?  Green infrastructure? Bike & Pedestrian projects?

This grant is specifically for Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects. Are we just talking proper bike lanes and a wider sidewalk? Does it really cost $1,063,851 to repave this small stretch of street with some blacktop and a few painted lines? I would love to see the final vision our city has planned.

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 10.20.14 AMAlso, what about the trees? According to the Tree Replanting Master Plan, that stretch of Edwards Blvd will be getting  the following:

  • Amanogawa Cherry – lining the sidewalks (pink dots).
  • Japanese Black Pine–  median south of E. Beech to E. Broadway (black dots).
  • Red Maple – median north of E. Beech to E. Park Ave (red solid line).

Since green infrastructure was mentioned, Does this grant cover the cost of these specific trees? I would just hate to see trees planted, only to be torn down later for this greater vision.

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While I have no idea when work will begin, this grant is specifically for tourism. Edwards is the path between the LIRR and Beach/Boardwalk. I know some of you are going to cry about the privately owned vacant hospital or paid firefighters, but this grant has NOTHING to do with either. Let’s just all be happy that a section of our city will be given a major facelift. Be it for tourism, but as a resident I’m happy to see potential beautification improvements and you should too. I personally don’t care what part of town gets the  attention. The better Long Beach looks as a whole, the better it is for all of us.  What would you folks like to see this money used for regarding this project?

(keep the red bricks!)2014-11-08 11.37.58

UNRELATED TO THIS GRANT: Edwards Blvd will be getting a bathroom on the boardwalk. While that has nothing to do with this NY State grant, it’s just another example of changes that will be coming to that thoroughfare. The location of this bathroom is perfect for the LIRR crowd from NYC. Pee here before you get on the train.

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Bike Lane Wish List (Part 2)

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(click on above photo for a larger image)

Adding to the bike path conversation from last week, Long Beach resident Patrick submits his vision of what a path through our barrier Island could look like. Patricks idea is interesting because it takes some of the bike riding away from Park Avenue/Lido Blvd and puts it a little closer to nature. Check it out:

“What would be incredible if they could somehow connect a bike path by the land next to the Lido Towers. They have that weird overpass there, not sure if it is private property.  If that could be added the bike lane could come off the Boardwalk , down Broadway , Richmond road, though that wooden overpass area and then that park land across from the Lido Fire House. 

At that point (and this will never happen)  it should go down Ocean Blvd in Lido Beach and widen the little walkway to the east and connect up with Prescott road and enter the Lido/Nickerson park. 

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 10.04.35 AMAs an alternative it would need to go on Lido Blvd past the residences and then hook up with a path like what they are doing at Eisenhower Park. There would be one issue by the Lido Townhouses where the lane would have to be only sidewalk width.  As another alternative they could possibly cross lido blvd go along southern perimeter of golf course and cross back over Lido Blvd (that route would take bike lane past people’s backyards, so there would be extreme opposition.)

 (Bike path on Merrick Avenue along Eisenhower Park)

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Can you imagine if we had a bike trail that went from Long Beach to Fire Island?

longislandbiketrail2(Map Updated with Meadowbrook path to Eisenhower Park)

Going alone with what is being said in my last bike lane post: I was talking to a fellow blog-reader over at Gentle Brew a few weeks ago about the economic impact a major bike trail system could have for Long Island.

Have Long Beach as the starting hub and it will go all the way up Loop Parkway to Jones Beach and Ocean Parkway and have it end up somewhere in Fire Island. It would be a one of a kind experience for not only residents of Long Beach and Long Island, but for NYC as well.

The Long Beach NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plan, which was just released today, actually has a bike lane planned for Park Avenue (more on this later). 

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There is a trail being made as we speak on Ocean Parkway, but nothing is currently planned for Loop Parkway for us to get there. Lido Boulevard was just poorly redone and, in my opinion, even more dangerous than before. What a missed opportunity for us… Even to just safely ride a bike to Point Lookout would have been great.

You voted for Safety Over Beauty [Bicycles on the Boardwalk]

bikelanesboardwalk

Two weeks ago, I asked you great seabythecity readers to vote on what you’d like to see on the boardwalk with regard to bike lanes (read – For the bike lane on the new boardwalk, do you want lines, stencils, signs or nothing? [TAKE THE POLL!]While many agreed the new boardwalk looks beautiful the way it is, safety won by a large margin. As of today, 515 people voted (ok, how many of you voted twice??), 264 of you voted for Painted Bike Lanes with Stencils, and commented how signs should be incorporated as well. Like I wrote in the original post, this poll was primarily for fun. I have no idea what the city has in mind, but I am assuming lanes, stencils and signs will be part of the big picture.

I actually voted DO NOTHING, because I got all caught up with the boardwalk beauty, but riding on the boardwalk right now is the the wild west – anything goes. With no lanes, it’s a dangerous situation. Be careful, because many folks are clueless to our Long Beach-boardwalk rules. I actually watched this one lady yell at her family how they are walking on the bike lane – she was standing directly in the middle with her arms wide apart.

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)

Monroe/LB Blvd Mall Beautification, “Minor” Lot Development, Bike Stencil Comparison & Combination [INSTAGRAM]

I mentioned in a previous post how Seabythecity is now on instagram, which is a social photography app that is available for both the iphone and android. I’m not going to be annoying and abuse it, but I’ll casually snap a photo or two of stuff that peaks my interest. You can actually view all the photos on tumblr where they automatically get dump: seabythecity.tumblr.com, or just add me on instagram by downloading the app (iphone,android) and searching for seabythecity. How’s that for social networking?

Here are a few photos:

Monroe/LB Blvd Mall Beautification: This week we have a new addition at the Monroe Blvd / Long Beach Blvd Parking mall on E. Park Avenue (you know, the one that has us scratching our heads).

As you can see in the photo below, a giant anchor and cleat (nautical, not footwear) appeared unexpectedly. There are actually two sets of these: one at each end of the parking mall. Whoever was responsible for bringing this to Long Beach, keep it up. We desperately need more random art scattered around town. Bonus Points goes to the city for not making it look like a memorial. Or was that Nassau County’s idea, since they own those malls? Either way, I like it.

Other parking/grass mall beautification ideas: Rowboat planters, a giant statue of neptune (like on our city seal); a giant statue of a mermaid (like on our city seal.) Oh, I think I wrote about that already: Read – Mermaids, Neptune, “Save the Clock Tower” & the City Seal (april 2011).

“Minor” Lot Development: Yeah, I’m talking about that empty lot next to the Allegria Hotel. In August we learned how it was purchased by the owners of Aqua on the Ocean (read – Aqua on the Ocean Owners Get A Lot). Besides a few trucks during Quiksilver Pro, that lot hasn’t seen any action since then, until this sign was erected. While it’s still unclear what the owners plan on doing with the lot, I just thought it was funny seeing this giant billboard smacked right in the middle. Maybe I’ll talk to the owners and see if I can get a Seabythecity billboard there too.

Bike Stencil Comparisons: I just thought it would be fun to compare some bike stencils. The first image is from the boardwalk, while the second was given to us by DecoBike: Read – Here Come The Bike Lanes (Updated: Stenciled Bikes By The Sea).


Isn’t this fun? yaawwn….  Well actually…While the first image has a person, two wheels and no bike. The second image has a bike with no person. Let’s combine them into the ultimate bike stencil: