The City of Long Beach Public Works Department was busy in 2016 expanding the City’s bike network and implementing traffic calming measures. Now that 2016 is over, here’s an update on the projects completed and grants awarded within the last twelve months:
Alamitos Avenue – Class II Buffered Bike Lanes
The Alamitos Avenue Road Diet was one of two projects in 2016 where the Traffic Engineering team was able to piggy-back on existing infrastructure construction to expand the bicycle network. In the case of Alamitos from 7th to PCH, a major utility undergrounding effort was taking place (notice there are no wires or utility poles in photos taken after the asphalt was poured). The striping plan was modified to swap the #2 vehicle lanes in each direction for a center left turn lane and buffered bike lanes.
Artesia Boulevard – Class IV Parking-Protected Bike Lanes
The second piggy-back bikeway project involved a Long Beach Gas & Oil Department project on Artesia Boulevard. The Gas Department was trenching a new line along the north side of Artesia Boulevard and was planning to replace the asphalt and striping when they were finished. With their help, Public Works was able to narrow the vehicle lanes and introduce a parking-protected bike lane from Orange Avenue to Atlantic Avenue.
Long Beach’s Bike Ambassador Tony Cruz at the Artesia Bikeway Grand Opening
Long Beach Blvd – Class II Buffered Bike Lanes
Bike lanes were installed as part of a road diet on Long Beach Boulevard between 65th Street and Victoria Street over the Los Angeles River. The third lane of Long Beach Boulevard was converted to a buffered bike lane that will be upgraded with green “Bike Buoys” in the buffer in early 2017. Long Beach Boulevard is the critical link between Colin Powell Academy and its students who live in the DeForest Park, Dairy, Addams, and Sutter neighborhoods.
Studebaker Road – Class IV Protected Bike Lanes
In line with the goals of the City’s Bicycle Master Plan, the class II Studebaker bike lane was upgraded to a class IV protected bikeway with the addition of green “bike buoys.” Where before there had been a six-inch line of thermoplastic separating vehicles and cyclists, there are now reflective bollards and a four foot buffer. Keep an eye out for similar projects in the future as nearly all the City’s bike lanes are planned to be upgraded to protected bikeways.
Southbound Studebaker near Wardlow Road
Pacific Avenue – Class III Bike Boulevard
Pacific Avenue received Bike Boulevard elements this year with two new roundabouts and a signalized crossing to help connect Bixby Knolls to the L.A. River trail. This segment of Pacific Avenue/Place (from Del Mar Avenue to San Antonio Drive) will eventually be part of the Daisy/Myrtle Bike Boulevard which will run the length of the City, from Broadway in Downtown Long Beach to the northern City border with Paramount at 72nd Street.
Pacific Avenue and San Antonio Drive – Class II Bike Lanes
Class II bike lanes were added and vehicle lanes were narrowed on San Antonio Drive and Pacific Avenue as part of the City’s gap closure project, strengthening the network of bike infrastructure near the L.A. River.
Travel lanes on Broadway were narrowed this year to slow down vehicle speeds. To reduce the likelihood of rear-end collisions, left turn pockets were added to leave a safe space for turning vehicles and bicycles to wait for a break in opposing traffic.
A road diet was also completed on Ocean Boulevard in Belmont Shore, removing the #2 travel lane in the eastbound direction. Angled parking was introduced and crosswalks were upgraded to the continental style. Beachgoers will have one less lane to cross when walking to and from the sand in 2017.
In the Memorial Heights neighborhood, Pine Avenue is eighty feet wide with only one lane in each direction. A roundabout was installed at Pine Avenue and 33rd Street using asphalt curbing and delineators to calm traffic on this residential street.
Grant Awards from HSIP, ATP
During Public Works’ routine analysis of collision hot spots across the city, a significant number of left-turn and broadside collisions were apparent on Anaheim Street. To address that trend, an application was submitted to Caltrans for their Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) to construct controlled-access medians and pedestrian refuges on Anaheim Street. The application was successful and the City was awarded $3 million in funding. Construction is expected to begin in 2019.
The City also submitted an HSIP application for the installation of high visibility crosswalks, including bold new pavement markings, new pedestrian signs and solar powered warning flashers at 18 locations. That application received $250,000 in funding and construction is expected to begin in 2019.
Citywide 8-80 Connections
In December 2016, the City was awarded $6.75 million in funding through Caltrans’ Active Transportation Program (ATP) for the Citywide 8-80 Connections project, which includes two bicycle boulevards on 20th St. and Loma Ave and a one-mile road diet on Palo Verde Avenue with buffered bike lanes. The project will also include bridge ADA upgrades, intersection safety improvements, and a Citywide biking/walking encouragement and education campaign.
Delta Bike Boulevard
Additionally, the City received ATP funds for the Delta Bike Boulevard project ($1.1 million). The Delta Bike Boulevard will run from Ninth Street to Wardlow Road, connecting westside neighborhoods to two schools and a park. Construction is expected to begin in 2019.
Lastly, the City is currently awaiting notification on an additional ATP application for the Atherton Bridge & Campus Connections project ($3 million). The ABC project would construct a bridge spanning the San Gabriel River that will connect the regional bike trail with Atherton Street and CSULB with additional bike boulevard gap closure treatments in the vicinity.
In case you haven’t been keeping score, we’ve added this all up: In 2016, Long Beach expanded its bikeway network with over 8 more miles of infrastructure and secured $7.3 million in funding for future bikeway projects.