With the recent addition of a share-lane along 2nd Street and roundabouts placed along Vista in Belmont Heights, Long Beach is aiming to become a “bike-friendly” community. What do you think of these additions and modifications? Are they ingredients for a “bike-friendly” Long Beach or a recipe for disaster? Do you allow your kids to pedal along the green lane on 2nd Street?
When I first moved to Long Beach it was touted as the “International City.” Since moving here as a college student back in 1986, I’ve seen the city go through several identity crisis as city officials grapple with what exactly they want Long Beach to be. Wasn’t it just a few years ago that we were going to market ourselves as the “Aquatic Capital of the World?” While I think making the city more bike-friendly is a good idea, I think that strip of green paint along 2nd Street is an accident waiting to happen. I don’t want my 13-year-old son using the 2nd Street bike lane. I’ve seen distracted drivers and people opening their car doors and nearly missing a cyclist. On the other hand, I love the bike path along the beach. As a family we’ll ride our bikes down to Shoreline Village and have lunch, and I feel safe doing so with my kids.
I love that the city wants to be designated a bike friendly city. Wanting to do something is half the battle. Long Beach has an old infrastructure that didn't leave room for bike lanes. The sharrows are an experiment. (trying a new solution to a problem is never a bad thing). So... Now that we've tried the sharrows... Do they work? I've seen folks use the sharrows on occasion, but not a whole lot. I have to admit the sharrows are a bit scary for me, and I don't think it's a good idea for kids to share the road with cars on such a busy street. I think the sharrows were an interesting idea, but really, the traffic is too heavy for bikes to use them. If they are to work, it would be on a less congested street. To be honest, I would find them somewhat tricky for myself. When I think of bike friendly, I think of separate bike lanes.
A. I am a pretty safety conscious Mom and I would never send my kids on the green lane in Belmont Shore on their bikes. Number 1, there are too many cars going through the Shore; Number 2, there are too many cars trying to park or get out of their parking spot and Number 3, the drivers often are in a rush and have no patience for bikes in the bike lane and they go through the Shore too quickly. I just don’t feel the green lane is safe enough for kids on their bikes. As far as the roundabouts go, I don’t feel they are safe right now. Cars go flying around the round about with no consideration of the other cars, I have almost been hit a few times and now. I try to avoid the roundabouts at all costs. I think there needs to be some education of drivers on how the roundabouts work!