Bike Friendly Friday: Long Beach

4_3_09_long_beach_roca.jpgPhoto of Long Beach Farmer's Market Ride via Russ Roca Photography

In the past several weeks, I've noticed a trend.  Cyclists from some of the cities surrounding Los Angeles have been emailing me asking why I never report on the great things going on in their back yards.  As a result, I'm going to write about what's going on around the county every Friday until I run out of topics.

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Long Beach seemed a perfect place to start.  This weekend marks the Long Beach Bike Festival, a two-day event that celebrates all-things bicycle related in the city.  The festival includes a lot of the things you would expect such as an Expo of bike products, a series of races and a place for people to discuss biking in Long Beach.  Most encouragingly, one of the races will be between the Long Beach Fire Department and LBPD.  It's the anti-Santa Monica Critical Mass

You can read all about the festival, which is already underway, here.

Second, the city has opened an intereactive and easy to understand website called, originally, Bike Long Beach.  In their own words, the city lays out a vision for what they hope to accomplish:

Our goal in creating this site was to develop something cutting edge in the way of municipal sites that would reach all types of enthusiasts in the bike community. Here you can learn about local and national cycling events and find out how you can explore the city in ways you had never imagined before.

Long Beach also has an aggressive engineering plan to remake the city with specific plans in the pipeline you can see their renderings for bike dedicated lanes on Broadway and Third, converting Vista Ave. to a bike boulevard and adding a sharrows in a painted bike lane to second street.  No word on how they're going to deal with that dreadfully important and scary issue of bikes losing control on the paint that has paralyzed LADOT's Sharrows program.  All of this from the city that introduced Bike Stations to America.

For more on what's going on in Long Beach, check out the former Obamathon Man Drew's blog "LA Loyalist," which has regular commentary on bike issues.

All in all, things seem to be looking up in Long Beach.  Next week, we'll be taking a look at Culver City.