Long Beach: More Public Meetings to Be Held for Daisy-to-Myrtle Bike Path

Following an initial meeting on October 22 which was attended by some 60 people, the city of Long Beach will  offer three public meetings  that will offer citizens the chance to provide input regarding the Daisy-to-Myrtle Bike Boulevard.
Current proposed path for Daisy-to-Myrtle Bike Boulevard. Map courtesy of Bike Long Beach.

Stretching from the northern tip of the 9th District where Long Beach meets Paramount all the way southward to the current court house downtown, the project to build a bike boulevard catering to the more marginalized and less affluent neighborhoods of Long Beach was key to the city’s proposed ideal of becoming the “nation’s most bike friendly city.” At the time, City Manager Pat West knew that a city-wide program catering to biking could easily be created via grants: they would be easy to write given the mantra’s wide applicability.

Sumi Gant, often referred to as the Transportation rain-maker, wrote one of these early grants in 2007 which proposed to two bike boulevards, one of those being the current in-design north-south bike boulevard. The other proposed path, starting at 14th near George Washington Middle School at Pacific Avenue, it would make its way north to 15th and stretch east to the traffic circle, catering to the 1st, 6th, and 4th Districts; it is well on its way. Each of these proposals were written under application for Caltrans’s Safe Routes to School, a program intended to encourage walkable/bikable routes to school to curb childhood overweight and obesity issues.

The bonus? There are state safe route programs (SR2S) and federal safe routes program (SRTS) administered by Caltrans—each of which match each other. Typically with federal grants, the city must match the grant; however, in this case, the federal grant was matched with a state grant, relieving the city of any construction costs for the project.

Clearly, 2007 was not yesterday. In order to, in the words of Bicycle Coordinator Allan Crawford, “kick-start Long Beach’s bike boulevards,” the city demonstrated the possibilities of such paths by projects in other parts of the city including the 2nd Street Sharrows, the Vista Street Bike Boulevard, and the separated bike lanes in downtown via Proposition C money. Crawford insists completing these projects first was not about further marginalizing the much-ignored north and western communities of Long Beach. And now, the momentum can be built upon through their grant monies.

“It was an easy sell to say, ‘Let’s do things on 2nd Street and Vista’ and attract attention to the city and get us a lot of momentum,” explained Crawford. “And it was always the intent to start there but quickly move north and west. We knew those were the under-served parts of the city, we knew those were the areas we wanted to get to—but we knew we needed the momentum to get us there.”

These community meetings foster that ideal and, while the city knows what worked and didn’t work with regards to the aforementioned projects, it is understood that no one understands a community better than the community members themselves. And thus far, significant changes have occurred out of these meetings: shifting the route by a block here and there, adding a roundabout—these are parts of the community involvement.

The next three meetings are:

– November 19 at 7:30PM in Veterans Park located at 101 E 28th Street.
– November 20 at 7:00PM in Drake Park, located at 951 North Park Circle.
– November 21 at 6:00PM in the Rescue Mission, located at 1335 Pacific Avenue.

  • It’s about time Long Beach got some bike improvements in some of these areas. 

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Long Beach’s Leap Toward Livability – Part 2 of 2

|
(There’s a lot of great bike and walk improvements happening in Long Beach, so L.A. StreetsBlog has covered it in two parts, for now. Last week’s article featured the past and present; today’s features exciting plans for the future.) Photo: Joe Linton Long Beach’s mobility coordinator Charlie Gandy has big plans. During L.A. Streetsblog’s interview […]

L.A. and Santa Monica Finalize Terms For Venice Bike-Share Stations

|
Yesterday, The Los Angeles City Council Transportation Committee approved terms for five Breeze bike-share stations to be located in the L.A. City neighborhood of Venice. Full details are available in the staff report [PDF] for council file 16-0176. The Santa Monica City Council approved a similar agreement earlier this week. At that meeting, the Santa Monica City […]

Culver City Walks, Not Runs, Towards Transportation Sustainability

|
Following the decline of the studios in the 1960’s and 1970’s, Culver City had to reinvent itself.  In the 1990’s, the city once commonly referred to as “The Heart of Screenland” undertook an aggressive campaign to revitalize their Downtown area that was mostly successful in attracting businesses and tourists to bolster the city’s economy.  Today, nearly […]

Long Beach’s Leap Towards Livabilty IV: Leaping Forward?

|
You can view the full map at GeoCommons. The above map shows Long Beach broken down geographically by census data and racial diversity. The lighter the dot, the higher the percentage of residents are Caucasian. The Vista Street Bike Boulevard, 3rd and Broadway Segregated Bike Paths and 2nd Street Green Sharrow are in the South […]