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[caption id="attachment_62330" align="aligncenter" width="573" caption=" Long Beach's cycletracks open this Saturday - all photos by Joe Linton"][/caption] April 21, 2011 Joe Linton Another Wonderful Long Beach First: Protected Bike Lanes The city of Long Beach is Southern California's undisputed leader in innovative infrastructure for safe and convenient bicycling. They're at it again this Saturday, April 23rd 2011, when they unveil the first genuine protected bike lanes west of New York City. Opening festivities are from 11am to 2pm at the The Promenade - one block east of Pine Avenue. The dedication ceremony takes place at 12noon. Presiding over the event will be the leadership that brought this project to fruition: Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal, City Councilmember Robert Garcia, Mobility Coordinator Charlie Gandy and Transportation rain-maker Sumi Gant. Additional details on event flier. In the past couple years, Long Beach has implemented the United States' second green sharrow lanes, Southern California's first green bike boxes, and L.A. County's first bicycle boulevard and first bike corral. Conventional bike lanes are becoming more and more common there. Playful bike parking hitching posts are ubiquitous in business districts. All this has contributed to bicycling becoming noticeably very common for all kinds of Long Beach residents: elderly, middle-aged, young, students, laborers, immigrants, citizens, Latinos, African-Americans, women and men, thin and not-so-thin. Sure there are still lots of cars, and some bicyclists still ride on the sidewalk, but the bicycle is visibly part of the fabric of urban Long Beach. The Rest of the Story... Previous Stories on Streetsblog: Looking Ahead: Streetsblog Will Examine Impacts of County’s PLACE Grants - Damien Newton Remembering Mark Bixby - Ron Milam Congress Woman Laura Richardson Speaks to Streetsblog Following Today’s Field Hearing - Damien Newton Bike Recycling: Making It Work For Your Community - Damien Newton and Drew Reed Watch This Video: “Bike Roundup” in Long Beach - Damien Newton and Drew Reed A Photo Tour of Long Beach’s Vista Street Bike Boulevard - Drew Reed All Aboard for National Rail Symposium in Long Beach - Drew Reed Streetsblog Interview with Long Beach Film Maker Michael Bauch - Drew Reed Andy and Gandy: League of American Cyclists’ President Visits Long Beach - Drew Reed Streetfilms: Long Beach Rocks - Clarence Eckerson Jr. Bike-Friendly Incumbent Faces Energetic New Comer in L.B. Mayor’s Race - Drew Reed Long Beach Signs On To Some Good Ideas - Drew Reed Encouraging Signs in Long Beach - Drew Reed Parking Reformer Lowenthal Continues to Get Attacked in the Press. Let’s Help Him Out - Damien Newton Long Beach’s Leap Toward Livability – Part 2 of 2 - Joe Linton Long Beach’s Leap Toward Livability – Part 1 of 2 - Joe Linton Surreal Hit and Run in Long Beach Leaves One-Year Old Dead - Damien Newton Let’s Name the Long Beach Shared Lanes - Damien Newton The “Other” I-710 Project: Widening to "Improve Air Quality" in Long Beach - Damien Newton Sharrow Cam Tells the Story of Long Beach’s Green Shared Lane - Damien Newton Press Telegram: No on Measure R - Damien Newton Judge Supports Ports in “Clean Trucks” Case - Damien Newton Trucking Groups Takes Ports to Court Over “Clean Truck” Plan - Damien NewtonBike Boulevards Coming to Long Beach - Damien Newton