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.