Photos by Asia Morris.
A brand new half-mile stretch of parking protected bike lanes on Artesia Boulevard was celebrated today as city officials and bicycling advocates tested out the new infrastructure.
The new lanes are the first phase of what will be two miles of protected bike lanes lining the entirety of Artesia Boulevard in Long Beach. The new lanes are the first in the city to utilize wheel stops and green bike buoys, to further separate the lanes from traffic, a feature to be tested and eventually used throughout the city.
“These protected bike lanes are going to encourage more people, more students at Jordan High, to ride their bike and participate in our bike network,” said Vice Mayor Rex Richardson.
Richardson noted that the bikes lanes are just the beginning of more improvements to take place throughout North Long Beach and specifically on Artesia Boulevard, that will make the area more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly, which, in turn, should engage more businesses and improve the local economy.
“This is a tremendous addition to what we call the Uptown Renaissance,” said Richardson. “When we finish all these bike lanes you’re going to see a lot of changes here. Right here on this lot you’re going to see brand new retail development, you’re going to see more build outs, coffee shops, neighborhood-serving amenities[...] This is a great first step.”
Mayor Robert Garcia, who tested out the lane using a Long Beach Bike Share bicycle, mentioned installing bike share stations in North Long Beach. He commended Richardson for his hard work in ultimately doubling the amount of protected bike lanes in the city from two to four miles.
“We know that Long Beach is incredibly committed to being a bike-friendly city, and really the most-bike friendly city in the United States, that’s our goal,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “And part of that is making sure that we’re building a bike infrastructure network across the entire city, and North Long Beach is an important part of connecting all of our bike boulevards and all of our dedicated bike lanes so that we have one large system across the city.”
The new parking protected bike lanes are located in the 700 block of East Artesia Boulevard.