City of Long Beach Applies for 3 CALTrans Grants to Improve West, North Areas

The City of Long Beach has sent in their applications for CALTrans’ Active Transportation Program (ATP)—and the proposals are shaping up to be major infrastructural projects that cater to the West and North parts of Long Beach.

Of the 762 grant applications received by CALTrans, three of those come from the City of Long Beach. Mobility Coordinator Nathan Baird confirmed the three projects are as follows:

  • Market Street Pedestrian Improvements

Though not quite possible to complete come next year’s ciclovía, Beach Streets, the Market Street Pedestrian Improvements Project will be none other than a full-on implementation of a complete streets project: sidewalk widening, bicycle facilities, transit stop enhancements, and sustainable design features to “complement community revitalization.” The project will hopefully create a continuous safe and attractive pedestrian path between the Market St. area and the nearby commercial areas of Historic Virginia Village and North Long Beach Village, as well as to the LA River. The project will build upon investments along Long Beach Boulevard that began earlier this year, extending upon the namesake boulevard between Hill and Willow Streets; the $800K facelift was completed in April.

  • Los Angeles River Bike Path Gap Closure

Praise the Bicycle Gods because they know how I feel about any gap along the LA River Bike Path. This project closes access gaps along the bikeway by establishing connections to the LA River Bike Path at five locations: on the western side of the city on Aquarium Way between Shoreline Dr. and the southbound Queens Way off-ramp to Shoreline Drive (Gap A); at the berthing area of Catalina Landing Terminal (Gap B); across Golden Shore at the entrance to the Golden Shore Marine Biological Reserve (Gap C); on the abandoned northbound Shoreline Dr. off-ramp to San Francisco Ave. (Gap D); and across the Dominguez Gap Wetlands between the Los Angeles River Bike Path and Del Mar Ave (Gap E).

  • Walnut & 52nd St. Bike Boulevard

North Long Beach, home to Robert Earl’s BBQ (eat your heart our, Bludso’s), we have forgot you not. The proposed L-shaped bicycle boulevard in Northwest Long Beach combines: (a) 1.85 mile long north-south route between 68th Street and 52nd Street with (b) a 1.65 mile long east-west route between 52nd Street and the LA River. The proposed bicycle boulevard would serve eight elementary & middle schools, one high school, two parks, the Carmelitos Housing Project and several small business districts. It also provides access to the regionally significant LA River Bike Path.

The purpose of the ATP is simple: consolidate the money pots of multiple transportation programs—from the Transportation Alternatives Program to the Safe Routes to School program—into a single entity that aims to increase the use of active modes of transportation, particularly biking and walking across the state.

Results for who scored the grants—Long Beach’s applications fall into one of three categories: large urban centers—will be announced in November of this year.

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 16 nominations and two additional wins for Best Political Commentary for his work at KCET and Best Blog for Longbeachize, a section of the Long Beach Post. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.