New data from the Long Beach Police Department shows collisions and calls for service have roughly doubled on the Broadway Corridor since May, when work was completed to reconfigure the thoroughfare between Alamitos and Redondo avenues, as compared to the first four months of the year.
The Post requested the data in response to claims by opponents of the so-called “road diet” that collisions had spiraled out of control since the controversial changes were made. Though the data shows a definite uptick in police activity, the volume of collisions does not mesh with what some critics have claimed.
At a press event Tuesday, one of the chief opponents of the Broadway Corridor project, Robert Fox, presented the police department with 62 accounts from residents who say they have witnessed collisions since mid-May. The incidents range in severity from a knocked-off mirror to head-on crashes, Fox said.
“We do this not to oppose the police department, but to supplement the data the police department has saved regarding accidents,” Fox said. He noted that he understands that not all collisions are reported to police, particularly minor accidents.
Fox blames the Broadway reconfiguration and what he calls poor planning from the city’s traffic engineering department as the cause for the increase in collisions. At the press conference, several residents and business owners who live and work on the corridor said the new road has negatively affected their businesses or caused them to get in collisions themselves.
Last month, city officials and Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce, whom Fox is running against, defended the changes to Broadway. At a press conference, police said collisions were down from the previous year between mid-April and the end of June compared to the five-year average for that same time period and stretch of road.
But police data requested by the Post shows that between Jan. 1 and April 30, there were 16 collisions on the thoroughfare, or about four per month. Between May 1 and June 30, there were 19 collisions, or 9.5 per month.
Calls for service—which include anything from illegally parked vehicles to collisions to property damage—also rose. Between Jan. 1 and April, police responded to the corridor 30 times, or about 7.5 times per month. Between May 1 and June 30, police were called 26 times, or 13 times per month.
Police note that calls for service sometimes do not reflect the location of where events occurred. For example, if a person is involved in a collision at Broadway and Cherry Avenue but continues driving to another location, the call would be reported at the alternate location.
The two sets of numbers provided by police don’t necessarily contradict each other, but they highlight the dueling perspectives pushed by Pearce and Fox as they vie for the 2nd District seat in the March election.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the number of collisions between May 1 and June 30, when there were 19, and Jan. 1 to April 30, when there were 16.