Cyclists ride down Atlantic Avenue during last year’s Beach Streets Uptown. Photo by Asia Morris.
A ceremony marking the opening of parking protected bike lanes in North Long Beach slated for Thursday August 11 will mark the beginning of what will eventually be nearly two miles of such lanes in the city’s northernmost region.
The ribbon cutting will dedicate the first half-mile stretch of the Artesia Bike Lane Project, which runs between Atlantic and Orange avenues on Artesia Boulevard, just north of Jordan High School. The lanes will be located between the curb and a parking lane in both directions on Artesia Boulevard.
“These protected bike lanes are another impressive milestone for our City, and an example of what we would like to see done throughout Long Beach,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement released today. “By creating additional protected bike lanes and expanding our bicycle network, we are ensuring our streets contribute to community life and our overall livability.”
Safeguards similar to rubber wheel stops will help identify where motorist parking ends and the cyclist lanes begin. Green paint will be added to the pavement to signal cyclists of approaching intersections and areas where motorists are allowed to cross into the new bike lanes.
Newly elected Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, who represents the Ninth District on the city council, has fought hard to allocate funds to his district for beautification projects, most recently injecting it with an infusion of murals.
Now, the Atlantic Corridor, which has been one of the focal points of Richardson’s Uptown Renaissance, will slowly see an expansion of bike lanes eastward. He said he’s hopeful they get put to use.
“This is an exciting addition to Artesia Boulevard and the Uptown Renaissance,” Richardson said in a statement. “The increased safety that these protected bike lanes provide will encourage more people to take advantage of our expansive bicycle network.”
In June, Long Beach was rated as the 10th most bike-friendly city in the country, according to a national survey conducted by Zillow. However, that recognition came with the city’s only protected lanes existing on two short stretches in the downtown area. The protected lanes on Artesia Boulevard will eventually extend east toward the city limit at Downey Avenue. Once completed, the new protected lanes will double the city’s current mileage of protected lanes to four total miles.
The ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled to begin at 10am on Thursday, August 11, at the 700 block of East Artesia Boulevard.