LONG BEACH (CBS) — Construction began Monday on an allocated bicycle lane in downtown Long Beach that is part of the city’s 2001 Bicycle Master Plan.
The construction operation, scheduled for completion March 11, will be the final phase of the Broadway and Third Street Separated Bikeways project, the Long Beach Press Telegram reported.
KNX 1070′s Ron Kilgore reports the goal is to help bicyclists navigate downtown, reduce conflicts between bicyclists and motor vehicles, and encourage bicycle riding.
In the past three years, the city has received more than $11 million in grants to provide new bicycle lanes, new bicycle racks, training and education to the public and staff to implement the city’s 2001 Bicycle Master Plan.
City crews already have outfitted one-way streets from Alamitos to Golden avenues with dedicated bicycle lanes and traffic signals. Along those streets, a bicycle lane will be on the far left side of the roadways, and will be separated from vehicular traffic by a painted media island and an asphalt curb adjacent to on-street parking.
The new lanes are inspired by similar ones in New York City and San Francisco, and are part of a yearlong pilot program funded by $639,594 in local transportation funds.
The Separated Bikeways Project was approved by the Federal Highway Administration and the California Traffic Control Devices Committee. After six months, the city will study the safety and efficiency of the new design. That study will be repeated at the end of 12 months.
If the Federal Highway Administration and the California Traffic Control Devices Committee approve the findings, the city might make the bikeways more permanent by installing landscaped medians.
But if the two groups reject the findings, the city will remove the separated bikeways and return the streets to their original configuration.
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