LONG BEACH (CBSLA) — The road-diet debate is coming to Long Beach. Another major roadway could see fewer driving lanes to make room for bike lanes and parking. Some locals are for it and some are against.
Raquel Garcia has lived off Alamitos Avenue for several years. She says a plan to make her street a two-lane road with a lane in between for turning and adding a bike lane is a bad idea.
“I think it’s going to add more traffic and accidents,” Garcia said.
Accidents are the reason Long Beach Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce proposed cutting down lanes on Alamitos.
“In five years we’ve had 67 serious injuries due to traffic—uh, impacts,” Pearce said.
Of those injuries, 29 involved a car and a person on a bike or walking.
“By redesigning our streets for everybody, we can make it safer and reduce those numbers.”
The proposal is for Alamitos starting at Ocean stretching to 7th Street. It would add 27 parking spaces but also 77 seconds to traffic.
“I’m OK with spending 77 more seconds on the road if it means saving a life,” Pearce said.
Theonie Daviot who owns a gas station at Alamitos and Ocean worries the road diet could be bad for business.
“77 seconds it seems like nothing, but when you’re on the road that’s a long time,” Daviot said. “All of the cars who use to come this way because it’s easy access is going to be like, ‘Oh no.’ They just drive around to the next one.”
Alamitos north of Seventh Street has been on a road diet since last year. Some people in that area feel it’s working.
The City Council votes Tuesday on the south-of-Seventh stretch.