It’s been quite the year for Measure A improvements in Long Beach.
Improve and create new bike lanes, make curbs and intersections more accessible for people with disabilities, create additional parking, and slow down traffic on Broadway are all goals of Measure A. This mobility project covers about 12 acres and is 9,200 feet long between Alamitos and Cherry Avenues.
The Summer of Construction on Broadway
If you live in the Belmont Heights, Bluff Heights, or Alamitos Beach neighborhoods, or Broadway is part of your daily commute, you have undoubtedly noticed all of the construction going on. The good news is that the project is entering its third and final stage, and is slated to wrap up in December. The last phase is taking place between Molino and Redondo and promises to deliver a whole new street to Long Beach. And we definitely deserve it!
So what have the earlier phases of the project accomplished? Beginning earlier this year, they added 121 new parking spots (which is actually more than the original 103 that were planned) along First and Second streets and removed some trees along Broadway so the sidewalks would be wider and safer for pedestrians to utilize.
Thank You, Measure A
This Broadway Corridor project is the premier project coming out of Measure A funds, and it’s also the largest. Along with the parking spots and tree removal, wider sidewalks, new pavement, more public space at intersections, reduction of lanes to slow down traffic, and the much-anticipated bike lanes are all included in the improvements.
The Much Anticipated Bike Lanes
These bike lanes have been the talk of the town since the Measure A improvements were announced. It’s nice to have new sidewalks, but something is exciting and satisfying seeing a city listen to its residents and follow through with changes and updates that are very visible, and will have an immediate positive impact on the community. Especially for bikers. As it is now, bicyclists take Third street which leads them to a hazardous intersection at Alamitos because they have to navigate themselves through cars to get to the protected lanes Downtown.
Don’t Forget About Small Local Business
While we are all excited to see these improvements come to fruition, the timing isn’t exactly ideal for local businesses. Initially the project was supposed to be wrapping up in October, but apparently, that plan has gotten pushed back a few months since we are now entering November and the third phase is just starting. The City is saying that the project will be done in December which could not be a worse time for the businesses who depend on holiday sales to stay afloat. Places like Merry’s on Broadway and Visionary Artware are very concerned about the effects of the construction. Parking will be limited during constructions and certain streets will be closed altogether, so be sure to make an extra effort to stop into these stores and show them some extra love during construction. Small businesses are what keep Long Beach so special and unique and we want everyone to be prosperous and successful, especially as the holidays are approaching.
Make 2019 the Year of the Bicycle
Overall the Measure A improvements are very exciting for the city. We’ve endured reduced parking, construction noise, and detours throughout this past year, so when these new bike lanes are opened we can’t wait to get out there and enjoy them to the fullest. Better and safer bike lanes have been a long time coming and local bikers are sure to put them to good use when completed.