We all know biking is a healthier way of getting around than sitting in a car. And in a sunny place like Long Beach, California (or Orlando Florida), it should be more pleasant than driving, too. Unfortunately, without safe bike lanes, cyclists often have to share the road with cars, and that can be a harrowing experience.
But today, the City of Long Beach began construction on its Broadway and Third Street Separated Bikeways Project. Along two stretches of road, Broadway Avenue and Third Street between Alamitos and Golden avenues, one car lane will be eliminated to create a dedicated bike lane that's separated from traffic by planters and pylons. Cyclists will be able to get around (on these two streets, at least) without dodging cars.
This pilot project will cost $639,594 and is scheduled for completion by March 11. If these bike lanes prove effective, the city will make them permanent with landscaped medians (and, presumably, expand the network of separated bike paths). It's part of Long Beach's plan to become "the most bicycle-friendly city in America." And while that may be an ambitious goal—has the City Council heard of Portland or Davis?—it's one more cities should adopt.