New City Web Of Bike Trails Moves Ahead
By Kelly Garrison
Plans for new bicycle trails that would connect paths from the San Gabriel River to the Los Angeles River will soon enter the design phase.
The Long Beach City Council approved unanimously on Tuesday a proposal to begin the “East-West Bikeway Connections and Signage Program” project, which would create new trail connections and new signs identifying them. Traffic and Transportation Manager Abdollah Ansari said that bicyclists will find “comprehensive coverage throughout the city” once the project is in place.
The design will consist of three parts. First, a bikeway will link the downtown area to the southeastern portion of the city — with additional connections to Orange County, the San Gabriel River, the Alamitos Bay area and the Seal Beach bike route system.
Another bikeway will link California State University, Long Beach, with the San Gabriel River Bike Path. Some paths will line busy roadways, while others will be situated in residential areas, Ansari said.
“It will provide local and regional circulation,” he said. “For a beach city, it’s good to have a continuous bike path system. People will be able to get to other areas by taking these river paths.”
The third phase adds signage throughout the system.
The city currently has bike paths that link different areas of the city, including the Shoreline Pedestrian Bikepath, but has no connector between the San Gabriel and Los Angeles rivers. Other trails include the Los Angeles River Bikeway, the San Gabriel River Bike Trail and the El Dorado and Heartwell park bike paths.
They range from two to about 30 miles in length.
“Right now, these are just scattered connections,” Ansari said. “This will provide alternative movements for recreational and commuting purposes.”
In addition, new signs and stenciling will be placed within the area of the project to warn vehicles of bikers on roadways. Designs also will include a new city bikeway logo to promote the paths for current and potential bicyclists, he said.
The project design should be completed by early next year, he said, with construction beginning by Dec. 31, 2008.
The paths likely would open within a year of their completion.
City officials chose KOA Corporation, based in Tustin, to design and develop the plans after reviewing proposals from two other firms.
The design phase will cost about $98,000 and will be paid for by federal and city money.
For more information about city bike paths, visit the city’s Web site at www.longbeach.gov/park.
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July 27, 2007