Conventional Bike Lanes Left These Cities Wanting More

A case is made in the Orange County, California, city of Garden Grove for protected bike lanes. And a new protected bike lane opens in Southern California's bike infrastructure capital, Long Beach.

August 15, 2016, 10:00 AM PDT

By Irvin Dawid


Bike Lane

Jorge Salcedo / Shutterstock

Good news for walkers and cyclists in Orange County, CaliforniaAfter years of seeing bike and pedestrian funding left unused, the Orange County Transportation Authority "awarded about $19.5 million to six Orange County cities and the county for bicycle and pedestrian mobility projects," reports Erika Aguilar for KPCC, Southern California Public Radio. "It had double the number of project pitches and funding requests." [Listen here.]

The money comes from the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program, [aka CMAQ] which provides funding for projects that meet the Clean Air Act requirements.

Garden Grove, fifth largest of the 34 cities in the county, "received $1.1 million from OCTA to make improvements," notes Aguilar. But is designating bike lines with white stripes and bike icons on the right shoulder of existing roadways enough?

Data shows that "the city's existing bike lanes are under-utilized," reports Aguilar.

The city counted bicyclists last September and in the report, released in June, found the majority rode on the sidewalk. A full 40 percent chose to ride on the sidewalk even when bike lanes were present. 

Byron Von Korper, owner of Papa Wheelie Bicycles in Garden Grove, said the city "needs to take a page from the city of Long Beach where some bike lanes are separated from vehicle traffic, have physical barriers from the street, and their own traffic signals," adds Aguilar.

The comparison to the second most populous city in Los Angeles County is a good one. According to an April 2011 Streetsblog LA article by Joe Linton, "Long Beach is Southern California’s undisputed leader in innovative infrastructure for safe and convenient bicycling." That month the city "unveil(ed) the first genuine protected bike lane [running on Third Street and Broadway] west of New York City."

On Thursday, the city celebrated the opening of the Artesia protected bike lane, reports Linton.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia (center) and Vice Mayor Rex Richardson (left, white shirt) tour the new Artesia Blvd protected bike lanes. Photos: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A. [Permission given.].

The lanes are parking-protected, and feature green plastic reflective bollards, rubber curbs, and intermittent green pavement markings.

Note the photo with temporary signage directing where motorists should park and where cyclists should ride in the parking-protected bike lanes.

Notably absent are bicycle traffic signals. Linton explains:

 At approaches to intersections and at bus stops, the protection drops and there is a merge zone marked with dashed green pavement. (Not dropping the protection would require relatively expensive bikeway signals, similar to Long Beach’s Broadway/Third couplet.)

The event highlighted Long Beach Bike Share which began operation on March 19, 2015.

Finally, the transition in bike planning in Orange County, going from undersubscribed to oversubscribed, reflects what was the topic of a "post peak car" discussion (posted Saturdayamong transportation experts on the future of planning in urban centers.

"The push for more bike infrastructure comes with Orange County's transition from a bedroom community to a dense urban environment," notes Aguilar.

OCTA awarded Santa Ana, the county seat and second most populous city after Anaheim, "$4.4 million in funding for three projects that will add protected or buffered bike lanes," adds Aguilar.

Hat tip to AASHTO Daily Transportation Update.

Thursday, August 11, 2016 in KPCC

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

Single-Family Housing Construction

New White House Housing Initiative Includes Zoning Reform Incentives

The Biden administration this morning released a new program of actions intended to spur housing construction around the United States.

May 16, 2022 - The White House

University of Arizona

Proposed Transit Line Would Connect Downtown Tucson to Airport

Based on community input for a 15-mile transit line, residents want to see a focus on affordable housing development and anti-displacement measures.

5 hours ago - KGUN

Shuttered strip mall in Niland, California

Strip Malls as a Housing Solution

The American strip mall may be a dying breed of commercial development, but could the buildings serve a new use as sustainable housing?

7 hours ago - Yale Environment 360

Complete Street Vancouver

Study: Most of Vancouver Is a ‘15-Minute City’

A large majority of Vancouver residents can access a grocery store in 15 minutes or less by bicycle or on foot.

May 20 - Vancouver Sun

HUD’s 2022 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Expanding HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.