Long Beach seeks to narrow lanes to calm dangerous segment of Spring Street • Long Beach Post News
The city is currently carrying out outreach activities on a project that could reduce the stretch of Spring Street between Studebaker Road and Coyote Creek east of the Highway 605 overpass from six lanes of traffic to just four.
Two preliminary plans show lane cuts in both directions that would make way for additional infrastructure, including a protected cycle lane on either side of the spring to increase pedestrian and cyclist safety.
One version of the project would also change the way the Southbound Spring Street exit works, with the free-flow exit on Spring Westbound being eliminated. Another plan would require traffic to give way to cyclists and vehicles already traveling on Spring.
Councilor Stacy Mungo Flanigan said the safety of this corridor has been a concern since she was first elected in 2014. However, as this road is used as an entrance to a busy park and involves exit ramps from Highway 605, a more complete solution was needed with CalTrans.
Mungo Flanigan was careful to say nothing has been finalized, adding that she looks forward to more feedback from residents to make a decision that works for the community.
“I don’t know if we know what the project involves at the moment,” Mungo Flanigan said. “At the moment, we have options.”
Mungo Flanigan said his office plans to hold a project-focused community meeting over the next 90 days.
Rochelle Kramer, who lives in the Rancho Estates neighborhood north of Spring and is part of the Rancho neighborhood organization, said she would support a project like the one proposed because walking or biking this street can be intimidating. . Some neighbors have resorted to driving their dogs to the dog park due to safety concerns, Kramer said.
“Some residents have parking passes and they drive, which is kinda crazy that people have to go to the park when it’s right there,” Kramer said.
Kramer said the bike lanes would be good for cyclists and pedestrians, but she hopes the project is more comprehensive and looks at the narrow sidewalks and the many posts and signs that make the walk unsettling.
“I hope the plan isn’t just to create a bike path and call it a day,” Kramer said.
The improvements are expected to cost approximately $ 335,000, which would be taken from the city’s public works capital improvement project fund. Jennifer Carey, a spokesperson for Public Works, said if the project is approved it could take about two months.
But before that, it will require both community support for the project and approval from CalTrans, and the town of Los Alamitos, as part of the project in the neighboring town would link bike paths on Coyote Creek. Carey said approving CalTrans would likely be a “pretty tedious process” and the city is currently in the middle of it.
In the meantime, the city is working to raise public awareness to ensure that residents of the area know what is on offer.
The city will not use green bollards to separate cyclists from motorists if the project is approved. Instead of the terminals, who saw more than 1,100 residents sign a petition to have them evicted from a segment of Studebaker Road in 2017, these new bicycle lanes would be separated by concrete curbs with reflective paint. The new lanes would connect the existing bicycle lanes on the river beds with other existing and future bicycle lanes that are part of the city’s master plan for bicycles.
The plan could eventually lead to a reduction in the speed limit to 5 mph. Speed limits are set by surveys that take into account collision history and road conditions, but also the speed at which 85% of people travel on a given section of highway or road.
The California vehicle code sets the maximum speed for highways at 55 mph and Spring Street currently has a 45 mph limit in the proposed project area.
A 2019 study by researchers at the University of Colorado at Denver found that the simple installation of cycling infrastructure led to a decrease in the number of road fatalities of all types. Cities like Portland (75%), Seattle (60.6%) and San Francisco (49.3%) have all seen dramatic declines in road fatalities after widening bike lanes.
City council adopted a Safe Streets plan in July to improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists on city streets.
Over the past nine years, cyclists, pedestrians and motorists have all been killed on this stretch of Spring Street. A total of five people have died along the proposed project site since 2012.
In 2015, the mother of a 20-year-old man killed by a hit-and-run driver filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming the city had overlooked the dangers the street posed to pedestrians.
In February, Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna was struck by a vehicle as he crossed Spring Street near the El Dorado Nature Center. Luna suffered minor injuries.