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Long Beach Makes List For Being Bike Friendly

Long Beach this year made its way onto the League of American Bicyclists’ list of top bike friendly communities.

The League of American Bicyclists came out with their newest list of bicycle friendly communities this fall, and Long Beach made the list.

Long Beach has become increasingly more bike friendly in the past few years with the addition of signs on buses and city streets advising drivers to share the road. This has all led to Long Beach achieving a silver status on a list that holds five levels. These levels are diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze.

"This latest round of BFC awards proves yet again that any city -- regardless of size or geography -- can take cost-effective steps to increase bicycling in their community," said League of American Bicyclists President Andy Clarke in a recent press release.

This is exactly what Long Beach has done. Long Beach has put more than $20 million dollars into making the city more bike friendly, according to the Press Telegram.

In a more recent project, the city is planning a bicycle and pedestrian path for the replacement of the Desmond Bridge, according to the Press Telegram.

The city’s mayor is no stranger to this progression in Long Beach.

In September, Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster was awarded the League of American Bicyclists’ Friendly America Leadership Award for helping to make the city more bike-friendly, according to the Press Telegram.

However, this current honor is not the first Long Beach has received for being bike friendly.

In May, Bicycling Magazine stated that Long beach is the 19th most bike friendly city in the nation, which is an increase from 23rd the year before, according to the Press Telegram.

It took three years for Long Beach to move up from a bronze level status to a silver level status on the list, according to the Press Telegram, but this shows progress that will hopefully continue on into the future.

Bob December 22, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Now if we could just get the LB cops to lower the high rate of bike theft......
Watts December 22, 2012 at 07:57 PM
That was the first thing that I thought of, as well. I had an $800 bike stolen from inside of our subterranean condo parking garage with two locks around it. I also had it registered, etc. I caught the theft within what had to be about 30 minutes and got the cops there. When the thief cut the locks, they also freed up my GFs bike, but it was not stolen. So I pointed out the obvious that it had to be somebody working alone and that they would probably be back for the second bike, if the police could discreetly monitor the garage. I moved my GF's bike into the condo, but the police did not monitor any further and sure enough, the thief returned and when they didn't see the bike that they left, they instead stole another bike from the garage, belonging to one of my neighbors. It is ridiculous to promote Long Beach for being bike friendly, when theft of bikes are always high and the city doesn't put the added effort into policing for this. It is like saying that you are the diamond friendly city and not putting any extra effort to prevent or investigate diamond thefts. All Long Beach is doing with all of these press releases is reminding thief's about what great bikes there are out there for them to steal, because the city is putting no added effort to coincide with the promotion and efforts to become "bike friendly." Also, over a 3 week period, 6 bikes were stolen from our garage and to the best of my knowledge, not a single one was found and no criminals convicted.
Bob December 22, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Same story here. Our garage gated parking for our condo. We had the theives break in several times and steal over 6 bikes. Cops dont have a care about it and they come out and give you a report number and leave. The cops actually had the audacity to tell me to search craigslist and garage sales and if I FIND IT to let them know......WTF! If they know this is happening then do something about it! Long Beach spent over 2mil on bike lanes but no one can use them because we have rampant bike theives who steal without penalty.......once again a FAIL for this city.
Nancy Wride (Editor) December 22, 2012 at 09:45 PM
The police force has been cut and cut, so where would you move the staffing from in order to up bike detail? We had a mountain bike stolen, from a ceiling hook of our garage, via a side door open only a crack -- because it was just painted. We were home. My husband on the roof. A child's bike was left behind in the alley. Anyone walking in the alley now and I am basically suspect.
Watts December 22, 2012 at 11:37 PM
I was told the same thing. I even had photos of the bake and created hand out sheets that I took to every pawn/used bike shop in Long Beach. The problem beyond the theft is how it is treated. For both yours and my circumstances, these are burglaries (breaking and entering), but I think that the police have a hard time not prioritizing these crimes as they should be because bike theft is its own category, even those these were burglaries. Cars were eventually broken into during that same period and my gf had her GPS stolen. We changed the security codes and took other preventative steps, but our garage was being targeted. As the crimes escalated, it was taken more seriously, but who knows how terrible an event could have taken place in or around our garage (assault, rape, etc.), all because finding the intruders for the original bike thefts was not being taken seriously from an enforcement perspective. Of the locks that I used, one was quite think and had a smooth surface that I felt a fingerprint could have easily been lifted. I practically had to force the officer to take it with him as evidence, as he just offhandedly said that he didn't expect to find anything. I am sure that it was probably never checked.
Watts December 22, 2012 at 11:52 PM
I am not sure about Bob's figures for the cost of bike lanes, dividing walls, special signals, etc. but a simple answer might be to have scoped the original project with the projected cost of the necessarily increased costs of enforcement that would go hand in hand with promoting this "bike friendly" agenda. Those special lights, for example. Most are totally ignored by bikers who will go whenever there is a break in traffic and at some places even cars will ignore them (3rd street light at the alley near the promenade comes to mind). Maybe the city should have better budgeted for specific prevention/enforcement in regards to the expected theft increases that would happen as more bikes hit the roads, and simply eased into all the bike lane bells and whistles in a more fiscally balanced way. And I say all of this as an avid bicyclist and somebody who is not prone to criticizing the city. But from a law enforcement side, this "bike friendly" city is a joke and it does get annoying to always hear the city patting itself on the back as if this is all a job well done. Until the city figures out how to seriously address the bike theft issue, to continue promoting itself as "bike friendly" is nothing short of insulting to the local bike community.
Hal Scheie December 23, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Park your bikes in front of pot shops as that seems to be the major police priority.
Panglonymous December 23, 2012 at 03:38 AM
It may be that the public is being subtly engineered toward the private video surveillance solution (compatible private systems that can be seamlessly integrated with existing city/police systems via broadband.) As I noted in a recent thread: It's funny, a while back I called LBPD about some damage done to our car (malicious mischief to the exterior, nothing stolen, residential street) and it was the first time an officer had asked me, "Do you have video?" He seemed enthused at the possibility that I might, and a bit crestfallen when I told him I hadn't.)
Watts December 23, 2012 at 08:41 AM
Coincidentally, when I walked down through the common area of our complex today, I saw a notice that the association is thinking of doing a special secure area in our building for bikes and they wanted to know how many people would be willing to spend $300 to rent a space in this new secured area. That is more than the bike that I have left is worth at this point and more or equal to what most people spend on their bikes to begin with. I am not trying to talk about the fact that the condo association is trying to exploit the wide spread bike theft issue to extort an exorbitant fee for those who simply do not want their bikes stolen. But I am pointing out that the ineffectiveness of the city and the police to address the bike theft issue is so well known that the association realizes that residents may be willing to spend as much to secure their bikes, as they may have spent on the bikes themselves.
Panglonymous December 23, 2012 at 02:02 PM
$5.75 a week? Chump change for Bluff Parkers, no? Hell, the drier lint from a single load of Bluff Park Cotton Casuals is worth more than $5.75. Pony up, American Dreamers. ;-)
Watts December 23, 2012 at 07:09 PM
That is three times the amount that Bike Station charges per year and Bike Station is an actual business. But I can't take the budget hit against my dry cleaning and special fabric softeners ;-)
Shawn Pearson December 24, 2012 at 04:36 AM
This bike friendliness is out of control and ridiculous. On Broadway and Third Streets, downtown, drivers have to wait for a full traffic light signal to make a left turn on a green, in deference to cyclists, despite the fact that a bicycle travels in the dedicated lane about once every hour. This is the dog wagging the tail, if I've ever seen it. The signals need to be changed to a flashing left yellow arrow, instead of a red arrow. Drivers can make a left turn with caution, yield to any or all of the bicyclists (that are never there).
Watts December 24, 2012 at 08:38 PM
You would have had to wait anyways, because it is a pedestrian cross, as well. You just happen to be seeing the bike signal there now, but there is also the need to have stopped for pedestrian walking even if there wasn't the added alert for the bike. And you are not waiting a full traffic light, but about half the durration of the straight green.
Shawn Pearson December 25, 2012 at 06:18 AM
Mr. Watts, you don't know what you are talking about.
Watts December 26, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Yea, OK, I am the one who doesn't know what he is talking about. I live right down the road from here and have been up and back through 3rd and Broadway no less than 10 times per week, every week for years on both my bike and my car.
Shawn Pearson December 26, 2012 at 10:14 PM
I could give a hoot's behind where you live, you don't know what you are talking about.

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