After living in Long Beach for over 6 years, I have witnessed the city really emerge as a biking city amongst it’s car-dependent neighbors. Within Southern California, Long Beach is leading the way for creating, promoting, and fostering a local bike culture. The city has been approaching biking proactively from both ends of the spectrum; the political will of city government has paved the way for innovative bike infrastructure, while grassroots organizations have popped up to help advocate and promote a strong bike community. Most importantly, many individual citizens have got out of their cars and onto a bicycle and really taken to the city’s promising (yet still unrealized) claim to be the most bike-friendly city in the country.
That being said, it was very humbling to visit the Pacific Northwest region and see how well integrated and extensive biking is in many of these communities. I have had the pleasure of visiting Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, B.C on a couple trips over the last year. Taking bikes, planes, trains, and even a car on the different trips gave me good insight on the experience one gets from visiting these cities with each of these modes of transportation.
Long Beach has already heeded several of these cities’ ideas on biking and urban design, yet we can still learn a lot more. The following posts will look at these cities and showcase how they each have been able to weave an integrated and multi-modal transportation system into their rich urban environments.