It has been a formal discussion for a decade, an informal one for even more than that: the always-in-the-works Daisy-Myrtle Bike Boulevard that would (finally) connect North Long Beach to DTLB and the shoreline.
Thank the Biking Gods, the Daisy-Myrtle Bike Boulevard shall be a myth no more.
With a bid officially closed and City Hall examining potential bidders, the final process will most likely to go to City Council some time in October for approval, complete with biking infrastructure, multiple traffic circles and roundabouts, and tons of street improvements.
Stretching from the northern tip of the 9th District where Long Beach meets Paramount all the way southward to the court house downtown, here’s how the 9.5-mile bike boulevard will run:
- South on Myrtle Ave. at 70th to Harding
- West on Harding to Linden Ave.
- South on Linden Ave. to 52nd
- East on 52nd to Atlantic Ave.
- South on Atlantic Ave. to San Antonio
- Southwest on San Antonio to Linden Ave.
- South on Linden Ave. to Bixby
- West on Bixby to Pacific Ave.
- South on Pacific Ave. to Spring
- West on Spring to Daisy Ave.
- South on Daisy to 21st St.
- East on 21st St. to Magnolia
- South on Magnolia to Loma Vista
- West on Loma Vista to Daisy Ave.
- South on Daisy Ave. to 3rd St.
Whew. Got all that?
Bike detectors, counting cyclists as they come and go, will be installed at three locations: Atlantic & 52nd; Bixby & Long Beach Blvd.; and Magnolia & Anaheim.
Major street alterations include:
- Four roundabouts: Myrtle & 70th; Myrtle & Harding; Linden & Harding; and Bixby & Linden
- Seven traffic circles: Myrtle & 68th; Bixby & Weston; and Daisy at 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Streets
- Two traffic ovals: Daisy at 25th and 28th
“Roundabouts are different than traffic circles [and ovals],” said City Traffic Engineer Eric Widstrand. “A roundabout is used to assign right of way at an intersection and allows traffic to flow more efficiently than with traffic signal control. Vehicles entering a roundabout intersection yield to vehicles already in the roundabout. There are fewer conflict points than with a standard intersection because there are no left turns and vehicles are forced to circulate to the right. A traffic circle [or oval] is a traffic calming device used on lower volume streets. Vehicles have to slow to go around the circle to travel through the intersection and still stay to the right of the circle but there is no yielding as seen on a roundabout. Traffic circles can have stop signs on the intersection approach or not.”
According to preliminary plans, the traffic circles and ovals on Daisy and Myrtle will have stops for east/west traffic while the traffic circle at Bixby Rd. will have stop signs for north/southbound traffic on Weston Pl.
From a personal advocacy angle, the project has proved frustrating if not outright eyebrow-raising. While millions of dollars have been thrown into biking infrastructure south of Anaheim, the neighborhoods in which many folks use their bikes because they’re essential forms of transportation—not recreational or weekends-only—are relegated to, well, shitty infrastructure.
Check out what Westside people deal with on the daily just crossing over to anything east of the 710:
This is why safe, protected bike arterials are essential—and why, at many bike plan meetings, advocates like myself, Danny Gamboa, Charlie Hockett, Graham Baden, Elizabeth Williams, and others would get frustrated: talks of more infrastructure coming to everywhere but North and West and Central Long Beach was always the dominating topic.