Adding Economic, Sustainable, & Aesthetic Value: Road Diets in Long Beach
May 16, 2011 § Leave a comment
Highlighted below are four recent projects that reflect various road diets in the City of Long Beach. These projects have provided additional economic, sustainable, and aesthetic value to neighborhoods by complimenting engineering with good design.
First+Linden Curb Extension (Studio One Eleven)
Initially viewed as an ADA upgrade by Public Works, this project transferred 3,000 square feet of roadway into the pedestrian realm, adding landscape and outdoor seating with no loss of parking. Pedestrian crossing distances were also reduced by 60%, allowing better vehicular flow. Since this project was completed, five new businesses have moved in and two have expanded. (Cost $400k.)
West Broadway and Third Street Cycle Track (KOA Corporation)
By transferring one vehicle lane to a protected bike lane, these two streets have transformed from freeway extensions into urban streets. Traffic speeds have been reduced by 20%, promoting balanced mobility for pedestrians and cyclists. Additonal landscape enhancements will become permanent after a one year test-run. (Cost $700k.)
Vista Bike Boulevard (KOA Corporation)
By adding eight landscaped round-a-bouts and traffic circles, Vista has been transformed. It now allows children to bike to three different elementary schools, and neighbors have embraced the landscaping by adding lights to the new trees during the holiday season. Also, property values for homes fronting Vista have actually increased in value, which is exceptionally rare in our current economy. (Cost 600k.)
East Broadway Medians (Studio One Eleven)
This residential street currently has average traffic speeds of 35 mph in a 20 mph zone. The proposed medians will serve to calm traffic, provide an area of refuge for crossing pedestrians, and serve as bio-swales to capture rain water. Property values are estimated to increase by 5-10% when completed. (Cost 500k.)
These and other context driven road diets have allowed for the doubling of bike routes to 400 miles within the City over the last five years, all while improving the quality of life and making our city a more beautiful place.