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See Who Voted For Obstructive Bellflower Blvd./CSULB Area Bicycle Lane Bollards

Includes audio of Council's specific project approval vote plus detailed history of prior votes


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(Feb. 11, 2018, 4:20 a.m.) -- So...who voted to install obstructive green bike lane bollards along Bellflower Blvd. between PCH and Atherton Street (vicinity CSULB/Park Estates)? LB's 4th Council district blog, published by veteran Los Altos area neighborhood advocate Joe Mello, lambastes the project as "Bellflower Blvd Bottleneck: ELB CARMAGEDDON" at this link and calls out 3rd Councilwoman Suzie Price and LB Traffic Engineers.

But the record shows that while Councilwoman Price made the July 18, 2017 Council motion to approve plans and specifications for the project (which includes other work), 4th district Councilman Supernaw seconded the motion. Councilwoman Price half-facetiously asked if the bollards could be another color besides green (no they can't, city staff said.) Councilman Supernaw raised an issue whose relevance escapes us, and Councilwoman Mungo (with constituents riled over bollards along Studebaker Rd. between Spring/Wardlow) volunteered that she'd learned that in L.A., changing the bollard color to white made them look worse when dirty. The net result was a 9-0 Council vote to approve.

To hear the Councilmembers' discussion, click the podcast audio below.

[Scroll down for further.]

  • July 18, 2017: The City Council votes 9-0 -- on a motion by 3rd district Councilwoman Suzie Price, seconded by 4th district Councilman Daryl Supernaw -- to approve plans and specifications for the project that, among other things, includes rows of obstructive green bike lane bollards. It's a $1.76 million contract (with a 10% contingency that could bring it to $1.965 million) -- out of a total cost of $2.56 million. City staff's agendizing memo doesn't indicate who paid the six figure difference, but says the Council approved item is "supported by" $1.4 million from federal taxpayers through "MAP 21" funds ("Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (P.L. 112-141) signed into law by President Obama on July 6, 2012, funds distributed through Fed'l Highway Administration); plus $779,328 from CA's gasoline tax and $397,084 from a CalTrans Bicycle Transportation Account "grant" (funded by CA Highway User's Tax Account (HUTA), Transportation Tax Fund.)

    The $1.76-$1.96 million project approved by the July 18, 2017 Council vote will pay a Santa Fe Springs firm to perform the following work as described in city staff's agendizing memo:

    [July 18, 2017 city staff agendizing memo text]...The rehabilitation work consists of replacing damaged curbs, gutters, driveways, alley entrances, and sidewalks; tree trimming and root shaving; reconstructing deteriorated pavement by cold milling and resurfacing; and installation of reflectorized K-71 flexible post delineators, restoration of pavement markers, markings, traffic striping, signage and curb paint. [emphasis added] This project will eliminate one northbound lane on Bellflower Boulevard between Atherton and Pacific Coast Highway for construction of a Class IV bikeway on Bellflower Boulevard, creating a bikeway separated from vehicular traffic. [emphasis added] The Class IV bikeway will provide for connectivity to local Long Beach activity centers that are included within the City's approved Bicycle Master Plan. Construction of the bikeway is supported by a grant award in the amount of $397,084 made available under the Caltrans Bicycle Transportation Account (BTA) Grant, which provides funding for bicycle projects.

    The City Council authorized the City Manager to apply for, and accept, this grant on January 5, 2010...[More about that vote below.]

    ...FISCAL IMPACT

    The total cost for this project is estimated at $2,576,412, which includes the contract award amount of $1,965,272, including contingency and the cost for design, construction, construction management, labor compliance, and project oversight. This project is supported by $1,400,000 in Federal MAP-21 funds, $779,328 in State Gas Tax funds, and $397,084 in BTA grantfunds. The BTA grant is not currently appropriated. Accordingly, the appropriation increase of $397,084 is requested in the Capital Projects Fund (CP) in the Department of Public Works (PW), offset by grant reimbursement revenue. There is no cost match associated with this grant.

    Approval of this recommendation will provide continued support to our local economy. The number of additional local jobs created by this project will not be known until the contractors complete their hiring and construction has commenced.

    SUSTAINABILITY / ENVIRONMENTAL

    ...This project includes the construction of a Class IV bikeway on Bellflower Boulevard, providing residents with more recreational and health benefits achieved by cycling. The project will also allow for residents to use bicycles as an alternate mode of transportation, resulting in less vehicle usage and a reduction of air pollution harmful to the environment...

    COMPLETE STREETS ASSESSMENT

    Pursuant to Assembly Bill 1358 (the California Complete Streets Act), and as part of the implementation of the Mobility Element of the Long Beach General Plan, the City's practice is to conduct a complete streets assessment for all roadway construction projects. The project site, Bellflower Boulevard between Pacific Coast Highway and Atherton Street, is a mixed-use area, zoned for community commercial automobile-oriented, institutional, park and single-family residential. It currently has four-foot to ten-foot wide sidewalks, five bus stops served by one Long Beach Transit route, and bike lanes on both sides of the street. The bike lanes are being widened and updated to current standards. The current infrastructure encourages the use of multi-modes of transportation by motorists, bicyclists, public transit passengers, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities. The project site has landscaping areas along the sidewalks. Currently, the tree well spacing is between 25 feet and 40 feet.

    FISCAL IMPACT

    The total cost for this project is estimated at $2,576,412, which includes the contract award amount of $1,965,272, including contingency and the cost for design, construction, construction management, labor compliance, and project oversight. This project is supported by $1,400,000 in Federal MAP-21 funds, $779,328 in State Gas Tax funds, and $397,084 in BTA grant funds. The BTA grant is not currently appropriated. Accordingly, the appropriation increase of $397,084 is requested in the Capital Projects Fund (CP) in the Department of Public Works (PW), offset by grant reimbursement revenue. There is no cost match associated with this grant.

    Approval of this recommendation will provide continued support to our local economy. The number of additional local jobs created by this project will not be known until the contractors complete their hiring and construction has commenced.

    Sponsor

    Sponsor

  • Feb. 7, 2017. The City Council holds a public hearing and casts a fateful vote in approving an update to City Hall's "Bicycle Master Plan" for inclusion as an appendix to the City's "Mobility Element" to the City's General Plan. The agenda item includes a detailed memo from then-Dir. of Development Services, Amy Bodek that attached the draft updated Bicycle Master Plan with a Resolution establishing [agendizing memo text] "policies, programs, and design guidelines intended to make bicycling in Long Beach safe, comfortable, convenient, and enjoyable for all bicyclists." It called for "a comprehensive bicycle network of "8 to 80" bicycle facilities across the City, made up of a variety of bicycle boulevards and parking-protected bicycle lanes. The "8 to 80" network was designed to appeal to bicycle riders of different ages (i.e., 8 to 80 years) and abilities, with emphasis on providing protected, low-stress bicycle facilities for more inexperienced riders. The Draft Plan also includes bicycle strategies that identify implementation measures that the City should undertake to achieve its vision and goals." The Bicycle Master Plan states in pertinent part: "All of the following goals, strategies, and policies support the larger citywide directive to eliminate traffic-related fatalities by the year 2026 ('Vision Zero'). They are also in conformance with the City's 'Complete Streets' policy, which instructs staff to consider the needs of all modes of travel when developing any transportation facility." Source: Bicycle Master Plan, Ch. 5, p. 51. On a motion by Vice Mayor Richardson, seconded by Councilwoman Gonzalez, the Council approves this 7-0 (Andrews and Uranga absent.)

    Sponsor


  • April 2016: City staff begins updating the "Bicycle Master Plan" with discussions and "public outreach" leading up to September 1, 2016 and November 17, 2016 "study sessions" for LB's Planning Commission, a non-elected (Mayor chosen/Council approved) body which votes on January 5, 2017 to recommend that the Council adopt staff's recommended update to the Bicycle Master Plan as an appendix to the Mobility Element to the City's General Plan (which the Council did in its Feb. 7, 2017 voted action, above)

    Sponsor

    Sponsor

  • Oct 15, 2013: The Council votes 8-0 (Suja Lowenthal absent, motion by Gary DeLong, seconded by Robert Garcia) to update the General Plan's Transportation Element (renamed a "Mobility Element") with policies that facilitate increased use of bicycling "as a viable option for both work and non-work trips." The Oct. 15, 2013 Council action stemmed from a staff recommendation to implement "multi-modal" and "complete streets" policies...but without performing an Environmental (Neighborhood) Impact (EIR) analysis of the impacts. This came over the objections of LB resident Kerrie Aley, who submitted written testimony to the Council stating in pertinent part:

    [Ms. Aley's written testimony]...The city states that this plan is about improving the quality of life for today’s generation, as well as generations to come. The Mobility element calls for the city to establish a network of complete streets that complement the related land uses. New policies had been added which encourage increased traffic congestion and decreased parking requirements for new development...

    The city new policy is to allow future developments to increase congestion (lower level of service LOS to worse than D) by an unspecified degree in exchange for pedestrian, bicycle and/or transit improvements where -- automobile travel is not empathized, or where intersection or roadway widening is not practical. This increased congestion will be allowed even though the plan's own regional traffic growth numbers predict that 88 intersections will eventually operate at levels of E or F during peak p.m. peak hours...The council is being asked to approve a Negative Declaration that states that there will be "no significant impact" despite encouraging increased traffic congestion/parking problems, a construction project wish list that includes road closures, grade separations and new bike lanes all to encourage high density development under the guise of improving our quality of life...

    .

    Sponsor

  • Jan. 5, 2010: Council votes 8-0 (Motion by Suja Lowenthal, second by Andrews; Yes: Garcia, Suja Lowenthal, O'Donnell, Schipske, Andrews, Reyes Uranga, Gabelich and Lerch; DeLong absent) "committing to provide the local match for a Bicycle Transportation Account (BTA) Grant to complete gaps in the Long Beach bicycle network [in district 3, 4 and 8] if the City's application is selected for funding." City staff's agendizing memo states:

    Caltrans issued a call for applications to provide funding for bicycle projects that are included within cities' adopted Bicycle Master Plans. Long Beach has a Bicycle Master Plan that was adopted on July 11, 2001. Cities were encouraged to submit applications that: I) focus primarily on bicycle commuters; 2) have the potential to increase bicycle commuting; and 3) provide or improve bikeway connectivity to activity centers. The following project was developed to complement both existing bike routes and bike routes that are funded and planned for implementation in the coming year. An application has been submitted to eliminate gaps in the bicycle routes at four locations as detailed in the Bicycle Master Plan (see attached map):

    • 1. Clark Avenue from Willow Street to Anaheim Street. This Class II bike lane will connect to the existing Class Ill bike lane on Clark Avenue north of Willow Street and will provide a key connection between the new Class II bike lanes on Atherton Street to Anaheim Street to provide a better connection to CSULB, Veterans Hospital and Wilson High School.

    • 2. Bellflower Boulevard from Atherton Street to 6th Street. This Class II bike lane will connect to the existing Class II bike lanes on Bellflower Boulevard north of Atherton Street, and will provide a key connection to the new Class II bike lane on Atherton Street and the recently funded bicycle boulevard planned for 6th Street from Bellflower Boulevard to Junipero Avenue.

    • 3. Del Amo Boulevard from Long Beach Boulevard to the LA River Bike Path. This Class II bike lane will connect to the existing Class Ill bike lane on Del Amo Boulevard east of Long Beach Boulevard, and will provide a key on-street connection to the LA River Bike Path.

    • 4. Broadway from Lorna Avenue to Nieto Avenue. This Class I1 bike lane will connect the existing Class Ill bike lane on Loma Avenue and Nieto Avenue, including a small median island in the area between Park Avenue and Nieto Avenue. This will also serve the commercial corridor on Broadway.

    Project costs are estimated at $510,000. A 15 percent match requirement would equate to $76,500, resulting in a grant request of $433,500. If this grant application is funded, the local match will be provided from the City's Capital Projects Fund utilizing Transportation Development Act (TDA) funds. TDA funds are limited to the construction or enhancement of pedestrian and bike facilities.

    ...SUSTAINABILITY

    This project will improve the cycling environment in Long Beach and encourage the use of bicycles, which will emit no greenhouse gas emissions, and may reduce overall vehicle trips, further reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Cycling also provides positive collateral effects of improving the health and fitness of society.

    TIMING CONSIDERATIONS

    The funding agency requires that the City Council adopt a resolution of commitment that it will fulfill the application's matching requirements prior to awarding the funds. This resolution must be received by Caltrans by January 9, 2010, so approval at the January 5, 2010 Council meeting is required.

  • Dec. 11, 2001: Council approves amendments to General Plan's Transportation Element to adopt a "Bicycle Master Plan." Council minutes and video from this time period aren't online accessible.



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