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Letter to the Editor: Are we being ‘street’wise?

May 17th, 2013 · No Comments · Letters to the Editor

Why can’t Long Beach leave the streets in the beautiful neighborhoods of Los Cerritos and Bixby Knolls alone? And I don’t mean not re-paving those roads that need it– Long Beach already does that.
Remember the fiasco with diagonal parking along Atlantic Avenue in the Bixby Knolls business district? That street was made so crooked it was harder to follow than the IRS Code.
It was actually laughable to anyone who drove it unless he/she thought about the wasted taxpayer money that could have benefitted other neighborhoods which really do need improvements to their streets. (It wasn’t too funny either if it happened to be a foggy night and you couldn’t keep in your lane.) Eventually parallel parking was restored and the traffic lanes straightened out.
Big changes made to California Avenue behind the Bixby Knolls Shopping Center were another colossal failure. The apparent intent was to reduce cut-through traffic on the residential streets, but the modifications made getting in and out of the shopping center by way of California Avenue far more difficult. After a very short time, those changes too were reversed.
It’s hard to know if these kinds of problems are the result of incompetence by the City Traffic Engineering Department or insistence on the changes by the councilperson for the district. Whichever it is, they are about to happen again.
This time it’s because 7th District Councilman James Johnson insists on an unnecessary bicycle lane on Pacific Avenue through Los Cerritos. Pacific Avenue, there, may well be the widest residential street in Long Beach. If not, it’s close. Cyclists currently have no problem at all sharing the road with motor vehicles. If you can’t safely navigate that street without a separate lane painted on the pavement, you don’t belong on a bicycle.
The City’s Traffic Engineer says he has recently discovered that Pacific Avenue at Wardlow Road has a 10-year history as a dangerous intersection and absolutely must have a new traffic signal, even though it will cause Wardlow Road to have even worse traffic jams than it already has.
It also just happens to be where Councilmember Johnson wants the new bike path to cross Wardlow Road! How fortuitous.

Mary Jo Wegner
Lakewood

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