Thursday, May 30, 2024

Long Beach to receive over $3M in SB1 funds to improve Market St. and Orange Ave. (cycle track included)

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The California Transportation Commission has approved over $3M in investment on two major Long Beach streets—Orange Avenue and Market Street—that will include bulb-outs, ADA-compliant sidewalks, bike lanes, and more.

The monies will be divvied up, with $2.84M going toward the Market Street project and $566K going toward the Orange Street project.

Market Street will largely receive streetscape upgrades, including: bulb outs; ADA-compliant sidewalks and curb ramps; landscaping; street trees; street furniture; enhanced crosswalks; pedestrian lighting; flashing beacon; a Class II, III, and IV bike lane; transit stop enhancements; increased sidewalk width (at intersections and mid-block); and resurfacing of the street.

Orange Avenue’s upgrades will be largely deal with adding portions of protected bike lane while improving the existing bike lanes.Focusing on Orange Avenue between Jackson Street and 17th Street, continuing south when it becomes Alamitos Avenue from 17th Street, and ending just south of Ocean Boulevard.

According to the project’s description, the funds will “transform Orange and Alamitos Avenues into a corridor adding protected bike lanes and intersections, curb extensions and bus islands, and improved lighting. We will construct 0.2 mile of Class II bike route, 0.8 mile of Class III bike lane, and 1.4 miles of Class IV cycle track. Improve 1.3 miles of existing bike lane. Enhance 38 existing crosswalks by adding bus islands and curb extensions. Improve lighting at State Route 91 underpass.”

That nearly one-and-a-half miles of a Class IV bike lane is a huge win for bicyclists, since this means they will have a portion of a bike lane entirely removed from vehicular traffic, the space exclusively theirs to use.

Overall, the California Transportation Commission allocated some $2.1B for projects across the state in order to “repair and improve transportation infrastructure,” with nearly a third of that chunk—some $696M—coming from SB1 funding.Senate Bill 1, or the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, uses over $5B annually to fix roads, freeways and bridges in communities across California, along with contributions toward transit. These funds are split equally between state and local investments—and those local investments, officialized through the Local Assistance program, include projects directly here in Long Beach.

“By making these significant investments, California is building the public transportation system we need for a safer and more prosperous, equitable, and environmentally sound future,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “This investment also includes nearly $1 billion for local and regional transportation projects that carry significant community benefits.”

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.

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