Honorable Mayor Deaton and City Council Members,
As you are no doubt aware on Monday the City is beginning a repaving and restriping project on Westminster between Seal Beach Blvd and Bolsa Chica.
The project is funded by a bicycle grant with the intent of improving safety for bicyclists. Yet the current plans do little more that repave and duplicate the existing, inadequate bike facilities.
While we applaud the City’s effort to add improved bike facilities…the city can do better.
A 6 foot wide bike lane is planned for both sides of the roadway. This simply is not adequate space for most bicyclists to feel safe when they have 60 mph vehicles whizzing by them.
There is sufficient room to provide an additional 3 foot buffer between the bike land and the travel lane as is now becoming standard practice throughout Orange County whenever there is adequate room as there is on Westminster.
Over the past 6 years there have been 20 crashes on this stretch of roadway…and 1/4 of them have been bike related. Please help us make sure that this newly repave road, which is being funded by a bicycle grant, is indeed safe for bicyclists as well as motorists.
Below is a e-mail that I sent to the Public Works Director, Sean Crumby laying out both the need for buffer as well as how it can help slow traffic on the street and make it safer for both bicyclists and motorists.
We recognize that the project is starting on Monday and that it would have been good to have had this conversation several months ago. However, in spite of our asking to be involved in a public outreach process when this project was launched over 3 years ago, there has been no outreach. It was not until yesterday that we found out about the final plans. The project can still start on Monday and have the re-striping plans redone in time to keep the over all project on schedule.
Once again, we applaud the City’s effort to improve bike facilities and look forward to working with the city to ensure that the dollars that are invested in bike infrastructure provide the safest designs for all users.
I have copied several Seal Beach residents who bike this street on regular basis and know the need for truly safe facilities for all users on this high-speed arterial.
Don’t hesitate to call me or send me an e-mail should you have any questions.
Executive Director, BIKEable Communities