By Kristopher Hanson, Staff Writer
LONG BEACH – Authorities are warning bicyclists to steer clear of sidewalks in the city’s four business districts to prevent collisions with pedestrians.
The city has launched a “Walk It Or Lock It” campaign to inform bicyclists that riding on sidewalks in busy commercial districts is illegal under city ordinances.
Offenders can be ticketed, though the goal of the program is to inform rather than punish, said city spokesman Ed Kamlan.
The affected areas are Broadway and Pine Avenue in Downtown Long Beach, Atlantic Avenue in Bixby Knolls, Second Street in Belmont Shore, Anaheim Street in Cambodia Town and Retro Row on Fourth Street.
As part of the campaign, police will hand out safety cards encouraging cyclists not to ride in the business districts. Merchants will also be displaying posters with a similar design, said Kamlan.
“Mixing people riding bicycles with people walking on our busy sidewalks just isn’t safe,” said Long Beach Police Department Chief Jim McDonnell in a statement.
McDonnell noted that Long Beach has installed 1,200 public bike racks across the city, and special bike-only lanes were built along busy corridors in recent months.
Cyclists can ride on sidewalks outside of the noted business districts, but must have a bell and obey all traffic rules, including speed limits, said city public information officer Rico Fernandez.
Riders are encouraged to fill out a short survey on bicycling in
Long Beach, which officials hope to use to improve interaction between motorists, cyclists and pedestrians in the future.
The survey is available at www.surveymonkey.com/s/bikesafelb. More information can be found atwww.bikelong beach.org.