Letters to the Editor: Aug. 7, 2014

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Wetlands zoning

The updating of zoning for the lands in and around Los Cerritos Wetlands will have a big impact on the health and welfare of our local wetlands, and here’s why: SEADIP (South East Area Development and Improvement Plan) is the zoning plan for the part of Long Beach that contains most of Los Cerritos Wetlands.  SEADIP’s zoning is so old and out-of- date that some people think it is irrelevant and keep proposing inappropriate developments for the area.

Looking at it from a landowner’s or developer’s point of view, why shouldn’t developers and speculators roll the dice and try again and again in hopes that one of their profitable but misbegotten developments will get through?

Therefore we are happy that a process is underway to clear the slate by updating the zoning for the SEADIP area, and you are invited to go and share your views at a series of public meetings about what should change and what should remain the same.

The next workshop will be on Wednesday, August 6, at 6:30 p.m., at the Best Western Golden Sails Hotel (Seafarer Room) located at 6285 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach.

This meeting is the second in a series of three community workshops for the SEADIP plan update.

For more information on the workshop go to www.lbds.info/seadip_udpate.

Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust

Long Beach

Are bicycle lanes for two-wheeled bikes ONLY?

The City of Seal Beach recently completed significant improvements to the bicycle lanes on each side of North Gate Road.

Those bike lanes link the Seal Beach Boulevard bicycle lanes to the San Gabriel River bike path that runs from the Whittier Narrows Dam to “River’s End” at the beach in Seal Beach.

Besides the replacement of cyclone fencing between the north-side curb of North Gate Road and the bike path, the project included a new gate for cyclists to enter the paved bike path to the river and a marked bicycle crossing from the new gate to the eastbound bicycle lane on the south side of North Gate Road.

Another enhanced safety measure is a new reduced motor vehicle speed limit of 15 miles per hour (m.p.h.) posted about 100 feet east of the new bicycle crossing.

The posted speed limit is 35 m.p.h. east of that point.  Not only does the reduced speed limit of 15 m.p.h. enhance safety for cyclists using the new bike crossing, but it also makes the road safer for motorists who need to be prepared to stop as they approach the North Gate to Leisure World.

The design of the relatively narrow pathway through the new gate from the street to the bike path appears to further enhance safety for cyclists.

Because it provides for clearance of only about 32 inches in width between curbs edged with cyclone fencing, the gateway allows only one bicycle at a time to pass through.

The design features might also encourage cyclists to dismount their bikes to pass through the gateway, and it will certainly prevent motor vehicles from entering the bicycle path to the river that is about eight feet wide.

On the negative side, the design may also prevent the entry of adult tricycles that are popular with many Leisure World residents who like the physical exercise of cycling without the fear of losing their balance that could possibly cause them to suffer skeletal injuries.

It is worth noting that some people prefer adult tricycles simply because they provide a large rear basket for safely carrying items from home that they wish to have with them on their ride or at their destination.

So, does anyone know if the design of the new bike path gate was intended to prevent access to three-wheeled cycles?

Is it even possible for an adult tricycle to pass through the new gate?

And, wouldn’t it seem unfair to deny the seniors of Leisure World with adult tricycles the safest possible route to pedal their way to the beach?

It is believed that applicable California laws treat tricycles the same as bicycles, but IF “bicycle lanes” and “bicycle paths” are LITERALLY restricted to two-wheeled bikes ONLY, it might be nice for a sign to that effect to be posted beside the new gateway to the bike path.

In any event, KUDOS to the City of Seal Beach for the recent improvements in its network of bicycle lanes and cyclist safety.  Meanwhile, what exactly is the city’s tricycle policy?  It would seem that all would benefit from some basic safety guidelines for where they can be ridden.

Dave Lyon

Leisure World Seal Beach

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Letters to the Editor: Aug. 7, 2014