Bikes 1

The Intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Pier Avenue on Google Maps
My Revisions to the Intersection
  1. I looked at “Transitions from one type of infra to the other” and “Junction design for safer cycling (Netherlands),” which both primarily dealt with how to make junctions smoother and safer for bikes. The main conclusion of these articles is that separate bike lanes rather are far safer than shared lanes, but must be implemented properly with a few principles in mind. These include ensuring the cyclists always have a clear view of cars and vice versa, eliminating high curbs which could slow down or destabilize cyclists, and to maintain infrastructure designed for cyclists all the way through intersections rather than stopping it right before. This last one is a little complex, so let me explain. What often occurs is that cycling infrastructure is maintained on straightaways and open roads, but when those bike lanes hit intersections, they simply stop and then start up on the other side. This leads to problems with the first two, reducing visibility while cyclists wait to turn or cross and often forcing them to walk up onto curbs or roll off them, causing slowdowns and falls.
  2. The worst intersection near my house is the intersection of Pier Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), one block west of me. I use it every time I go to work and used it to get to elementary and middle school every day as well, and it’s one of the busiest intersections in Hermosa Beach. The primary problem is not crossing from the Vans store to the park across the street, but the other way. Cars are allowed to turn right on green through the crosswalk, and numerous collisions between cars and cyclists or pedestrians have occurred due to cars not waiting when people to step into the street and the poor visibility which comes from cars creeping up past the sidewalk due to its gradual curve. The easiest solution would be to move the crosswalk to the other side of the street, but a solution I prefer is the construction of a pedestrian and bicycle bridge. We already have them in Santa Monica, another popular beach destination, and they use a spiral entry and exit point from the bridge so that cyclists don’t have to walk up stairs. There’s already an unused lawn across from 14th Street, which has a gate built across it. That lawn could be replaced with a spiral entryway up to a pedestrian bridge, which would be flat and pass over PCH. On the other side, it would simply meet the incline of 14th, which is built on a steep hill. 14th is primarily a pedestrian and cyclist thoroughfare since it’s not a through street, and cars already drive slow because their only reason to be on that street is to park. Further down Pier Avenue, it turns from six lanes to four, so the fact that it is six lanes is currently unnecessary. A bike lane could be added along the sidewalk on the north side, which would easily merge into the pedestrian bridge. The idea has been floated in the past; I’m not sure if this is the proposed plan but it’s how I would do it. This reduces danger to pedestrians and cyclists and makes it easier to bike from Pier Avenue to the neighborhoods east of PCH without having to risk a dangerous intersection while also maintaining separation between bikes and cars.

One thought on “Bikes 1

  1. Spirals are also fun! In the meantime, why don’t they create a crosswalk only phase in the red light, so no right on red and no right turns when crosswalk light is on?


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