A bicycle transportation plan that addresses the growing number of cyclists on South Gate streets got a public airing Saturday when residents weighed in on several possible bike routes.
The city invited residents to the South Gate Senior Center to discuss the bicycle transportation plan that officials have been working on for the past eight months.
The workshop, the second of three to be hosted by the city, provided a forum for residents to voice their opinions on the bicycle path proposals.
“We need to find out what the local residents want, where the priorities are, and what routes are needed,” said Ryan Snyder, president of Ryan Snyder Associates, a consulting firm offering transportation planning.
South Gate hired Snyder's Los Angeles-based firm to help with the design of a bicycle transportation system. The firm is also working with the city of Lynwood on a similar cycling proposal.
The firm researched a range of conditions that affect bicycling, including traffic volume, crash statistics and street measurements.
During the workshop, Snyder told about a half dozen residents about the different types of bikeways that the city could construct. The proposals include colored bike lanes along Tweedy Boulevard, State Street, California Avenue and Otis Street.
The reduction of automobile lanes, from two to one, is also being considered along those thoroughfares, along with a proposal to create a turning lane.
For South Gate resident Ana Medina, a reduction of lanes along California Avenue would be a problem because of the large presence of school children crossing the street at specific times of the day.
According to Medina, the numerous students crossing the streets in the morning and afternoon will increase the line of cars waiting to turn right or left.
“It’s not a major portion of the day, it would just be a couple of hours — both in the morning and afternoon — but I think it would have a major impact,” said Medina.
Some residents see the rising popularity of cycling coupled with the lack of a proper traffic system as troubling, while others see the plan as a potential antidote.
“What I did see last summer was a big trend of people riding their bikes all over, and it was kind of unorganized,” said Robert Gallegos, a South Gate resident who attended the workshop. “If we created some kind of organization, [such as] bike lanes [and things get] safer, I’m all for it.”
After Snyder’s presentation, participants were given 12 stickers, six green and six yellow, to place on a board where the proposed bike paths were described. Participants placed green stickers next to the routes that they felt need priority and placed yellow stickers next to those that could wait.
Paul Adams, parks and recreation director, said the workshops are organized to bring the community into the dialogue and decision-making process.
“When we get to our next workshop we’ll be taking a look at the proposed educational programs, [as well as the] changes to the zoning and building codes,” said Adams.
Teaching residents how to use these bike pathways and understand bike signs is also a key process in creating such routes.
The third and last workshop will take place in a few months, although a specific date has not yet been set. For more information on the bike transportation plan, contact Adams at email@example.com.