New Bike path open in Redondo Beach

The new bike path has traffic lights for bicyclists, and riders are enjoying new found safety on the path.

When the ribbon is cut this weekend at the Redondo Beach Harbor Gateway and improved bike path, it will mark a new era of connectivity between the Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach piers.

The grand opening ceremony is slated for 10 a.m. on Saturday at the welcome parkette, located at the corner of Herondo Street and Harbor Drive. The public is invited to take an inaugural ride down Harbor Drive at 10:30 a.m.

Pedestrians and cyclists such as City Councilman Jeff Ginsburg have already been using the path as crews put the finishing touches on construction. The city still has some issues to work out with pedestrians, bikes and cars.

“Not all of the signage nor all of the traffic lights are done,” he said. “There is some congestion there at the moment for vehicle traffic because the traffic lights are still on automatic timers. We’re not done installing the magnetic sensors. When that is done, everything will be flowing more smoothly there.”

Ginsburg said the work should be complete by the end of June.

Work first began on the $4.6 million project on Nov. 4, 2014 when Mayor Steve Aspel and the council took sledgehammers to the wall that once stood between Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach at the south-end of the The Strand.

Jim Hannon, president of Beach Cities Cycling Club, explains how these improvements will benefit cyclists and the city:

“The Gateway Park is intended to welcome visitors and I think the bicycle kinetic artwork makes a wonderful statement that will encourage bicyclists to visit Redondo Beach. It will provide a safety margin for bicyclists on the bike path and they will feel much safer separated by parked cars on Harbor Drive,” Hannon said. “It will encourage more people to participate in a heather lifestyle, to move naturally and enjoy our wonderful ocean front amenities.”

Ginsburg agrees saying, “Just from the times I’ve ridden my bike on it, there seems to already be an increase in both bicycle and pedestrian traffic. I’ve noticed more children and families on the path, and I think because it offers increased safety as opposed to mixing with the traffic on the roads.”

He also believes the increased traffic on the bike path has resulted in more business coming to establishments in Redondo Beach.

“If a business puts up a bike rack they will see more bicyclists coming and spending money in their businesses. I’ve already noticed this effect,” Ginsburg said. “Over the past few years Redondo has become a lot more bike friendly.”

Key improvements of this project included reconstruction of the City Parking Lot at the corner of Herondo Street and Harbor Drive into a welcome plaza parkette featuring public art, open space, landscaping and lighting. The project maintained a portion of existing parking to serve beachgoers; installation of a bi-directional bike lane separated by a landscaped buffer along Harbor Drive; resurfacing Herondo Street and Harbor Drive; replacing existing street lighting; and improving pedestrian crossings.

Also, there are traffic lights that target cyclists and pedestrians on the path, which Ginsburg says he hopes will remind people using the path to obey the traffic laws.

Funding for this project includes more than $2.3 million in state gas tax funds; more than $1.1 million in Proposition C Transportation Funds; $225,000 in Measure R Transportation Funds; more than $535,000 from the California Bicycle Transportation Grant; approximately $260,000 from Trash Hauler Roadway Impact Fees; and, approximately $165,000 in Capital Improvement Funds.

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