Brainstorming Harbor Drive re-design in Redondo Beach
The City of Redondo Beach is proposing to create a cycleway and roundabout on Harbor Drive, and residents showed up at an evening meeting on Dec. 19 brimming with questions.
Several times during the public meeting, transportation expert Rock Miller of Stantec Consulting tried to cut the question time short, but to no avail. People were curious.
About 30 local residents – including Councilman Bill Brand, Public Works Director Mike Witzansky, Waterfront and Economic Development Director Pete Carmichael, and Planning Director Aaron Jones – showed up to the meeting to discuss ways to make Harbor Drive more bicycle-friendly.
The meeting addressed the possibility of a new cycle track that would connect to the Hermosa Beach Strand through Lot 13 – the City-owned parking lot adjacent to Chart House.
Cycleways physically separate bicycles from vehicles, and afford cyclists “special treatment” at intersections and driveways, Miller explained. To accommodate two-way bicycle traffic, the track would need to be approximately 12 feet wide.
A new cycle track could cost between $100,000 and $200,000, about the same price as a new traffic signal. Much of the funding for the cycleway project will come from an appropriation for the re-surfacing of Harbor Drive.
The proposal also makes mention of a roundabout at the Yacht Club Way intersection.
At the Dec. 19 meeting, attendees dissolved into small groups and drew with colored Sharpies on enlarged photographs of Harbor Drive. After about 20 minutes they came together to share their thoughts and raise their concerns with the design team.
There were suggestions to install an S-curve through Lot 13 – a suggestion Witzansky promised to “take a hard look at” – and to move the entrance to the AES power plant.
Some people suggested a separated cycle track that hugs both sides of the street and would allow for a better flow of traffic. Some had questions about whether the City would agree to mandate a decreased speed limit on Harbor Drive. (Miller responded that would be “very possible”.)
One man suggested turning Harbor Drive into a one-way street.
Some wanted the cycle track to be adjacent to the pedestrian pathway so that it could serve as a buffer between walkers and vehicles.
“I think it’d be really appealing if it stayed on the waterside,” Miller responded. “Today you see a lot of bicyclists riding the wrong way on the sidewalk or in the bike lane, and they’re telling you something. They’re telling you they think it’s unreasonable to be forced to the other side and go down three or four blocks and go back to the other side.”
Witzansky said the design team intends to take all suggestions into consideration and to “grant as many wishes as possible.” A draft plan will be unveiled on Jan. 30 at a public meeting, the time and location of which are yet to be announced. ER