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In the Pipeline: More care needed on H.B. bike path

September 10, 2013|By Chris Epting
  • A common problem on the Huntington Beach bike path: Pedestrians don't walk to one side.
A common problem on the Huntington Beach bike path: Pedestrians… (Chris Epting, HB…)

The Huntington Beach bike path that runs for more than eight miles — starting at one end at Warner Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway — is, I think, one of the city's great assets.

This summer I was riding round-trips every several days, and each time, whether it was on a crowded weekend or quiet weekday, I felt that the path provided a glimpse of the true Huntington Beach. Snaking along, it never ceased to reveal the great cross-section of locals, tourists, surfers, families and businesses. Our beloved fire pits were clear to see and, of course, the ocean, which I find indescribably appealing.

But all that said, let me share a couple complaints.

First, parts of the bikeway need repair. Many sections are scarred, bumpy and ravaged by heat and traffic. Then there is the matter of striping, or lack thereof. Many riders and pedestrians do not seem to grasp the lined-road concept, wavering all over the place with little reason. I think some fresh yellow stripes down the middle, as well some bright white borders indicating where people should walk, would be a huge help.

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With the off-season approaching, it seems that now would be a good time to give the entire pathway a total refresh. Who will pay? Fair question. It seems that the first thing to do is convince the City Council to find some money in the budget for it.

I'll send this column to each council member as a sort of open letter and let you know what I hear back. If there is no money in the budget, there are still other ways to get the work done. What if the city went to an asphalt repair company and allowed it to advertise there on the pavement in exchange for service?

Many garbage pails line the route. How about selling ad space on those? Or letting local businesses sponsor miles like they do on the freeway?

Some proper signage might also help correct problems on the path, cluing in bike riders and pedestrians.

While most bike riders seem to operate with a basic sense of the rules of the road regarding speed and safety, a percentage still demonstrate a recklessness that creates more near-accidents than I can document here.

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