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Hermosa Adopts South Bay Bike Plan

A new network of bike paths will connect Hermosa Beach with neighboring South Bay cities if the plan is also adopted in Lawndale, Gardena, Manhattan Beach, Torrance.

The in a unanimously agreed to adopt the , which aims to interconnect seven South Bay cities through a network of bike paths.

Bicycle enthusiasts who filled council chambers erupted in applause following the panel's decision.

Hermosa Beach now joins neighboring and El Segundo in agreeing to participate in the proposed bike plan. Lawndale, Gardena, Manhattan Beach and Torrance have not yet voted on the project.

Frank Senteno, director of , told council members that adopting the bike plan doesn't automatically approve all of its suggested . 

Rather, the plan serves as a guideline or "point of reference" for such changes during a 20-year implementation period.

Currently, Hermosa Beach has 5.1 miles of existing bikeways. The plan aims to raise that to about 9.5 miles, which yields an estimated cost of about $269,000 (see final draft of plan under photo.)

Marissa Christiansen, director of the South Bay initiative, said that there is grant money available to fund the project, which is "the first even multi-jurisdictional bike plan" in the nation.

Todd Dipaola, founder and chairman of the South Bay Bicycle Coalition, reminded the council that Hermosa Beach has a history with being "the first" in encouraging cycling. Such as, Hermosa was "first to put down and do things like the ," he said.

George Barks, a former council member, told the panel Tuesday that the bike plan was needed, partly to encourage children in the community to be more active.

"We need to get these kids to walk, get them to ride bicycles, but we need to make it safe," which the plan would do, he encouraged.

Kim Barbis, who was part of the that installed artisan bike racks around town, and Hawthorne City Councilman Gary Parsons also appeared before the council in support of the plan.

But not all locals were thrilled with the idea of more cycling in town.

Hermosa Beach resident Anne Sullivan told the council that she has seen cyclists dangerously zoom down Hermosa Avenue and break traffic laws, such as not stopping at stop signs. She added that law enforcement should address such issues before more bike paths are created.

"You need to slow down on some of these things, get it right, and find out how you're going to enforce what is going on now," Sullivan told the council.

Another critique concerned connecting a bike path along the Hermosa-Redondo border. The plan includes a two-way bike path along Harbor Drive, and that path would be separated from the street by a five-foot median and parked cars.

Additionally, a wall just off of the local coastline that separates the city limits would remain. But Dean Francois, a member of the South Bay Bicycle Coalition, said that should change.

"We support taking the wall down, and getting a nice path there in our harbor," he said.

Redondo Beach resident Sean Guthrie also said that the public parking lot at the end of Hermosa Avenue on the Redondo border could be turned "into a nice park to transition from Hermosa to Redondo and make a much more attractive transition there as well as one that’s safer," he said.

What bike path changes or ideas would you like to see explored further in the South Bay Bike Master Plan?

Earlier coverage of the South Bay Bike Master Plan on Hermosa Beach Patch:

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