Bike Lane Buoys Reduced

Kirt Ramirez

After being placed more than a year ago, half of the bike lane buoys have been removed from Studebaker Road.

After a public outcry over the appearance of the bright green buoys – also known as bollards and pylons – the public works department took away every other buoy from both sides of Studebaker between Wardlow Road and Spring Street in an attempt to please residents.

“We did it! After much advocacy from a united Fifth District, we have convinced public works to remove 50 percent or every other unit of the Studebaker bike bollards,” Fifth District Councilwoman Stacy Mungo announced in an emailed newsletter Dec. 20.

“These green bollards are the beginning stages of the citywide bike infrastructure master plan and will be reutilized for other bike infrastructure safety measures throughout other parts of the city. We will continue to seek future initiatives to further reduce their visual impact, while maintaining the safety of cyclists and commuting school children,” she wrote.

The sea of green color has been lessened.

The hollow, plastic markers bolted to the ground, which wobble when pushed, are meant to calm traffic and alert drivers that bike lanes are present. The bollards would increase safety for bicyclists. White reflectors light up at night as cars drive by.

“Studebaker was the first separated bicycle facility in the city where bollards were used,” explained Public Works Director Craig Beck through email. “Some in the community had a very negative reaction to adding this change in their neighborhood.”

Beck said public works staff considered different options to address concerns while keeping the bike separation facilities in place.

“It was decided to change the spacing of the bollards, which is the standard used at bicycle facilities placed subsequent to Studebaker,” Beck wrote. “This is new to the city and the mobility team is trying to create the appropriate balance between safety and neighborhood acceptance.”

Other bike lane facilities will be adjusted as well, Beck said.

Meanwhile, as main corridors get repaired over time, city staff will determine whether bollards should be installed.

“The city council adopted a “Complete Streets” approach to all street projects,” Beck said. “That means staff will look at all improvements needed along streets identified for repair, not only the travel lanes. So, if new curbs, or gutters, or sidewalks, or ADA ramps are necessary, it will all get added when the street is repaired.”

The same applies to buoys.

“If the particular street identified for repair is designated as a priority bicycle corridor, the corresponding bicycle improvement will be added, including bollards if that is what is identified,” he added.

Adding bicycle cones to selected streets are part of a larger picture.

“In Southern California, traffic congestion continues to get worse. As the demand for housing and movement increases, so does the traffic,” Beck explained. “Long Beach is a unique city that has great residential neighborhoods, as well as multiple employment zones.

“To provide for mobility options to address congestion and sustainability, city crews are working to expand bicycle infrastructure.”

Beck said the city’s Bicycle Master Plan discusses creating “8 through 80” facilities.

“That is, creating areas where everyone from 8-80 feel safe riding,” he said. “This is typically accomplished through a separated bike lane. Adding cones in the street provide both a physical and visual barrier for the vehicles and cyclist.”

Beck added, “While not everyone will utilize a bicycle instead of a car for every trip, it is important to start providing alternatives where people are more apt to make the choice to leave their vehicle at home.” 

Beck said the buoys and all street projects are paid for through a combination of sources including the gas tax, Prop A, Prop C, SB1, Measure M, Measure A, metro grants and federal grants.

“The source of funding depends on the identified project,” he said, adding the funding sources are identified and detailed in the city’s Capital Improvement Plan.

More information about the Bicycle Master Plan can be found online by visiting



Wow! We keep seeing these non victories posted. Transparency is questionable! We have a petition that close to 1,000 people signed to have full removal of the bollards. It was a waste of money and to keep calling this and the LUE a victory is outragious. I would tell the incumbent not to quit her day job. Maybe Kirt should talk to the community!

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