Micro-dissection of a Terrible Intersection: Del Amo St., and Susana St, Compton, CA

On my way to the Historical Society of Long Beach, I generally get off at the Del Amo stop.

Below is one particularly irritating intersection on my way there, technically in the city of Compton (according to Google Maps), bordering Rancho Dominguez, that contributes to annoying the hell out of me, and probably just one big/little thing that scares people about biking in Long Beach.

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Where to start on this one?

  • The road is charred from all the heavy-ass trucks that make its way by the micro-second. This makes for a real bumpy, tire-tearing experience.

  • The two-way roads are segregated by a physical barrier. A bicyclist wanting to head East is generally not going to want to bike OVER that barrier just to bike on the correct side of the street. I usually take the sidewalk and bike AGAINST traffic. I'm eventually trying to get on the the correct side.
  • Deciding to bike on the sidewalk coming from the Blue Line, I can't actually continue on the sidewalk. I'd actually be cut off from doing so if I tried to continue on this sidewalk, There is actually NO sidewalk on a stretch of industrial infrastructure. Instead is a thin patch of dirt that is unbikeable. Vea abajo.

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  • Once I reach the end of this sidewalk I am forced into, I'm kinda stuck for 5 minutes at a time. I can't ride actually ride with incoming traffic coming from my left hand side to make the LEFT turn that I eventually want to make. Why? Because most of the traffic consists of big rigs and other cars speeding to make RIGHT turns.
  • Still on this sidewalk, there is no crosswalk for pedestrians trying to walk the same way as that traffic. I have to actually continue going across to the side with no sidewalk, just to push a button so I can finally cross
  • There is like a moat of mud covering the non-existant sidewalk, making it somewhat annoying to push the pedestrian walk button.

  • Once the pedestrian walk button goes off, only then can I finally make my way to the correct side of the street. It's like 5 minutes at an intersection for a pedestrian bicyclist, vs. less than a few seconds for car drivers.
  • But the ordeal isn't over! Once I did figure out that I'd have to use a crosswalk off this intersection just to bike on the correct side of the road heading East, I'd have to pedal fast to make sure that drivers trying to get into the freeway don't get annoyed as I usually pedal in the middle of this street.
  • Once I'm out past the freeway heading East, a bunch of cars exit from the 710 freeway. Me on bicycle merging lanes with these drivers shooting out of an exit at 50 mph.

Now why bring up this "micro-dissection" of a terrible intersection?"

If it's particularly annoying to a highly flexible bicyclist like me who will reluctantly "battle" big rigs in Vernon for road space, then it's just something that any casual bicyclist will not even bother to want to deal with, less of course the casual bicyclist could ride the street in a pack of bicyclists (but that doesn't happen too often.)

Less than a half mile away from this intersection, literally a block away, is a bike path. You'd have to face this particular intersection if you wanted to get to this bike path from Compton and the Blue Line.

And the kicker....Del Amo actually is a bike route in North Long Beach/Lakewood.

But even then.

Essentially, with the extreme bumpiness of the road, the right-turn ripping big rigs and cars, the lack of a sidewalk, there is a mass accumulation of little things that when combined act as big "barriers." This is my attempt to highlight that mass of little annoying things that make for a horribly anti-bikeable environ. For those who have the capital to make things better, this shouldn't be a barrier, you should see this as a "gap" in the transportation infrastructure that needs to be filled.


Joseph E said...

The draft of Long Beach's new bike plan, which I saw at a public meeting last weekend, as bike lanes on Del Amo all the way thru the city, including past the Blue Line station.

I would recommend that you send a comment to the folks who do the bike planning in our city, encouraging them to put in protected bike lines on Del Amo, including over the LA River bridge.


TransitPlanner said...

Great write up!