Southeast : Officials Plan Maze to Prevent Collisions at Bike Path

Long confused about how to fend off a collision waiting to happen, Long Beach officials have finally opted to construct a maze where the beach bike path meets the pavement at the Belmont Pier parking lot.

For years, the city has tried "to get bicyclists to walk their bikes at the intersection like they are legally supposed to do," said Dennis Eschen, superintendent of park planning and development.

That hasn't worked. Nor has posting stop signs on Termino Street for cyclists and roller skaters, especially those screaming down the hill from the pier.

"It's a blind intersection for both bicycles and cars--they both tend not to expect anybody going in and out," he said.

By April 1, the city will have built two switchbacks of staggered poles connected with a rigid material. Starting about 50 feet before the intersection on both sides of the bike path, each maze will be too tight to speed through. Riders will have to walk their bikes and skaters will have to slow down--or so it is hoped.

"It's conceivable that someone will be foolhardy enough to try to go through it fast," Eschen said, "but then a pole isn't going to cause as much damage as a car."

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