Los Angeles County officials are hoping to make it a little easier for cyclists to access the beachfront path at Dockweiler State Beach in Playa del Rey or for path users to take an alternate route.
For years, bike riders traveling the Marvin Braude Bike Trail through Dockweiler have sought to find a different path on a nearby service road as the beach trail becomes windy and goes through a crowded area. Many cyclists coming from Vista del Mar or Imperial Highway have also been looking for a direct route to get onto the Braude trail, which covers 22 miles between Will Rogers State Beach and Redondo Beach.
In both cases, county officials note that cyclists have cut through the beachfront RV park to access the beach bike trail or the service road, creating concerns of safety and possible conflicts with the RV campers’ use of the facility.
“It’s a popular shortcut where they just cut right through the RV park to the bike path, and it’s not safe for anyone,” said Carol Baker, county Department of Beaches and Harbors spokeswoman, adding that staff have witnessed cut-throughs occurring. “It’s very clear that they’re using the RV park as a way to cut across to the bike path and that’s not the kind of situation we want.”
County public works officials said some instances have occurred where bicyclists ride around the vehicle gate arms that block the RV park entrance, and on occasion been struck by motorists or damaged the gate arm after it closes. They say the presence of bike riders in the lot can be an inconvenience for RV users who do not expect cyclists to speed through the area.
In an effort to resolve the problem, the county Department of Public Works is proposing to construct a 385-foot-long, 12-foot-wide bike path connection between the Marvin Braude trail and the county service road along Marine Avenue.
The county Board of Supervisors voted Sept. 3 to approve a grant application for up to $300,000 to fund the connector project. Kerjon Lee, a spokesman for county Public Works, said the department would have three years to complete the estimated $150,000 project if and when the grant funding is received.
Baker said Beaches and Harbors agrees that a beach path connection between the service road is needed and is pleased that Public Works is pursuing the project. “It should solve the problem (of cyclists riding through the RV lot),” she said.
Public Works officials believe the new trail linkage will improve the situation by allowing bicyclists to access the beach path while bypassing the RV lot and restroom area and minimizing the potential conflict between cyclists, pedestrians and motorists.
The project will include the installation of wayfinding and signage.