Allan Rosen is a Manhattan Beach resident. He has written several editorials for Sheepshead Bites regarding mass transit issues.
July 4 seemed to break all records in terms of traffic along Oriental Boulevard in Manhattan Beach. In the 33 years I have been living here, this is the first time I recall the line for the Manhattan Beach Parking Lot extending past the Westbrook along Oriental Boulevard. The wait must have exceeded one hour. But that wasn’t the worst of it.
Until the zebra stripes were put in, traffic used to line up along the curb, allowing two lanes for moving traffic. Since the zebra stripes, cars no longer line up along the curb but block the zebra stripes and the bicycle lane as well as the parking lane. The result was that traffic also was backed up to West End Avenue, because one lane for moving traffic was insufficient. Buses were delayed for about 15 or 20 minutes as they trudged along toward the last stop at Mackenzie Street. This delayed service all the way to Bay Ridge and Bedford Stuyvesant and was totally unnecessary.
The police were trying to guide traffic but were mostly ineffectual. Several years ago they blocked off the malls forcing cars leaving from the deadend blocks into the traffic making it even worse. They did not make the same mistake this time. What they should have done was to arrive early and instruct cars to line up along the curb. The zebra stripes could then have been used as a bus only lane or an extra lane of traffic for this day only. Let’s just hope that Labor Day is not just as hot as Memorial Day and July 4.