On May 15, DLBA staff collaborated with Studio One Eleven and the City of Long Beach Public Works Department on a one-day parklet installation designed to illustrate how public spaces may be utilized to safely facilitate the re-opening of the Long Beach economy. The installation included curbside pickup, parklet seating, and sidewalk decals to distinguish restaurant pickup queues – all incorporating physical distancing protocols. The demonstration took place on the 400 block of Pine Avenue, in front of The Pie Bar and Romeo Chocolates, and garnered support from local businesses and residents as well as media coverage.
Since then, the Long Beach City Council has directed city staff to create an open streets plan that would facilitate similar concepts – closing streets or portions of streets to vehicular traffic to facilitate curbside pickup and distanced sidewalk dining and socialization. During a presentation to the Council, City staff used the Pine Avenue parklet demonstration as an example of how such a concept could be executed. The City’s plan is temporary and expires in September, at which time a possible extension will be evaluated.
“Temporarily repurposing public space in a few, strategic areas to support responsible, distanced socialization and patronage of our local businesses is a creative solution to support the local economy – and it’s exciting to see our local policymakers embrace it,” Placemaking Manager Mariah Hoffman said.