On Saturday, May 20, Downtown Long Beach is offering two spectacular events for those who self-propel: the ribbon-cutting ceremony and official opening of the Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle-Pedestrian Path, and the Downtown iteration of Beach Streets, in which key Downtown traffic arteries Pine Avenue and Broadway will be closed to motorized traffic and open for family fun, music, great food, and general recreation.
Opening of the Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle-Pedestrian Path
That morning, when cyclists and pedestrians climb the brand new Long Beach International Gateway Bridge for the first time, they will experience fantastic views of the nation’s largest harbor complex. They will also be realizing the vision of one of Long Beach’s greatest cycling advocates, the late Mark Bixby, who, many years ago, spearheaded a movement to include a bike path on the state-of-the-art bridge that would replace the 50-year-old Gerald Desmond Bridge.
The path, which spans the entire length of the new bridge, will join with the newly built Ocean Boulevard Connector to enable pedal-powered folks to cross the Los Angeles River and bypass Downtown traffic routes in protected lanes so they can experience the magnificent new bridge to the fullest.
“We’re very pleased to open the new Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle-Pedestrian Path and Ocean Boulevard Connector to the walking and cycling public,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach. “These paths add great new opportunities for fun and recreation in Downtown Long Beach. They are also an ideal way to see your Port in action. I hope everyone will take the time to come out and safely enjoy these new facilities.”
The public is invited to the official opening ceremony for the paths, which will begin at 10 AM in the Long Beach Civic Center Plaza, 411 W. Ocean Blvd. The Plaza will be open at 9 AM with refreshments, information booths and fun family activities.
After the opening ceremony, festivities will continue on the new paths. Attendees can get there via shuttle or join a procession of cyclists who will depart the Civic Center Plaza and ride to the Ocean Boulevard Connector. Parking is available at the Civic Parking Garage at 332 W. Broadway.
To RSVP for the event, please click here.
Beach Streets Downtown
Your opening ceremony experience will dovetail perfectly into Beach Streets, the City’s Open Streets event which gets underway at 11 AM and continues until 5 PM. You can launch right into the Beach Streets circuit, which features several Hubs (including three hosted by DLBA) that are centers for entertainment, food, art, and more.
- Pine Avenue will be closed to motor traffic for your safety and enjoyment. Make sure to visit the Downtown Long Beach Alliance North Pine Hub, which will feature a Council District One kickoff at 11 AM, a music festival, and a beer garden hosted by Rosemallows.
- Broadway will be open exclusively to Beach Streets participants from Downtown all the way to Euclid Avenue and the Beach Streets Hub.
- Cherry Avenue from Broadway to 4th Street will be closed to motor traffic. Make sure to visit the Proud LB! Hub at Bixby Park while you’re in the area.
- 4th Street from Cherry to Junipero Avenue – Retro Row – is part of the Beach Streets motor traffic closure. Relax at the Retro Row Hub!
Also happening in Downtown during Beach Streets:
- A Kid’s Zone at Broadway and Linden in the East Village.
- A DLBA Hub on The Promenade featuring a family-friendly beer garden, DJs, and activities for kids.
- An eco fair, ECO-STREET, sponsored by DLBA, will be happening in the East Village on 1st Street between Elm and Linden.
Walking, bicycles, wheelchairs, skates, rollerblades, skateboards–basically anything without a motor–are all acceptable modes of transportation during Beach Streets. Officially marked means of transportation for those with disabilities are also welcome.
For info on what’s happening at the Hubs as well as important resident closure notifications, business participation, and volunteer opportunities, please click here.
Both of these events will enable you to experience your city’s streets in brand new ways. If you’re not on a bike, we encourage you to attend via a city bus or the Blue Line. Or, you can ride down after renting a bike at a Long Beach Bike Share station. Be there on May 20 for one or both events and thoroughly partake of your city without ever taking your car out of the garage.
We’re always on the lookout for Downtown businesses, events, community members and more to highlight in our Downtown Scene newsletter, on our website, and social media channels! If you have an event coming up or know of any Downtown-based amazingness going on that people need to know about, give us a shout by emailing our Communications & Marketing Manager, Asia Morris, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also submit an upcoming Downtown event to our events calendar at downtownlongbeach.org/events.