Have you heard the news? Parking is a problem in Long Beach. Can you believe it?
No, this isn’t going to be another one of those “PARKING SUCKS AROUND HERE” articles hoping to generate some angry comments. Instead, it’s a “LET’S GET RID OF OPEN SPACE IN THE NAME OF PARKING” article – hoping to generate some angry comments…
Actually, getting rid of open space goes against everything I believe in. I don’t want to turn Long Beach into a giant parking lot. But, still.. we have all these grass medians around town (see picture above). Is it worth sacrificing what little grassy space we have left for more parking- an issue that the majority of you complain about?
Before we get to that, how many of these grass medians are there and just how many potential parking spots are we talking about? I’m just going to concentrate on all the ones south of Park Avenue, between Grand Blvd to Roosevelt Blvd.
On the maps below, GREEN represents all the grassy medians that could potentially be turned into a parking lots. While there are more of them around town, some are just too narrow to supply parking on both sides of the street.
(click on enlarge)
(I counted how many cars fit around a few of these existing medians and took the average. The actual numbers may vary.)
Each of these 46 (example: top image on the right) currently parellel park an average 24 cars (12 per side). As of now, these grass medians park a total of around 1104 cars (24 cars x 46 medians = 1104 total cars).
Each parking lot (example: bottom image on the right) can hold an average 40 cars. 40 cars x 46 medians = 1840, which means these new parking lots could potentially park 736 more cars than what we have now (1840 – 1104 = 736).
736 more cars would be able to park in Long Beach if we convert all these GREEN medians in PARKING lots.
Why would we do this? Well, for one thing, it would definitely ease the parking situation. Existing trees would be replaced with tree lined parking, so that’s not a real issue. And these grassy medians aren’t parks; I barely see kids playing on them and they shouldn’t because they’re dangerous. Also, think of all the tax dollars that would be saved – between the mowing, gas and labor costs. More parking would be a boom to all the local businesses parking; making Long Beach a more inviting place to visit.
I originally was going to call this article GREEN SPACE vs. PARKING, but these medians are hardly green. Any true environmentalist will tell you that grass does nothing, but suck up water. In fact, there is a movement called The Front Yard Garden where people are eliminating their grass altogether. Besides, think of all the fossil fuels that are being burned with all the weekly mowing! If these medians housed native plants or were community gardens, then it would be a different story, I wouldn’t even be writing this article. But as of right now, I would hardly call the majority of these medians GREEN.
Am I advocating that we do this? No. Even though it makes sense, I don’t want to see Long Beach turned into a giant parking lot. I like the open breathable space these medians offer. They remind me that I’m still living in a peaceful neighborhood that isn’t 100% developed.
So what do you guys think? Open Space or Parking?