The parking malls on E. Park Ave between Long Beach Blvd & Monroe Blvd are currently under a much needed renovation. This project combined two parking malls into one and so far everything looks great: The bricks are nice, brand new curbs are a welcome change and hopefully the flooding problem has been fixed. Add some nice landscaping and lamp posts and we’re all set. Oh.. there is one tiny thing missing though…… I WANT THE OLD PARKING MALLS BACK!
A Long Beach resident who wants to go by the name of “East End Resident tired of having the West End catered to” explains it all:
“The new parking lot has installed curbs and you will now have a different traffic pattern that will affect the ability to easily access businesses like the Coffee Nut and Country Boy.
You will have to drive two extra blocks if approaching from the East as you cannot make a U-turn or left at the Long Beach Blvd intersection. People will either turn south on Monroe Blvd and use Olive Street as a racetrack then come around the corner to park for the businesses or drive the two blocks and pass several other options for coffee and breakfast (bagel shop…)”
As an East End resident I couldn’t agree more. I come from east of Monroe Blvd to shop at those stores and used the old U-TURN street very often.
The first illustration below shows you the old parking mall configuration. There were two separate malls separated by a road that allowed those coming from the East to go back East after shopping. Because you aren’t allowed to make a left turn at Long Beach Blvd, that parking mall road was used a lot.
The new curb cut configuration (illustrated in the image below) no longer has that road.
As illustrated in the image below, we now have to either:
- (In BLUE) Continue east and make a u-turn on Riverside Blvd, or
- (In GREEN) Cut down Monroe Blvd to E. Olive Street and come back up on Long Beach Blvd.
Call me crazy, but if I were a city planner I would try to get cars to NOT drive in residential areas. This new configuration actually promotes it. Now I don’t know the history of Long Beach Parking Mall Design and I’m not a betting man, but I would bet money that the old mall configuration was that way just for that reason – less cars in the residential streets. Alas… it’s too late to do anything now.
Compare the OLD WAY (image below) with the NEW WAY (image above). That says it all.