CAR WARS: The West End Parking Study from August 27th, 2008 [Strikes Back]

The next episode of Car Wars…..

In Mary Ellen’s article on West End parking, there was a link to the parking study in question, which was overlooked by most (including myself). With that, I decided to give the parking study its own post.

For your convenience, I extracted all the text from the PDF and pasted it below. The whole idea is this: We had this parking study made, why aren’t we even using it? Please read the entire study before you comment here or at the original Car Wars post. I guess, if you are too lazy to read the entire study, at least skip to the end and read the summery.


By Level G Associates


Phase One – West End

August 27, 2008



Purpose of Study

“To develop new parking management strategies designed to improve the Long Beach parking experience by changing current parking patterns that often leave residents, shoppers, visitors, and workplace employees with limited or undesirable parking alternatives”

Phase One – West End

Key Issues

  • Successful commercial corridor pits businesses, beach goers, and residents against each other in a battle for parking spaces
  • Parking demand exceeds supply
  • Residents are unable to find parking near their homes
  • Motorists searching for parking circle the streets creating unnecessary traffic volume [estimated to reach 40% at peak (15-100K-47K-700)]

Four Point Strategy

  1. Increase the parking supply
  2. Enhance and encourage off site parking/ Shuttle bus use
  3. Promote and facilitate expanded bicycle use
  4. Change parking regulations


1. Increase Parking Supply

  • Build new parking lots (Connecticut = 30; Bank of America = 19)
  • Re-configure existing lots (Vermont +8)
  • Seek leasing or “shared parking” opportunities with private landowners (i.e.,Temple = 22 spaces)
  • Increase on street supply via bus stop – fire hydrant coordination (+5)


2. Off-Site Parking / Shuttle Service

  • Loop from Rail Station to Nevada Avenue turnaround and back – 4.2 miles
  • 5AM to Midnight = 44 loops (avg.2.3 per hour)
  • Parking is available at Rail Station during West End Parking Peaks (evenings + weekends)
  • Marketing Campaign/WestEnd “Shuttle”
  • “Park without stress….use the West End Express”
  • Encourage off-site Employee Parking

3. Promote Bicycle Use

  • The lack of secure bicycle parking keeps many people from using their bikes for basic transportation
  • Create bicycle parking areas where possible
  • Consider a “Bicycle Parking Ordinance” that would require off-street bicycle parking spaces for all new developments, expansions, or change of use applications.

4. Change Parking Regulations

  • Establish Residential Parking Zones (RPZs) – Effective strategy to combat the problem of residents not being able to find a parking space near their home
  • Establish fee-based general parking along Beech Street – Discourages long term parking in spaces intended for shoppers, visitors, restaurant / bar patrons – Allows capture of visitor capital to offset cost of additional services required – Helps finance improvements / beautification / parking expansion in the district

RPZ’s (Residential Parking Zones)

  • West End Residential Streets – Assuming cars park in front of their own driveways the ratio of on-street parking spaces to houses is just over 1.5 to 1
  • Add beachgoers, visitors, and spillover parking from Beech Street and the low ratio is stressed further. – reducing the number of cars searching for parking in residential areas – reducing the number of bar / restaurant patrons walking through residential areas
  • Limits to be determined (East to Lindell Blvd?)

Recommended Phase One RPZ Permit Distribution

  • Up to 2 per legal household (free or modest fee). Two Family homes get 4. Requires copy of tax bill and vehicle registration (vehicles must be registered to an address in the RPZ)
  • 1 per legal apartment. Requires copy of lease, gas or electric bill, and vehicle registration
  • Special situations will be considered on a case by case basis
  • After careful observation of parking utilization in the RPZ, additional permits may be made available

Fee-Based Parking. Who’s Charging?

  • 25¢ per hour  – Huntington, Lynbrook, Westbury, New Hyde Park, Hempstead, Manhasset, Port Washington, Floral Park, Great Neck
  • 50¢ per hour – Rockville Centre, Mineola, Roslyn, Port Jefferson
  • “The High Cost of Free Parking” (Shoup, 2005)

Fee Collection

  • New Generation multi space meters (recommended)
  • Vandal resistant, multiple payment options, better internal controls, measurement, aesthetics, easier collection
  • Traditional single space meters are not recommended: aesthetics; maintenance; labor intensive collections

Multi-Space Meters – How They Work

  • Pay & Display – spaces are not numbered; – customer parks car and proceeds to a nearby pay station; – customer purchases desired amount of parking time; – customer takes receipt and displays receipt on car dashboard as proof of payment – Very similar to NYC (muni-meters)

Pros & Cons

  • Pros – easy to enforce  – customers can move car to a new location if receipt still has available time – maximizes parking supply – reduced cash handling – multiple payment options
  • Cons – learning curve – queuing at machines

Preliminary Operating Program

  • 50¢ per hour / 25¢ in off-season • 3 hour limit
  • In effect from 10AM to 10PM; 7 days / week (summer); 6 days /week (off-season)
  • Beech Street from Nevada to May Walk (no side streets)
  • Total metered parking = 340; on-street = 230; off-street = 110.


  • Required to insure compliance with new regulations
  • Minimum 3 PEOs required to cover West End
  • Need to enforce meters, extended time / meter feeding (via chalking), and RPZs
  • Recommend bicycle patrols – weather permitting
  • Equipment – hand held computers
  • PEOs as district “ambassadors” – hand helds can print out directions; coupons; warnings

Summary – Program Benefits

  1. Residential Parking Zones (RPZs) will create reserved parking areas intended to enable West End residents to park near their homes.
  2. The new program will introduce a total of 35 additional usable parking spaces into the area.
  3. A renewed shuttle service will offer a stress free parking alternative for West End visitors and employees.
  4. Expanded bicycle parking areas will increase bicycle trip rates.
  5. Paid parking along the Beech Street corridor will improve parking space turnover – opening spaces at a greater rate.
  6. Additional revenue can be used to finance improvements, beautification, and parking expansion in the West End. Also allows capture of visitor capital…..reduces taxpayer subsidy of “free parking”
  7. The volume of traffic circling for open parking spaces will be reduced, thus improving safety and reducing energy consumption.

Please read the terms of service before you comment.


8 thoughts on “CAR WARS: The West End Parking Study from August 27th, 2008 [Strikes Back]”

  1. IN the 1950’s Long Beach political “Boss” Phil Kohut (his term) took a $23,500 bribe from the Duncan Parking Meter Company and the City of LB purchased 1,500 meters which were mostly in the central business district and on Broadway.,4784968

    This caused LB residents to flee shopping in LB and shopping in Island Park, Oceanside, Merrick and Roosevelt Field which had no meters, which led to the center of town turning into a ghost town of closed stores.

    George Wilhelm Fredrich Hegel said: “We learn from history that we do not learn from history”. Let’s not learn this the hard way.,4784968

  2. I think they should utilize this parking study and I would just add one more thing. Maybe painting lines for parking spaces could stop people for either ignorantly or purposely blocking two spaces. This would be for Beech St as well as all of the state streets.

  3. You make a good point about painting the lines for parking spaces. In Key West, Florida the city marks parking spaces and identifies them as Resident or Nonresident. The guy who presented the study said if you paint lines you may lose space because the standard size is 20 feet long and compact cars are much shorter.

  4. I believe some parts of the study have been implemented. There has been an effort to unify bus stops with fire hydrants. Most of the other provisions require enforcement, something that is sorely lacking in LB. The parking fee kiosks in NYC work because they have very aggressive enforcement. The study proposes 3 full time Parking Enforcement persons to patrol the West End only. Theoretically they would be paid for by parking fees. I can’t see that working mathematically. We know the police department will never put 3 patrolmen on the street.

    The one part of the survey that I believe should be promoted heavily is utilizing the parking structure at the railroad for non-resident parking for the whole city. With a rather small investment, parking could be relieved for all residents, not just the West End. In my mind, I see each household being entitled to 2 resident stickers. Families who have 3 or more cars would be able to get additional stickers if they can prove all the cars are registered at that address. This would go a ways to alleviating the problems posed by group houses. In my mind, this would only affect residential streets, metered parking with enforcement would take care of commercial areas. Is it feasible? Not unless there is enforcement.

  5. Chrispeck. I agree completely. And you’re right the bus stops have been placed near fire hydrants to increase space on Beech Street and some of the owners of private lots have agreed to make them available to residents after hours.

    I think the RPZ aspect of this study should be TRIED for the summer of 2013. I see this necessary only for the summer season and with enforcement handled by the summer specials using handheld devices (as shown on the study). I also like the idea of the PEOs (parking enforcement officers) as district “ambassadors” – hand helds can print out directions; coupons; surf and swimming warnings etc..

    Assign two FREE stickers per family with additional stickers available for a fee and if proof of residency can be produced. This would reduce group houses and illegal apartments, reduce the number of cars searching for parking in residential areas and the number of bar / restaurant patrons walking through residential streets looking for their cars. Drivers looking for spots are distracted, will speed to get to an available space causing safety concerns.

    At the same time, the study endorses the use of a shuttle service (free, or very low cost, perhaps subsidized by the Chamber of Commerce?) from the train station as well as more secure bicycle parking areas (bike racks). Experimentally, one or more of the resident only parking lots on Beech street could be open to business patrons, keeping patrons on Beech Street and resident cars on side streets

    At the end of the summer, review the results. Then consider opening another Beech Street lot and the use of the muni-meters for sorely needed revenue for capital improvements (sidewalk repair and cleaning, new trash receptacles, beach entrance upgrades etc.) Feasible, with enforcement? Absolutely. And a first step in addressing several worsening quality of life issues.

  6. Enforcement can be ramped up, just direct the smurfs to watch parking instead of walking up and down the beach harassing locals drinking a beer. I’ll never understand why they blitz the west end beaches when there is far more to monitor and harass by riverside to national.

  7. The current bus schedule from West End is not co ordinated with train arrivals and departures during non peak hours causing passengers to either take taxis, endure long waits or drive to the station.
    No good reasons exist for this anomaly except that TILB.
    Nothing will be done regarding the bus schedule or the parking situation. NOTHING.
    Understand folks? NADA. NIL.

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