Neptune and Roosevelt Blvds Parking Mall Redesign Concept (One Man’s Vision)

A resident, who wishes to remain anonymous at this time, sent in his vision of what he’d like the Neptune and Roosevelt parking mall upgrade to look like (see- EAST END PARKING TO RECEIVE MASSIVE, MUCH NEEDED UPGRADE).

His concept, kindly named Sea By The City Plaza (boy, does that make me all giddy) is an interesting plan that brings the parking to the stores; so no more running across Park Avenue. Seating and a wider sidewalk are added to the mix as well.

The existing parking mall definitely needs an upgrade. I believe it’s owned by Nassau County, so they would have to be involved as well, but hey, Long Beach has too many straight roads, so this would be an interesting curve in what we have already. Check out his concept below and let us know what you think!

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Dear Seabythecity:

The city recently announced a new project for the renovation of the parking mall on park Ave between Neptune and Roosevelt Blvds.  I am wondering if a proposal or concept such as the one I am about to describe has ever been considered.  My proposal will, among other things, create the opportunity for a more vibrant area for both businesses and residents, while at the same time provide for the calming of traffic on Park Ave through that section of town, with the added benefit of eradicating the need for pedestrians to cross 3 lanes of traffic to patronize the local businesses.

I am completely unaware of what the cost implications for this proposal would be, but I feel that this idea should be examined for its feasibility, not only from a financial aspect but in a general overall manner as well.  I also believe that this plan could be modified and incorporated onto Park Ave between Monroe and Laurelton/Lafayette Blvds to create a truly dynamic and vibrant downtown in that area of town.  I think if this plan is truly analyzed now would be the time to do it before any further funds are expended on the renovations.

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As you can see in the image above my plan shifts the westbound travel lanes south into the location currently occupied by the parking area and shifts the parking area north into what is the current travel lanes.  I believe by eliminating the parking lane on the north side of Park Avenue that space could be utilized for a wider sidewalk plaza with seating areas, umbrellas, trees and perhaps outside dining areas for the businesses on that strip.  The area denoted by “A” in the picture would be the entrance slot to the parking, “B” would be a landscaped barrier prohibiting vehicular traffic from entering there and “C” would be some kind of barrier dividing east and west traffic.  Image #2 and #3 are cross sections of the roadway before and after the development of the “Plaza”.  Also included are 2 cross section views of the roadway (before & after).

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Of course as with all ideas there are pros and cons, I have listed some of the pros above, some of the cons I see are loss of green space the added turn in the road would cause due to the loss of underutilized green space in the middle of Park Ave, I think this loss would be greatly over compensated by the added use of the new Plaza.  Also there is a well/pump/sewer/lift station across from Key Food that would need to be relocated and I am unsure if that is even possible.  Also the city would need a traffic engineer to determine some way for left turns off of Park Ave to be safely completed.  I am thinking left hand turn lanes on Park Ave would make that safer.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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25 thoughts on “Neptune and Roosevelt Blvds Parking Mall Redesign Concept (One Man’s Vision)”

  1. Nice idea, great in fact, but this thinking out-of-the-box goes against the grain of the people in charge (government thinking), especially since they just announced the project. The costs would be negligible compared to the re-work of the medians. I don’t see any loss of greenery. The pumping station may present a little problem.

  2. This is an interesting way to deal with the fact that most traffic just wants to cut through the block, minimizing the amount of times the cutting through traffic needs to potentially intersect with parking/pedestrians, while moving the parking closer to where the pedestrian-née-driver is attempting to get, while reducing the amount of noise anyone sitting outside hears.

    (I sat outside the Bungalow once, never again … and it wasn’t the food that was the problem.)

  3. It’s awesome someone would go through the time of redesigning the street to great a safer space for pedestrians. You’ve put a design forward that doesn’t necessarily put vehicles first and that’s great.

    I would love to see you work with the street widths a bit and factor in space for cyclists and for bus stops (west bound needs to stop in far right lane) Perhaps 4 lanes for traffic instead of 6? Would a bus/ bike lane only work?
    Again, it’s great someone is sketching out ideas that rework public space. I like it!

  4. I think the two arguments against two lanes are (1) more lanes are necessary for emergency evacuations of town and (2) by narrowing 6-to-4 you end up reducing the capacity of Park Avenue for that entire segment. I’m not a civil engineer, I just pretend to be one on the internet, but now you’ve got a road with 6 lanes most of the time, but can only handle 4 lanes worth of traffic because of the bottleneck.

    I’ll try to find time this weekend to model the traffic flow with that bottleneck with traffic simulation software:

    http://sumo-sim.org

  5. wonderful plan-eliminates the hazard of cars stopping in front of speeding traffic while trying to get in and out of parking spots in front of the stores

  6. Send all traffic simulation results to me. i’ll post them!

    Also: For those who didn’t figure this out already, click on the images in the post for the larger image, so you can see the detail of that the author is talking about.

  7. I like the out of the box thinking. It occurred to me that by bringing the parking mall to the north side, you may give up parking spots that would presently exist to accommodate emergency vehicles.. Fire hydrants. That’s a real factor that doesn’t appear to have been included in the design. (In my Larry David impersonation) ” having said that, I think this idea is wonderful start to begin taking pedestrians, and cyclists’ safety more seriously. “

  8. I posted this idea here weeks ago. You can add mid block lights, but so long as you retain the current design where people park in the median, then have to cross the street to the stores, there will always be pedestrian accidents there.

  9. This is a great concept! I addition to all the obvious pluses, it would make double parking history! It also would create a place for delivery vehicles to clear the roadway. The bus stops shouldn’t be an issue. It is on the northeast corner of Roosevelt already and surely the stop at Neptune could be moved to the northwest corner.

  10. Reducing a six lane highway’s capacity 30% and introducing two tight and dangerous lane shifts is contrary to anything a highway engineer or the County, who owns and maintains the road would consider.

    But wouldn’t it be nice to have a plaza like that? Sort of like the Long Beach of the 1950’s.

    What a shame that the Democrats are rallying for 20-story development of the hospital site, Laurelton and Lincoln Boulevards We’ll need eight lanes when they are done.

  11. I believe that is this plan was adopted there appears to be enough space to create some kind of buffer (think concrete planters) between the angled parking and the new SBTC Plaza seating area. In fact this buffer could be multi purpose A) Safety, B) Aesthetic and C)Sound buffering.

  12. I love this idea!!! Thank you for posting. I hope this or something like this gets approved. Is it seriously being considered? Or is it just a beautiful dream ?

  13. Eddie, Park Ave is not a highway but otherwise everything you have said is completely right.
    No county or highway engineer who currently maintains our roads would ever consider reducing the “highway’s” capacity by removing a lane and/or tighten the existing 12-18′ lanes down to the standard 9-12′.

    And that’s the problem.

  14. The main problem I see is there’s only one way in and one way out of the proposed mall. How does one get into the mall if they’re travelling east? There’s no room for a turning lane at Roosevelt Blvd so, do you have to go to Pacific and make a U-turn? How many cars can fit in that little amount of space in the intersection separating east and westbound traffic before the eastbound left lane backs up with cars? Although we all know Park Ave isn’t a highway, we ALL know just how fast cars actually drive on it. That shift in the lanes is a recipe for disaster.

  15. Eddie – I live in Lafayette towers and saw some activity in the Laurelton Lot next door. Can you give us a heads up as to what is happening. If you are not comfortable with that, where might I find the info myself. Thanks.

  16. Part of the long beach master plan to become the Rockaways. These new high rises will be “section8 by the sea”. Why stop at one, look at the Rockaways. There is big money to be made, and landlords love government subsidized rentals.

  17. AFAIK?? What does that mean? Thats too bad that this can only be a dream because it really would enhance this strange area where people dart across the street to buy things. It really would encourage people to stay a while. 🙁 Is it a bit late or TOO late?

  18. It’s unfortunate that Long Beach’s original north-south business block was eliminated. This was Park Place, next to the train station. Dozens of shops used to line Park Place. As we all know, the present Park Avenue serves as both a shopping district as well as the major throughway connecting us with the villages east and west of us.

    This means traffic volume, due to the through traffic. Slow down the traffic and you do a disservice to those traveling through to get elsewhere. Speed up the through traffic and you create a danger for shoppers.

    Anyone seeing old Long Beach photos remember the tree lined mall that ran through the center of our business district. Park Avenue virtually ended at Maple Avenue and its brick roadway kept traffic moving slowly.

    If we ever elected anyone with visions other than immediate profits for special interests, we could develop a more slowly paced, pedestrian-friendly shopping district. I remember when Shore Road between Riverside and Long Beach Boulevard was lined with stores, and kids could still play ball in the middle of the street. Park Place, next to the train station was Long Beach’s original shopping street with stores stretching several blocks north of Park Avenue.

    How about looking at opening up a lesser-traveled thoroughfare to commercial development? It won’t happen tomorrow, but in the big picture, it may start a trend.

    Any trend that separates through traffic from neighborhood shopping would be a good one.

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