Nasty letters, slashed tires, death threats. Is parking really this insane in the West End?

The following is from a concerned resident who would like some action to be taken regarding parking in the West End:

“Hello, I have been living in the West End of Long Beach for 15 years and never before has the parking been so atrocious. After Sandy, they have been building single family houses and two family houses which each have one spot but anywhere from one to what I have seen, five to six cars in some houses. Now with each establishment selling day passes to the beach, the excess amount of cars on the street from all the new houses, and the number or people driving to the bars every weekend, parking is worse then it has ever been. Over the years, the parking has been getting gradually worse, but as of last year it has dramatically decreased with the residents appearing to get more agitated with the complete lack of parking or the apparent disregard Long Beach has with the parking situation. Why does Long Beach City council refuse to address this issue?

Is there a way to post something on the blog regarding this matter? My tires have been slashed, and i have received multiple death threats and nasty letters when forced to park in front of other houses or on neighboring blocks.

 

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38 thoughts on “Nasty letters, slashed tires, death threats. Is parking really this insane in the West End?”

  1. I dont Think this is just a west end problem. Get home to the east end at 9pm and youre parking 2 or 3 blocks north of your home on shore or broadway any time of the year. Go anywhere on a weekend in the summer and youre going to be parking on an east west street that is a block or two south of park.

  2. Hi, at the last few City Council meetings several residents and business owners have also complained about parking. I stated to the Council that the problem has been around too long, and while the group developing the Comprehensive Plan will make parking recommendations, it probably won’t be enough..

    At that same meeting I referred to various cities that successfully solved their parking problems with various solutions, including Residential Parking permits, enforcement of existing rules, new construction, use of school yards, striping etc.

    I mentioned that the City Council needs a comprehensive parking strategy and implementation plan before yearend, and that this is an important political issue. (The Republican candidates should likewise put forward a plan.) And citizens need to complain anew to the a City Manager and Council.

    In two weeks I will send a detailed recommendation to the City Council, based on recommendations from the Chamber, civic groups, this blog, and solutions that were successful in other cities.

  3. Got tires slashed and death threats just for parking legally on a public street in front of somebody’s house? Did you leave your car there for a month or something?

  4. With the new FEMA height regulations that were enacted prior to Sandy, the new regulations called for not living in the first 9 feet height, of a new residence. At the time of the implementation of those new FEMA regulations, it was thought that one benefit would be in the Westend, where new construction would have first floor, “2 car garages,” even in locations were there appeared to be just one garage door, you could still fit in two cars. After, Sandy new construction increased substantially in the Westend ,and those 2 car garages are being built, which over time, should improve parking in the Westend.

  5. It’s a struggle living anywhere near the allegria hotel. Aside from them having a pickup truck that circles the block with valets jumping out and throwing their bodies in any open spot then radioing over telling them they have an open spot. A valet jumps in a car, usually speeding the wrong way down a one way street or making that illegal u-turn for the 100th time that day. Screaming at the top of their lungs “YO HOLD THAT SPOT!” Horns blaring at all hours of the night…Setting off car alarms because half of them look about 16 years old and can’t start a car correctly. This week our bathroom on National was finished being built..that area of parking spots has been closed off while they built it. Allegria decided that the area was now theirs. They put up cones and signs and use public parking as their own little valet service. The owner pays his taxes when he feels like it and basically gets to do whatever he wants in the process. He isn’t paying taxes but he sure as shit is paying someone….cops just drive by the madness and illegally parked cars on a daily basis. 20-30 cars illegally parked in the middle of the intersection at national and Broadway and nothing…just cruising on by. How is this beach life? It was more peaceful when I lived in the middle of the city.

  6. The parking issue has been a problem according to a Council member since the 60’s. I’ll have to disagree as the West End resident population decreased significantly in Winter months. When the West End became full year residents we came with our cars. Then 2 cars plus 1 with a car for the young adults at home.

    Parking in the West End post Sandy is chaotic, stressful and is only going to get worse. I applaud Ed’s diligence in his many activities to improve my little neck of the City. Unfortunately, without true commitment from Administration and enforcement nothing will happen.

    Residents bring up parking at almost every meeting. Mute members and no planning. Unless I missed a memo. Comprehensive plan?

    Sorry Allison, not everyone can utilize public transportation for work and school but I agree we can all use it if we’re traveling within the City or ride a bike.

    I’m sorry your tires were slashed. It’s incomprehensible how people behave. If I had a spot I’d share. 🙂

  7. Ed glad to see a proposal being put together. I lived in Boston and residential parking permits help immensely. Should be numbered and limit to how many issued per household. We did need to pay a small annual fee and renew – in the 90s was about $25 a year.
    You could get 3 day guest passes for up to 2 vehicles for a fee also (Jersey City does this too)

    I live in Westholme and parking here is all taken on weekends also, if I go out Sat 8-5 I won’t have a space when I return.
    Many out of towners ask me if they are allowed to park on our street and our very (happily) surprised when I say yes. I know they pay fees for the beach, but it isn’t enough. Especially with the garbage left behind by many, the medians and streets are full of trash every weekend.
    I don’t necessarily want a public garbage can in front of my house, so I don’t know what the solution is for that.
    However – if only residents and their guests were to be able to park here, that may change.

    We pay for a trolley that runs virtually empty – let visitors park at the train, possibly other public lots (school yards, good idea – possibly some churches and temples that don’t pay taxes – would find it charitable to offer there lots after services) along trolley route – and put that thing to use.
    Put up signs of businesses on Park and in West End selling day passes – note they are needed, make clear trolley schedule.
    Having visitors Park near train or West End also helps bring more customers to Park Ave. I get the sense that people who come to the beach for the day and park in my neighborhood don’t spend any money locally (or at small independent businesses) other than beach pass. Most of the garbage left behind is from fast food chains.

    (I can’t comment on East End as I’ve only lived in West and Westholme)

  8. Wanda, your experience with Residential Parking permits is similar to what other cities have confirmed. There needs to be a parallel effort for visitors, including LIRR and school lots, as well as other solutions.

    We need to create the political incentive to make this happen. Tell the City Council and the Republican candidates that this is a voting issue. This must be the year for a solution to be planned and implementation started.

  9. It seems some of the complainefs here live in apartments and didn’t purchase a parking spot. U fortunately when the city allowed the wholesale construction of apartment buildings in the early 1960’s they had a ridiculous car per apartment formula in order to appease the devlopers so they could oversize the buildings. Its ironic that some of the tenants are now complaining. The west end still has some remants of W.T. living in the bungalow communities who act the way they dress. The good news is that gentrification is changing that scene and eventually they will be gone . If you know of an illegal 2 /3family house report it to the authorities.

  10. I was under the impression that it was getting better in the west end with all those additional parking spaces under the new and raised houses. In some locations there are multiple under house parking spaces, where none existed before, or the garages were undersized and sometimes used for illegal apartments.

  11. They have driveways now, so even if they park their own car under their house – the spot on the street is lost to their driveway. And most residents, even with a driveway, park on the street when they can to secure a spot – otherwise they can’t have visitors to their homes, because there is no place for them to park. You will never have resident only parking in the west end, because the bar patrons would have nowhere to park. And landlords who rent and bring in tenants who, with their “party” friends, have 4+ cars, won’t have anywhere to park either. So it will never happen. Really, all of long beach should have resident only street parking – visitors would be able to buy a seasonal street parking pass for the summer, for $100. Otherwise come by bus or train. But again, that will never happen in LB, so its a pointless discussion. The City exists first to serve the needs of politically connected business interests and what they want – tourists, real estate dealings, patrons for their bars and restaurants, etc. What the residents need, cannot conflict with those priorities. And frankly, most residents seem OK with that.

  12. Is this a realistic solution? Am I reading this correctly? Go through hoops A,B,C? If you OWN a home, in Long beach, you should not have to park A block, not 1. If you continue to do so…I live in Texas now, come to the red state. Parking and freedom for MILES!

  13. @samsung – wtf are you talking about? The apartment buildings in the west end do not have a space per apartment. Google gentrification. It can’t happen in LB.

  14. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN??? When Lenny’s restaurant was in operation on West Beach ST and Minnesota they had two parking lots. One large lot abutting the restaurant on the north side of and a smaller one across Beach Street. They had car hops handling all of the cars.

    When the same property became Minnesotas The large lot was closed to parking and turned into outdoor dining dancing, and the lot across the street was used for parking for Laguna.

    This scam took around 25 parking spaces out of circulation. Was this done legally? Illegally? Was bribery involved.

    I would love to see someone in City Hall explain this.

  15. Samsung: You are on the right track but the ratio was more like 1 parking space to 2 apartments. My building had only half the apartments with parking spaces, half on shore Road. One per apartment came when the Seapointe Building went up on Lincoln. Part of this is due to the City of LB allowing parking space surveys be taken in mid week day’s in February or March. When an honest survey would be taken on July 4 weekend. This is in exchange for ____ from developers You will have to fill in the blanks.

  16. We’re having the same issue in central Long Beach on West Broadway. We had to park a block over when we got home one Friday night. We don’t use our car very much at all and when we went to get into it 5 days later there were pink tickets on it saying it had been there too long and would be towed if it wasn’t moved within the time they checked off. As per the LBPD you can leave a car in a spot for 2 weeks legally. Residents here seem to be starting a campaign of bullying and harassment as we had this happen 3 times – car left 9 days, 5 days and 4 days per space. We had someone somehow get our name and address and stick a card in our mailbox telling us to move our car – they didn’t sign their name. Another person came screaming out of their house saying this isn’t our personal parking lot (ironically trying to make their own personal lot) and a landlord who said we were in his tenant’s spot and she was upset. She had called her friend who happened to show up with a tow truck and told us that next he’d just move the car to another spot on the block. As fate would have it the battery needed a jump so they showed their kindness there. So can’t we all stay neighborly with each other, remember we share this city and these public streets. As long as we’re obeying the law nobody should be bullied or badgered. We’re totally up for residential parking permits!!

  17. Based on what I am reading, I guess the parking is still tough. However, taking two 16 foot long cars off the street, more than makes up for a 20 foot wide apron, considering the lots are only 30 feet wide.

    For the record, I have no intention of sharing my Cool Aid with you or anyone else. They are running a sale of Cool Aid on tap tomorrow at the Gentle Brew and later on, at Brixx and Barley. Tell them I sent you, and don’t forget to tip the waitress.

  18. The west end is getting better. The new elevated/renovated homes being built actually cast a critical eye on the overcrowding problem. Since the new homes have their own exclusive parking spots now, the other illegal rentals/ illegal 2 family bungalow homes are feeling the pinch. The trend will be a richer west end since homes are built right on the dune fronts or on the bayfronts. A number of lots are being combined to make a larger property. Its amazing how prosperity rises from the ashes of destruction.
    Of course the overdevelopment was caused by corrupt city employees sticking out their hands in the wrong places. The trend also continues today as evidenced by all the people indicted or under investigation. Today, drug abuse creates the motivation for corruption whereas in the old days pure greed was the main factor. There are many white lines connected through out this city from west to east and sea to channel.

  19. I am not sure how LBPD enforces that – I park a car in the street in the exact same spot all the time, depending on what time of day you checked it, it would appear to “not have moved” for years.

  20. Drive around the west end. I’ll give you one specific spot to go – Pennsylvania Avenue, bay side, west side of the street, a few houses south of West Park. I think there are 4 raised homes side by side, with the “extra long” aprons Jay describes all adjacent to each other. As a result – there is a 100+ foot stretch that is a “no parking” zone now. But in reality what happens is – the owners of those homes control who can park in those spots, they have now private street parking across a 100+ foot run in addition to the spots under their houses.

  21. Assuming they did check it – I think they would mark the tire or something. If it was in a different location (the mark) they would know:

    But I don’t think this is something they’d check – someone would probably have to complain.

    Although, I do think I got a warning or something once. Because I did leave town for a few weeks.

  22. @Sam @Richard I don’t think extra long aprons – I’m assuming you mean sloped curbs – means it’s a drive way. You have to be able to pull a car in, in order to claim that.

  23. What has to happen on the wide blocks in the west end – the parking has to move to the center of the street. Put a narrow divider in to separate north/south traffic, and shift the parking to be along that median. No parking/standing/stopping along the curbsides where the new mega-driveway aprons are. All parking in the middle, all spots now available to everyone, no “exclusive driveway” spots available to just the owners of the raised homes. No more issues with people taking parking spots that block people’s driveways. The travel lanes would be more narrow with this, but so what.

  24. Ed I think you missed it the Republicans have been releasing all kinds of positions an plans for the past three months. You may want to look into that. They had a comprehensive parking press release and the city even started using some of their suggestions.

  25. Indeed, you will have to put some proper traffic control device on the “end caps” to guide the people turning into these now two-way divided wide streets. What can you do. As you noted, on the narrow west end streets – you are locked in – and the raised houses with the mega-driveways on those narrow streets, if they are built on the parking curbside, will (are) going to wipe out parking on those blocks in the west end. I am surprised more residents there don’t see this trend – slowly but surely, as bungalows with no driveways are rebuilt into raised houses with driveways, open street parking is going to be less and less accessible – the trend is clear, how can anyone say “it’s getting better”? Hell, its getting worse as time goes on.

  26. SMH, thanks for the link. The proposal from the Republican candidates is a good starting point. We plan to consider more ideas than listed and then will ask both the Republican candidates and Democrat incumbents to commit to action. We need to demand change, and accept nothing less.

  27. Just read that center divider suggestion. That could never work, the streets are not wide enough. Imagine trying to drive around looking for parking, and now you can’t make a 3 point turn except at the end of the block, creating a huge traffic jam there.

    I live in the west end, and I rarely have trouble finding a parking spot on my block. Additionally, I get home from work no earlier than 7:30pm, even on fridays. I also leave in my car to visit family or play golf on weekends and return in the afternoon. The times when I can’t find a spot on my block, I park a block or two away, and I don’t consider this to be a great tragedy. Let’s let the city worry about decreasing the shootings, and cleaning up the garbage. If they haven’t figured that stuff out yet, I don’t know why people on here have any faith that they will come up with some magic solution so that everyone can park less than 5 paces away from their own front door.

    Oh, but I do agree that the Allegria valet situation is ridiculous and should be stopped.

  28. Glad you posted that, I had not seen it before. I linked it to Long Beach Streets and made some comments on it.

    Like Ed said, it’s a good start.

    But

    I have a big issue with this statement: “These ideas are geared to be economically feasible, self-funded or low-cost, as to not burden the tax payer”

    I think the candidates like most people are oblivious to the economics of parking. Parking is already burdening the tax payer.

  29. What do you mean by how? Do you think that parking spaces magically appear from the parking fairy? That the price isn’t absorbed into taxes, costs of goods, rents, etc?

    Dude. It’s space. That shit ain’t free. Throw pavement on it and clean it- that shit ain’t free either.

  30. @allison – thanks for not answering the question. I guess when a person has so much knowledge of parking economics it’s hard to give it in a way that is coherent and not sarcastic.

  31. @WET, gentrification is the renewal of a run down area through the investment of those who are more wealthy than the current demographic. Technically speaking it can happen anywhere, why can’t it happen in the West End?

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