West End Parking Idea: Put parking in middle of wide streets at curb divider. Thoughts?

westendparkingThis would be for wide streets. Move all parking to center median. It would take the same amount of room.  Excuse my bad photoshop, but this interesting idea came from a reader named Sam in the comments, who wrote:

‘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.

What do you folks think for the wide blocks? It would bring more parking, right?

37 Replies to “West End Parking Idea: Put parking in middle of wide streets at curb divider. Thoughts?”

  1. Possibly the worst idea I’ve ever seen concerning parking. The blocks are not wide enough. Cars speeding (and they will) along side a narrow sidewalk will bring fatalities. I know people already open cars doors into traffic lanes but in this scenario there is no where to swerve except onto a sidewalk. It forces bicyclists onto the sidewalk too. What if the City were to issue parking permits (strictly enforced) to legal residents? Wouldn’t that solve the illegal rental problem and help alleviate the parking situation?

  2. What about the kids who play outside?

    Where would dumpsters go during construction?

    Would garbage trucks fit? Emergency vehicles?

    Where would garbage cans go? Like, would they be hit by driving cars?

    Double parking with hazards – people will still do this, and block up traffic.

    Im open to anything that creates more parking, but I just see some issues.

    Won’t this create busier streets?

  3. Drivers doors opening to the interior sure, but now you have to have all your children exit to the interior and then cross the street from between parked cars, you’d have to reach across for a baby seat or stand in traffic, etc. I see too many scary situations with this approach.
    As for the resident permits, if you have 5 legally residing residents (NYS drivers license has the actual Long Beach address), then you get 5 permits. I think you wouldn’t have to cap them at “x” arbitrarily, Isn’t there a legal number of unrelated people allowed to reside in a house in LB. A very simple database would prevent fraud.

  4. Maybe someone here can answer this question-I have not gotten a straight answer from the building department. What are the guidelines for making the driveway curb cut? Is the building department aware that homes in the west are creating a “driveway” across the entire length of their house? Why is this being allowed? I biked this morning past a house that had a driveway of at least 35 feet.

  5. In Long Beach, a 35-foot curb cut is now legal. In previous administrations, the widest permitted would have been 16-feet.

    The center parking is an interesting and creative idea. I only wonder if cars could effectively back out of their driveways.

    There was a time, of course when the wide streets did indeed have a center median. They were removed when 50% of the owners agreed on their removal.

    Resident only parking on the streets would be illegal. State and federal highway funds pay to maintain these streets, and banning certain vehicles from parking on them would require legislation from Albany which would probably be further challenged.

    Look for this problem to spread east as this administration continues to approve more projects like iStar with limited parking at the LBMC site and Lincoln Blvd.

    On a better note, it looks like the man responsible for most of this, Zapson has been booted out along with the majority of present City Council members. A State Appeals Court threw out all of their nomination petitions last week. So many there is some hope to correct overdevelopment and the taxing of business from town.

  6. Why not have only one line of psrked cars in the middle. Since each home has a driveway the center would have more spaces since there are no driveways. The highway dept. could paint lines in the middle for cars kids getting out of cars would be careful exiting the cars, we hope.

  7. This is a very bad idea ..
    1) – It pushes cars and trucks to drive much closer to the curb, when they are more likely to injure / kill children and pedestrians.
    ** I would like this idea modified, How about, not 2, but One Single single row of ” Diagonal ” lined parking spots in the middle/center of some of these blocks, IN Addition to the curbside parking? These Diagonal parking spots would allow easier and safer passenger exits from both sides of the parked cars, and would not push vehicles to drive as close to the curb as the original idea.
    More importantly it would actually ADD additional parking spots to the West end, and also not effect Dumpsters, Garbage ect …

  8. Unless the sloped curb leads into a driveway, I don’t think it gets the protection driveways do.

    In BK, I guess homes were converted into storefronts of homes were built where lots once stood. The curbs were sloped, but anyone could park in front of them.

  9. I’ve got it (maybe). How about a single row down the center of diagonally parked cars????. I’m picturing alternating groups or 8 or 10. As you turn off Beech and head North the first group of spots is actually facing diagonally South. This way, no one cruising for a spot stops up traffic on Beech (or Park as the case may be) waiting for someone to back out. Neither the driver, or the passengers are stepping out into traffic. Perhaps some aesthetically pleasing rail could be installed. A dumpster could be placed but only for very short periods and advance cordoning off of a few spots could by done the building department. If necessary, end of the block spots could be limited to compact classified cars (which might encourage West Enders a bit in purchasing smaller cars)

  10. The City owns a strip of land along the top of the beach in front of the first line of homes. It was reserved for extension of the boardwalk through the West End.

    Why not build the street there along the beach with diagonal parking?

    That should attract more day trippers and really piss off the greedy 2%’ers that own those million dollar homes on the beach. Then they can sit on they porch and watch Mexicans changing into their bathing suits. Sustainable Long Island will jump for joy as the prospect.

  11. Wait – if cars parked in the center instead of the streets – all your changing is where they’re parking. It just changes where cars park. This only adds a few spots at best since they’re already parked on both sides of the street. The best idea I’ve heard yet is painting lines for spaces – I think it’s the best just because of the limited amount of effort and $ it would take to try it.

  12. Sam’s suggestion has merit. Suggest that people refer to the guidelines issued by NACTO, the National Association of City Traffic Officials, which has established guidelines. Or, refer to guidelines issued by several cities (e.g. Chicago). They state that a parking lane should be 7′ wide and street lanes 10′ wide.

    That would suggest that 2 parking lanes (14′) and 2 travel lanes (20′) and a 2′ wide median would require 36′ of street width.

    Last week I measured one wide block (Delaware Ave) at 40′ wide. That would leave 4′ of additional space, beyond standard, to be used. One possibility: 1′ wider than standard for each parking lane and each road lane.

    And, add striping to maximize use of space, and then add Residential Parking Permits (for summer month weekends) and you have a very good potential solution. Admittedly these figures need to be confirmed on a block-to-block basis, and maybe a limited pilot test is needed to identify real issues/opportunities.

    Oh, Sandra B., there are Residential Parking laws in existence (e.g. Albany). That required legislation, but it is possible.

  13. Ed, I was hoping you’d chime in on this conversation, being that you are involved with a parking study in that area already. Block-by-block was the intention. Obviously this idea would not work on most blocks.

  14. The amount of time and $ LB spends on go nowhere studies is hilarious. How many parking studies/committees, whatever, have been done in the last ten years? Even if it’s one (it’s not) – it’s 100% more than what’s actually been done as a result of the study. Nothing. Nothing has been done. A line couldnt be painted. A permit couldn’t be made up. A lot wasnt paved. Nothing for a problem that’s fucked over residents for well over a decade.

    The garbage study we heard about in the beginning of the summer?

    The emergency and fire study?

    Hospital study?

    Nothing. Nothing happens.

  15. In America, you can’t “have building inspectors inspect every house in long beach for illegal apartments”. There’s such a thing as a warrant and probable cause.

  16. I just wish the Building Department would take a stroll down the West End blocks-one at a time. Maybe that way they could see the number of driveways that were illegally extended. They don’t seem to do anything unless someone calls.

  17. Anthony, if most wide blocks are 40′ wide the center median idea, with striping, would work. And, separate from this, the a Residential Parking permit works for residents as long as there is an accompanying solution for non-residents.

    There are many Residential Parking examples that provide guidance/choices for Long Beach. When I return from vacation I’ll fill in the blanks, including measurements for all wide blocks and data for narrow blocks too, as well as Beech St.

  18. Of course the blocks are wide enough – if they are wide enough now to support two way traffic with parking along both curbs, they are wide enough to move the cars to the center with a narrow divider. Why don’t we have a rash of cars jumping onto the sidewalks on the narrow west end streets? I am just telling you, the trend on these west end block is clear – more raised homes are going up, more driveways, less and less parking.

  19. It doesn’t just “add a few spots” – it adds back ALL the spots being lost to the driveways from the raised homes. Has anyone here ever driven down these streets in the west end recently? Drive down Pennsylvania on the bay side, on the west side of the street, there is a stretch of 4 raised homes – about 100 continuous feet of curb parking has been lost to them – that’s the future for all these streets, as bungalows are knocked down and raised homes put up – at some point, most of the open curb parking is going to be lost – granted to the exclusive use of the homeowners with those driveways.

    Actually, the single file diagonal parking idea might be a good compromise.

  20. Great idea, brings almost double the amount of spots since you can now park where people driveways shut out spots before. And the driving lanes should be just as wide as before, just shifted over and change places with where cars park now. maybe a little narrower to put a small buffer before the curb.

  21. IMHO Bad idea! Its great to say its a no stopping or standing zone but people don’t pay attention to the rules now and LBPD doesn’t enforce it. What about when the pizza delivery guy comes, the fedex truck, people dropping off or picking people or packages; all traffic stops while they block the road. Also then people wont be able to make left turns into driveways so now people are going up and down blocks twice imagine all the u-turns that are going to be taking place at the end of the blocks into bust Park and Beech with people rushing to get to that spot on the other side before some else does.

    Finally there may be room for a fire truck to drive down the lane but would they be able to make the turns into that lane? Once there would they would have room to operate? A ladder truck could not extend its outriggers in what Ed’s measurements suggest would be 10 or 11 feet.

    I appreciate the novel approach and if you go to Atlantic beach they have a similar parking approach on the ocean front street there but the overall street width is much greater I think. But I don’t think it would work in WE.

    Again Kudos for the suggestions and thanks Anthony for posting it maybe one of these days our collective brain can come up with a solution that works for all.

  22. The biggest problem now is that with the new raised homes, the under-home parking has reduced the amount of street parking available, because the surge cuts are wider.

  23. There used to be islands in the middle of those “wide” west end streets. It worked fine. Diagonal parking down the middle would be a really good solution–nose-in, back-out. Then all those spaces lost to the new raised houses wide curb cuts would come back. And those people would still be able to get in and out of their garages.

  24. Actually not a problem because now the two cars that would otherwise be parked on street are parked under a house taking less space as a curb cut than the length of two parked cars.

  25. So, if those cars are now under the house AND there is diagonal parking in the middThat’s a tremendous advantage to those who are land-locked or have no other option than street parking.

  26. It does add “just a few spots” – now, what you’re opinion on just a few is, is maybe where we differ. I’m just throwing out a number – an average of maybe 6 – 8 p/block created by this?

    But now you have two lanes of traffic.

    U turns.

    The issues of people leaving their car unattended with hazards on.

    Where do dumpsters go?


  27. That’s the best idea I’ve seen in this thread yet!

    What about the poor people that have parking under their houses? Just imagine how “easy” this would make it for them to pull in and out!

    Seriously, every once in a while I have to cut across from/to Beach street using those west end streets (avenues). I see people creating a mess trying to get in and out as is, but just imagine one or two rows of cars in the middle of the street… Brrrr…..

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