Tag Archives: parking

RFP for High Density Parking Pilot [opinion]

Project 11561 brought up the High Density Parking Pilot RFP, which the city recently released. Here is my take:

When Jack first became City Manager, he asked me and a bunch of other residents to form a committee that would address issues in Long beach, including beautification, improving the downtowns, etc. Parking was the one big issue we really concentrated on. One idea was to utilize the parking garage at the LIRR station during the summer days and nights for a valet program. I really liked that idea. Well… that big storm named Sandy happened and you know the rest.. the city had other things to deal with.

Here we are years later and it looks like LB wants to address parking with a High Density Parking Pilot.

“whereby the vendor would install, maintain and operate such a high density parking system in the municipal lots currently owned and/or operated by the City which the City deems feasible.”

Are the municipal lots big enough? Where else would this type of lot fit? Stop & Shop? That’s kinda like a municipal lot, right? Paid parking is really a great way to deal with parking because there are those who will pay for convenience, plus it would bring in some extra $ for the city. I would rather the city charge people for parking than to raise beach fees across the board. What do you folks think?

“The City is desirous of addressing the parking needs of the residents and visitors alike within its boundaries. As a result, the City is seeking to cause a PILOT PROGRAM for the design, installation and operation of a high density parking system to be installed and operated at one (1) of its municipal parking lots at no cost to the City for a period of six (6) months to commence approximately on or before July 1, 2016…”

Read more here: PILOT PROGRAM – High Density Parking System – The City of Long Beach, New York

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?

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.

 

[SIGN THE PETITION] Tired of the West End summer parking nightmare?

THE PETITION

Please join us in asking the city council to re-visit the West End resident parking proposal recommended by consultants in 2007 and 2008.

The signers of this petition call on the City Council of Long Beach to re-examine the recommendations of the 2008 West End Parking Study and the 2007 City of Long Beach Comprehensive Plan (Part III page 28), both of which support the implementation of resident parking permits in the West End of Long Beach.

We suggest that the city council form a West End Resident Parking Committee. This Committee would consist of West End homeowners, City Council members and business owners. It is our goal that the committee would jointly address solutions to the worsening parking conditions for residents in our community and come up with a Pilot Resident Parking Plan for the start of the summer of 2013.

SIGN THE PETITION HERE: Tired of the West End summer parking nightmare?

 

West End Car Wars

By Mary Ellen of the West End Beautification Association

If you ask a West End resident what scenario would impel him to abandon his parking spot on a summer weekend, you’re likely to get a looooong pause, a guffaw, or an answer akin to “A funeral. Maybe. If it was a very close relative.”

In 2007, the City of Long Beach commissioned a Comprehensive Plan to create a blueprint for the next 15 years.

One of the proposals in the Plan was to “Design and implement a Residential Permit Parking Program to address the parking problems in the West End”.

In 2008, the City of Long Beach and Level G Associates (an independent consulting group specializing in parking studies) conducted an evaluation of the West End parking situation, “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.”

Only a West End resident can truly understand how dramatically parking impacts the tapestry of living in our community. To hear us talk about it, you’d think we were discussing the political ramifications of social ecosystems…and not the frustrations of finding a parking spot.

Only true sports fans know that it’s never “just a game,” and only true West Enders know that it’s never “just a parking spot.” It’s 50 square feet that are worth their weight in gold.

And the battle for and protection of these spots, at best, is a spirited show of neighborly cooperation, jockeying cars and leaving keys so that there will be a spot available when someone has to, well, go to a funeral. At worst, it can cause simmering frustration that leads to hard feelings among long time neighbors.

So four years ago, when the parking study was conducted, residents anxiously awaited the executive summary.

Surely this market analysis would find a solution to what sometimes seems to be the biggest pitfall to living in the West End.

The output was a Four-Point Strategy:

  1. Increase the parking supply.
  2. Enhance and encourage off-site parking and shuttle bus use.
  3. Promote and facilitate expanded bicycle use.
  4. Change parking regulations.(Establish Residential Parking Zones and fee-based general parking along Beech Street)

But like many well-intentioned plans, the devil was in the details. Muni-meters will hurt commercial business. What about guest parking? What about the home health aid, the housekeeper, the plumber? The plan simply said, “Special situations will be considered on a case by case basis.” Residents demurred from the idea and the study was shelved.

Which means I am still holding on to my parking spot with the Jaws of Life, not unlike the way an environmentalist zealot might chain herself to a tree in protest. Meanwhile, parking is getting worse and worse.

To date, the only implementation of the 2008 Plan has been in private parking lot sharing and coordinating bus stop-fire hydrant placement to increase parking supply on Beech St. I give credit for the efforts put forth, but unfortunately, it’s not enough.

Residents are still held hostage in their homes during the busy weekends, and I don’t think I’m alone when I say that it’s time for something to be done. It’s time for a meeting of minds to solve this problem.

It’s time for a committee of residents, business owners, the City Manager and City Council to develop a pilot parking plan for 2013. If all the stakeholders in this problem have a forum in which to assert their concerns and needs, then I’m confident that we’ll be able to find the elusive space in between all of them, where the parking solution exists.

Let’s not wait until another summer season is upon us and the parking madness once again chains us to our homes. Let’s spend this fall and winter ironing out the details of a peace treaty to once and for all end the notorious West End Car Wars.

Deja Vu All Over Again (Quiksilver Building Update #79)

(Dawn construction of what will probably be a moved Merch tent)

The Quiksilver Pro is starting momentarily, and having any idea what’s actually going to happen is a mystery.

The most recent confirmed info says that A) the Live Site is done – the concerts, food, BMX/Skate/MotoX demos – while the surf event itself will still go on.

Residents should remember the Quiksilver Pro New York also includes events in New York City that are unaffected, like a Tony Hawk Vert Jam, The Art of Flight snowboard film premiere – which looks amazing – and various other things around the greater area.

Then, I watched as Quiksilver began building again last night and this morning.  The original surf site was at National Blvd, and construction there was nearly finished before the storm hit, so I have a pretty good idea of how that was supposed to look.  Now though, as they reconstruct, they’ve spread out and brought elements from the Live Site – with a platform that looks like the same one that housed the massive merch stand, as well as the Roxy Beach House.

This leads me to speculate that Quiksilver has made the decision that if they can’t have the Live Site, they will rebuild elements of that zone on the beach instead.  Take that City Manager.  Many of the events scheduled to occur were meet and greets with the athletes, poster signings, and just “milling about” sort things.  Not the sort of event that necessarily needed the use of the SUPERBLOCK, just some tents and equipment.

(Note the pink container that will be the Roxy Beach House, originally planned in the Live Site)

Because I have nowhere else to put this, has anyone just suggested the bands use the mobile stages that the City uses for the concerts held all summer?  Those work great and when a concert is on the beach, the crowd can easily spread out.  Security could be posted in the same way it was planned for in the Live Site.

Now of course, I’m led to speculate because repeated phone calls and emails get no response.  Shockingly like in the months that led up to this event.  The number one frustration through this entire process has been the lack of transparency.  The City should been stayed out front during this year-long process and explain what is going on, and the residents will make sense of it.  To note a few examples: the resident parking crisis that was left to the last minute; Alcohol sales – here, then scrapped at the last minute with seemingly no input or explanation; The concert times, originally ending at 9pm, then changed – or simply not made clear –  to 6-7pm.

Then obviously we have the post-Irene aftermathEvent is onEvent is half on.  Event is offEvent is half on. 

At this point, the only way we will be able to confirm anything about these events will be after they occur.  We’ll be getting our media credentials shortly, so look forward to all sorts of continued surfpocalypse coverage.

 

Aqua on the Ocean Owners Get A Lot (Rumor Confirmed)

Following up on this April article about Aqua on the Ocean’s owners – The Engel Burman Group now owns the abandoned lot next to the Allegria.

When I talked to the developer, they confirmed the basic story here, and said they are looking forward to developing this “great piece of real estate.”  In the short term, they’ve already contracted with Quiksilver to use the site as a Media Zone during the competition.

The developer said they are not yet sure what they plan to do with the site, but that it is a one-of-a-kind plot, right on the ocean and they already have permitting to develop a multi-family building (though that is not necessarily the direction they are going).

After the Aqua, it will be interesting to see if they go the way of a another condo complex, or if they look at retail/restaurant as a better use of the space.   We all know the parking wars that have gone on across Broadway, so that will certainly create a challenge for anything commercial.  What do you think they should do with that 1/3 of an acre lot?

Allegria Finally Gets Abandoned Lot? (Rumor Alert)

A reader emailed in to say that cars were parking today in the abandoned lot next to the Allegria.  Could the long vacated lot, under new ownership, have finally been leased or bought by the Allegria?  Could the infamous Parking Wars finally be over?  I have no idea – but I shot out an email to the lot owner to figure out what the deal is.  When I was there, all the signs were the same, and the “for sale” sign was still up.  I would guess they may have made a short-term arrangement with the new owners because much of the SUPERBLOCK which they have often used as parking has been completely taken over by construction and the Craft Fair

During surfpocalypse, that lot is currently spoken for though.  According to the original map (which has already gone through revisions) that area will be used as the media zone for all their equipment and satellites.  As one of the photos shows, a mobile generator has already been brought in.

The only strange thing about the whole situation is that even with all the space that lot affords the hotel, they were still using – what one reader dubbed – the “Ferrari parking lot.”  That coned off area extending into the intersection on National Blvd was still packed with parked cars when I went over.

I’ll update if I hear back from the Hotel or The Engel Burman Group.

 

 

 

 

That lot is really going green – and loaded with cars

And the “Ferrari Parking Lot” alive and well with a Corvette

Parking Crisis Solved (And Not a Minute Too Soon)

After much consternation, the City has followed through and posted info on resident parking during surfpocalypse.   I’ve only had a few to look over this, but from what I see, this is a very reasonable and balanced approach that respects businesses and residents.  I think the only area that needs to be changed is expanding the parking zone well past Magnolia.  Perhaps the whole side of Broadway should be “resident only”  for the full length of the road.
The good:
– Permits are free
– Special officers will be posted to enforce the rules
– Permits can be obtained without a Long Beach license (renters can get in on the fun with a number of proof of residency options)
– Resident parking covers several blocks between Park and Broadway
– Hours at the City’s office have been extended to handle the rush for permits
The bad:
– Parking boundary only goes from Monroe to Magnolia
– Residents are not given a basket of candies for their troubles
And a direct link to the  PDF

Parking Crisis 2011 Update (They’ve Got a Plan)

To follow-up on Parking Crisis 2011, and after seeing this blurb updated in the Quiksilver Pro FAQ:

“There will be some resident-only parking restrictions from Magnolia Boulevard to Monroe Boulevard, south of Park Avenue.  Detailed information is available online at www.longbeachny.org/cityclerk.  You will may also visit the City Clerk’s office in City Hall to find out how to obtain a temporary permit.”

I gave Town Hall a quick call to figure out what’s going on.

The extremely helpful Cathy at Town Hall explained that the plan is not yet finalized – perhaps the web update was premature – but it would be done within days.

I reiterated the concerns that much of the City (i.e. the 12 people that read this) were beginning to feel the idea of resident parking was simply being abandoned, but she emphasized that the City was taking it very seriously and would have something shortly.

Though she wasn’t too keen to answer other direct questions, I did get an interesting factoid.

Whatever form this “resident parking” takes, it will be free.  Though, as she kept saying, details were not yet “finalized.”

Basically though, if the parking plan is for some resident parking only on Broadway from Monroe to Magnolia, there is no plan worth publishing at all.  That minimal of a parking restriction will lead to no tourist or visitor parking at Jones Beach.  Considering the main event venue is at National, it’s comical that National is not included in the possible boundary (nor extending many blocks to the west).  I assume though this early posting was in error, and in no way the final product.  Update (thanks the_allegria_sucks):  That’s what you got for rushing, mentally, I mixed up Edwards and Magnolia.  For some reason I do that a lot.  But the basic point stands, the boundary needs to be extended well past MAGNOLIA.  Time shall tell.