Tuesday night, after a significant three-year planning effort, the Long Beach City Council approved the Downtown and Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Pedestrian Master Plan (Plan) that will create a more safe and enjoyable pedestrian-friendly Downtown and enhance commuting options throughout the City.
“The City is dedicated to implementing inclusive, healthy, and innovative transportation alternatives that offer more choice and convenience for those who live and work in Long Beach or come to visit,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “This Plan will enhance quality of life and stimulate the local economy for years to come.”
On July 23, 2013, the City Council accepted a Planning Grant award from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) for the preparation of a plan establishing a framework for achieving new public and private investment around Metro light rail stations, supporting increased walking and transit use as an appealing alternative to automobile travel, and improving conditions for residents by enhancing access to jobs and services.
“The Downtown and TOD Pedestrian Master Plan provides policies and guidelines that support increased walking and transit use as an appealing alternative to automobile travel, and enhance the City’s urban core through sustainable infrastructure and improvement projects,” said Amy Bodek, Director of Long Beach Development Services. “This planning effort builds on our commitment to ensuring refined standards and forward-thinking development that improve accessibility and connectivity, and promote a more livable and sustainable Downtown.”
The Plan was developed through a comprehensive and collaborative process that included extensive community outreach, interactive public workshops, stakeholder input, thorough analysis, and City departmental coordination meetings.
This planning effort will generate conceptual infrastructure plans and design guidelines to enhance accessibility to and around eight Metro Blue Line stations in Long Beach, and facilitate new public investment in support of pedestrian, bicycling, and transit usage.
Specifically, the Plan includes a prioritized list of more than 30 pedestrian infrastructure projects, including improvements designed to enhance beach access from the First Street Station and another that will develop a greenbelt connecting two Metro stations. The top 14 high-priority pedestrian improvement projects in the Plan represent $71 million in investment to be implemented over the next 15 years.
The Plan will implement complete street policies contained within the recently adopted Mobility Element of the Long Beach General Plan. The Mobility Element provides a 20-year guide for future decision-making by establishing a vision with goals, strategies, and implementation measures that support and encourage all roadway users.
For more information on the Plan, go to www.lbds.info