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Open Streets in Long Beach

Release Date: 2020-05-19

Tonight, Long Beach moved forward on an Open Streets Initiative that will make it possible to give our local small businesses more support while giving residents more space to physically distance.  The Open Streets Initiative that was approved this evening will make it possible to temporarily re-purpose some of our public spaces–think sidewalks, off-street parking and large parking lots–into safe spaces for physically distanced retail, dining, and potentially even entertainment.

Over the last few weeks, we have heard from so many small businesses which are hurting and want to reopen but are worried about how to do so safely. All across the world, we are seeing cities and small businesses work together on outdoor dining and other uses of open space to spur economic activity, support community building and a sense of normalcy we all crave while physically distanced.

Open Streets will be a significant step forward in planning for how to keep Long Beach’s incredibly unique economy competitive during this health crisis. But make no mistake, we will only move forward when it is safe to do so.

I know with the right set up, it is possible to create more opportunities for safe pedestrian and bicycle spaces very soon. And building upon these new opportunities, we will be able to plan for outdoor dining so when public health officials deem it is safe to do so, our city will be ready to experience Long Beach and our amazing culinary scene in a whole new way. It is the smart thing to do and I look forward to seeing all the great new opportunities that will come our way.

If you missed our presentation on Open Streets at the City Council meeting tonight, you can still take a look at the slide deck here.

I look forward to Open Streets coming to a neighborhood near you.

Thank you,

Mayor Robert Garcia