- Reporters Desk
LONG BEACH – The Long Beach City Council voted unanimously May 19, for city staff to move forward with an Open Streets Initiative, to consider ways to create more open space to encourage physical distancing while allowing for more outdoor activities, safer mobility and supporting local businesses.
The proposal from Mayor Garcia, Council member Austin and three other council members, will allow the temporary re-purposing of some public spaces, such as on-street parking into safe spaces for physically distanced retail, dining, and potentially entertainment.
Cities across California and beyond are opening up space by limiting cut-through traffic on neighborhood streets and repurposing on-street parking for active transportation and restaurant use, in order to activate neighborhoods. Adding more open public space while the “safer at home” health order remains in effect will make it easier for people to move throughout the city and for businesses to survive, while ensuring the social distancing that will be necessary for the foreseeable future. In addition, providing open street opportunities could support new sidewalk dining and businesses. This concept is supported by numerous business improvement districts.