Parklets, which gained favor in San Francisco as a way to add green space to a hardscape city, made their debut in Southern California on Long Beach's Fourth Street. Their service role in the Shore has been discussed as an extension of space from the businesses. That, anyway, has been the concept proposed by George's Greek Cafe, but which was hardly universally embraced by fellow business owners this summer. Naples business owners launched a petition drive in opposition to parklets anywhere on Second Street.
They are scheduled for discussion with City of Long Beach Traffic Engineer Dave Roseman Thursday morning at the monthly 8:00 a.m. meeting of the Belmont Shore Parking and Business Improvement Area Commission--commonly called the Parking Commission. You can read more details here. Given the evergreen parking challenges of the dense Shore, Patch asked for more details from two well-known Belmont Shore property owners and parking commissioners.
Kurt Schneiter: member of the Belmont Shore Parking and Business Improvement Area Commission, and real property owner leasing Second Street businesses.
Parklets can be a wonderful way of connecting the community, but only in locations that are safe and the reduction of 2 parking spaces is not missed. Belmont Shore is under-parked and cannot afford a loss of two parking spaces at this time.
I believe there will be a day that the Park lets will work in Naples and Belmont Shore, but today is not that day. Unfortunately, safety is a concern and our lack of parking makes it very difficult to justify removal of two parking spaces for one Parklet.
Currently, I have a Parklet at one of my buildings on 4th street and it fits perfectly for the dynamics of the neighborhood including safety of those using the parklet. One great idea does not fit every neighborhood, but let’s keep an open mind as our area evolves.
Bill Lorbeer: Chairman of the Belmont Shore Parking and Business Improvement Area Commission, whose family owns considerable real property on Second Stret, including several occupied by r estaurants and bars. One of them, George's Greek Cafe, has sought to install a parklet in the two parking spaces near the Long Beach Transit District bus stop.
I understand and recognize that approval of Parklets in Belmont Shore probably does not have ample support – either from the public or City. Further, I would be willing to simply let this matter quietly get forgotten, but some Commissioners would like to revisit the issue.
Several reasons. First, the PC’s initial action – a motion to recommend approval/disapproval of parklets in Belmont Shore – was inconclusive (failed to pass with 3-3 tie vote). A second action was considered –pto provide concerns with and input on how to regulate parklets if the City chose to allow them in Belmont Shore. Because the City failed to provide any specifics on the kind of feedback they wanted, this action was tabled.
As you know, Roseman has a significant amount of autonomy when it comes to traffic related safety matters. I understand Dave has some significant concerns with safety issues related to Parklets on 2nd Street – especially in Belmont Shore and Naples. Hence my lack of interest in spending further time on this matter. If Dave says no – that’s it!
Nevertheless, tomorrow (Thursday) Roseman will provide the PC with his concerns and probably “put the nails in the coffin” for Parklets in Belmont Shore.
Personally, I like the idea of Parklets (the current ones on 4th Street are really neat) and would prefer a more open-minded approach that looked at how we might make them safer and properly regulate or mitigate any negative impacts. But that is just my personal opinion.
How do you feel about parklets replacing parking spaces on Second Street? Tell us in comments.