A major new shopping center, a new restaurant expected to draw crowds and strong business at Alamitos Bay Landing are all impacting parking along Marina Drive.

On May 23, more than 300 people crowded into the Long Beach Yacht Club to find out what the city plans to do about it, and were told that a parking and traffic circulation study was underway. Then this summer, a Complete Streets project took Marina Drive down to one lane in each direction from Second Street to Studebaker (it already is one lane from Studebaker to Alamitos Bay Landing), adding bike lanes, sidewalks and some parking.

Next Wednesday, Sept. 18, the city's Marine Advisory Commission will host another meeting to provide updates. While the city isn't ready yet with its plans, representatives from CenterCal Development will be there to present its parking and traffic management plan for the 2nd & PCH Center slated to open next month. 

Sergio Ramirez, deputy director of the Economic and Property Development Department, said the study by Walker Engineering still is four to six weeks away from completion. City representatives will talk about the issues facing any parking and traffic circulation master plan will face.

"We're looking at everything to see how we can maximize parking," Ramirez said. "We're looking at circulation, landscaping and reducing the angle of diagonal parking in the big lots… We are committed to making improvements while not impacting boat owners' parking rights.

"There are a lot of different ways components can be dealt with. We have a very popular marina, and we don't want to compromise that, while still designating some spots for revenue generation."

Ramirez said revenue generation was important to maintain and improve the parking components of the area.

Residents and boat owners have said they are worried that customers and employees from the 2nd & PCH development will overrun parking in the marina lots, but Ramirez said that would not be allowed. He said the center has 1,150 parking spots and has prepared a parking and circulation plan. That plan will be presented at Wednesday's meeting, he said.

The San Pedro Fish Market in the old Joe's Crab Shack building is scheduled to open this fall. Ramirez said that the lot there has adequate parking, but that it will be an impact as well. Another issue yet to be resolved is the fate of the Sunday Farmers' Market in the marina parking lot across Marina Drive from 2nd & PCH.

Ramirez said the city is looking at more ways to convince people to take a sidewalk that now will run from Second Street all the way to Alamitos Bay Landing, passing the Fish Market, the Schooner or Later center and the Crab Pot along the way.

"We've been pleased to see more patrons of Ballast Point and the other restaurants (at Alamitos Bay Landing) are taking more Uber and Lifts," Ramirez said. "There is parking, but people may have to walk a little further. We want to activate the sidewalk so it will be a pleasant experience."

Wednesday's meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. and run to 8:30 p.m. at the yacht club, 5201 Appian Way. For more information, call 562-570-5385 or email Jose.Fierros@longbeach.gov.

Harry Saltzgaver can be reached at hsalt@gazettes.com.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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