A meeting postponed in March to talk about parking and traffic circulation around Alamitos Bay will take place this Thursday, May 23.
But people expecting to hear solutions to be in place for the coming summer season will be disappointed. Project Manager Fern Nueno of the city's Economic Development Department said the master plan to be discussed is in draft form and deals with long range solutions. It will take up to two more months to complete the plan, and then it must be approved by the state Coastal Commission.
"This meeting is designed to get feedback on the long-term plan," Nueno said, "not to come up with solutions for this summer… It will be fall before we complete this plan, so there may be something done in the winter."
Parking at the Alamitos Bay Landing commercial center at the end of Marina Drive has been an issue since 2016, when Ballast Point opened there. The popular brewery, combined with Boathouse by the Bay and Malainey's Grill and Bar, pack the parking lot there, especially on weekends.
Last summer, temporary fixes including valet parking and a shuttle along the marina parking lots were attempted. This year, a new San Pedro Fish Market is set to open on Marina Drive across from the 2nd & PCH commercial center, which is set to open in October. Marina Drive also is home to popular restaurants The Crab Pot and Schooner Or Later.
The city, led by Third District Councilwoman Suzie Price, has worked to come up with a parking and traffic circulation plan. One of the goals in the plan is to protect boat owner parking along the Alamitos Bay Marina.
"We will probably bring back some of the efforts from last year to help with parking," Nueno said. "We'll look at valet, and maybe the shuttle. Some efforts have been made — we redid Basin 2's lot this year, and got a few more spaces there."
A March meeting was scheduled to discuss the proposal with boat owners, but was cancelled when members of the public said they wanted to attend as well. The meeting Thursday technically is a Marine Advisory Commission meeting, which is open to the public.
It is scheduled to go from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Long Beach Yacht Club. According to the meeting notice, there will be a city staff presentation of the plan, with topics including parking, traffic flow, valet services and improvements planned for the area.
"I’m looking forward to a process that takes into account the needs of all the stakeholders, although I am mindful that not everyone will embrace whatever the outcome will be," Price wrote Tuesday. "That’s common in every change we implement. This particular waterfront area is growing and presents lots of opportunity, which means we need to think more creatively about how we configure the parking lots and how we make it an updated business corridor in light of all of the other business corridors in the city."
Three city departments have been involved in the planning process — Public Works, Economic Development and the Marine Bureau in the Parks, Recreation and Marine Department.
Long Beach has been trying for a year to rebuild Marina Drive from Second Street to Studebaker Road with a Complete Streets project. That would add a sidewalk on the 2nd & PCH side of the street, bike lanes in both directions and 94 new diagonal parking spaces on the marina side of the street. To do that, traffic lanes would be reduced from four to two and the median would be narrowed. Marina Drive from Studebaker Road to Alamitos Bay Landing already is two lanes.
That construction has been delayed by appeals of the city's plan to deal with palm trees in the area. In order to do the work, 29 palms need to be moved, among other things. Great Blue Herons and other birds build nests in the trees, and work is limited during a nesting season that runs to Sept. 1. The state Coastal Commission has approved a tree management plan.
Long Beach Yacht Club is at 6201 Appian Way. Parking is at the nearby marina lot.
For more information, call 562-570-5385.
Harry Saltzgaver can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.