Long Beach: Downtown Promenade Continues to Grow
Back in 2005, the City started planning for the Promenade in Downtown. It was at the time a very stark and bland stretch of concrete with little around it besides parking lots and a lack of amenities.
Since then, things have changed, particularly for pedestrian and bike-geared citizens.<
“The improvements encourage local residents and employees to walk or bike to lunch, happy hour, or errands on or near The Promenade,” stated Barbi Clark, Development Project Manager for the City of Long Beach Development Services. “We’ve got the new Bikestation facility at 1st Street, which is the city’s center for cyclists commuting to and from Downtown. We installed bike racks as part of the improvements on the Mid and South blocks, and the plan for the North block currently includes 3 sets of 3 bike racks, which will accommodate 18 bikes, but after speaking with some of the businesses and residents recently, we have asked the architect to see if more bike racks can be added.”
Furthermore, the addition of three mixed-use developments, featuring both residential condos and apartments, paired with the restaurant boom that includes Congregation Ale House, Beachwoood BBQ, and Wokano have added to the Promenade’s overall appeal.
These changes are due, in part, to the Promenade Master Plan, a development coordinated by the City to change the feel and urban layout of the formally-drab strip of space.
A variety of additions continued to be added, including lighting for both commuters and pedestrians, seating, game tables for checkers/chess that resemble those of San Francisco and New York, and public art.
One of the most obvious and recent additions include Harvey Milk Promenade Park at the 3rd Street terminus. The first park ever dedicated to the Californian politician, whose focus on LGBT rights made him a pioneer within the field, was called “a great addition to the Promenade and Downtown Long Beach” by Vice Mayor Robert Garcia. “Harvey’s legacy about a more equal America is important to celebrate.”
On the Northern end of the block, a “dog stop” will be offered to those who have companions on leashes. This mulched area will permit owners to let their pet of their leash and take a restroom break if needed. not a dog park where dogs can go off leash, but a mulched area where dogs can take a potty break.
The overall arch of the project is not just to enhance the pedestrian connection between that of the south waterfront/Convention Center to the more traveled areas of Downtown along Broadway, Pine north of Ocean, and 1st, but a much more simpler reason: to provide pedestrians, despite where they are coming from, a pleasant space to experience.
“Promenade Square on the Mid-Block, is a great place for people to take a break or participate in some of activities that are programmed there, such as yoga classes, summer concerts, movies in the park, [and so on,” ended Clark.
The Promenade is located at Ocean Boulevard and runs north between 1st Street and Broadway Avenue up to 3rd Street.