Long Beach Beach Streets II Open Thread

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Beach Streets on Pine Avenue in downtown Long Beach. All photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

There were plenty of great firsts taking place last Saturday at Long Beach’s second iteration of its excellent Beach Streets open streets festival.

It was not Long Beach’s first ciclovía; that took place nearly a year ago, in June 2015.

It was the first time the city of Long Beach has held an open streets event in its downtown area – actually extending along Broadway from Downtown to Belmont Heights. The route showed off Long Beach’s new rainbow crosswalks.

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Long Beach’s fabulous new rainbow crosswalks celebrate the city’s rich LGBTQ cultures

It was the first L.A. County open streets event to have a significant bike-share presence, with hundreds of riders taking advantage of the newly-opened Long Beach Bike Share.

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New Long Beach Bike Share bikes along the route

It was also the first L.A. County open streets event to extend across an at-grade rail line, crossing the Metro Blue Line at Long Beach Boulevard and Broadway. A few years ago, crossing rail was a non-starter when it was initially proposed to extend L.A.’s CicLAvia into South Los Angeles.

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The Beach Streets route crossed the Metro Blue Line tracks at Broadway and Long Beach Boulevard. At that intersection I counted one Metro law enforcement officer and six Long Beach police, plus two squad cars, and a half-dozen volunteers.

And, on a personal note, it was the first ciclovía that saw my two and a half year-old daughter travel under her own wheeled power. She has been on open streets in a stroller, on foot, and in a bike seat. This time she toured a block or two on her own tricycle.

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Maeve did not get that far on her tricycle.

How was your Beach Streets experience? Any firsts for you? How does your Long Beach open streets compare to other ciclovías or CicLAvias?

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