The City of Long Beach is moving forward with its 'open streets' initiative, which will serve as a lifeline for many LBC restaurants and other small businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
As early as next week and occurring through October, Long Beach will reportedly be closing off neighborhood streets to vehicle traffic and opening them up to pedestrians, cyclists and restaurants that want to increase seating capacity.
Under L.A. County's new guidelines, indoor dining occupancy capacity cannot exceed 60%. The open streets initiative would allow restaurants to add more seats in public spaces. So yes, your next dine-in experience in Long Beach COULD be in the middle of the street.
Since 2015, Long Beach has hosted Beach Streets, which closed down major thoroughfares to vehicle traffic for pedestrian use, so this may be nothing new for LBC residents and consumers!
Instead of shutting down major arteries, Long Beach's open streets program will close off neighborhood streets. Designated streets will be able to be closed from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. any day of the week. According to the city, neighborhoods will determine the schedule within those hours.
In addition to the open streets initiative, Long Beach is expanding its parklet program, which allows restaurants to use sidewalks and parking spaces for outdoor dining seating.
See the Mayor of Long Beach - Robert Garcia's Twitter announcement below: