What will Long Beach do with its pandemic parklets?

Parklets or parking? That’s the question. The Long Beach City Council will vote Tuesday evening whether or not to remove 125 outdoor spaces that were created during the pandemic to keep restaurants open and afloat.

The Open Streets program provided local businesses and restaurants with parklets and sidewalk space that was supposed to be temporary during the pandemic to provide options for customers to physically distance and stay safe. It was set to expire at the end of June. But some customers tell CBSLA they like to sit outside. 

“We’re not over COVID,” said Cathy Atwood, a neighbor. “Even though people want to believe we are, we’re not over it. It’s safer to eat outdoors than indoors, especially for someone my age. And it’s comfortable and I can have my dog outside.”

But these wooden decks, placed against curbs, sit on top of street parking spots. Some residents are fed up with the lack of parking these spaces are causing, and want to see them removed. 

“If we were to keep some they need to be redone as far as congestion and parking, things like that,” said Barbara Jackson, a neighbor. 

According to the Public Works Department, only 25 restaurant owners have expressed interest in making the outdoor spaces permanent. 

Source : https://www.cbsnews.com/losangeles/news/what-will-long-beach-do-its-pandemic-parklets/

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