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No Beach Streets this year? Lack of funding means Long Beach residents may have to wait until 2025

The city didn’t get the funding it requested from LA Metro for the popular event, which encourages bike and pedestrian activities.

No Beach Streets this year? Lack of funding means Long Beach residents may have to wait until 2025
A Beach Streets event in Downtown Long Beach. Photo courtesy of the City of Long Beach.

The popular Beach Streets event won’t be coming to Long Beach’s Uptown neighborhood in May as planned, and there may not be another one until 2025, city officials said.

The event, a sort of pedestrian block party that shuts down car traffic for a day so people can bike and walk safely, has been held annually since 2015, with the exception of the first two pandemic years, 2020 and 2021.

LA Metro typically provides the bulk of the funding, and the city didn’t get the grant it requested for the Uptown event, Long Beach Deputy Public Works Director Josh Hickman said in an email.

This year’s city budget included $100,000 for Beach Streets, but it was only intended to supplement grant funds. Event costs include public outreach and marketing campaigns, and staffing and traffic control by Long Beach police.

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Beach Streets Uptown was planned for May 11 and would have booted cars from four miles of Atlantic Avenue, Wardlow Road and Harding Street, offering live music, food vendors and activities in Houghton and Scherer parks, according to the city’s funding application.

Metro did award nearly $250,000 – 80% of what the city requested – to hold Beach Streets in West Long Beach next year.

The transit agency doles out about $2.5 million a year for “open and slow streets” events to encourage people to walk, bike or use public transportation. Earlier this year, Metro officials decided to spend less in communities that have had five or more past events funded, according to a Metro board report.

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“Metro will be able to fund more events by spreading the funding over more projects, allowing some new applicants to hold their first event and reach even more people in LA County to experience safe walking, biking, and rolling,” agency spokesperson Patrick Chandler said in an email.

The cities that didn’t get full funding could use some of the state and county transportation sales taxes they receive, he added.

Hickman said the city is looking for money to possibly host Beach Streets this fall and will share information with the public as plans move forward.

Beach Streets West Long Beach, scheduled for May 10, 2025, would bar cars from 3.3 miles of Santa Fe Avenue, Hill and Willow streets, and Delta Avenue, according to the application.


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