New campaign centers around online directory of shops and complements DLBA’s Dine Out DTLB program

If you haven’t been by the beautiful shops and restaurants of downtown Long Beach lately, you may be missing out!

Thanks to the Long Beach Open Streets Initiative and the joint efforts of the Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) and City of Long Beach, Pine Avenue is now closed 24/7 between 1st and 3rd Streets. The closure started Friday, August 14, at noon. The closure to vehicular traffic will enable residents and visitors to enjoy safe outdoor dining, personal care services, and fitness activities at many of Pine Avenue’s beloved establishments.

Businesses along this stretch of Pine Avenue are permitted to set up outdoor accommodations for use, assuming permitting requirements and City Health Order protocols have been met. Depending on business location, outdoor expansions can extend onto the sidewalk or into on-street parking spaces. To participate, businesses must submit an Occasional Event Permit form to the City, adhere to current City health protocols, and satisfy insurance requirements.

The City of Long Beach has created an informational webpage about this street closure, which includes necessary forms for businesses and can be found at longbeach.gov/pineclosure. This webpage will be updated regularly as additional information becomes available.

“We know that operating outdoors with appropriate physical distancing is the safest way restaurants, personal care services, and gyms can operate while protecting against the spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Closing Pine Avenue allows businesses to safely expand their operations and we hope provide some relief from the economic impacts of this pandemic.”

Kraig Kojian, DLBA President & CEO, thanked the City for its partnership in quickly executing this project. “We thank Mayor Garcia and the Long Beach City Council for their leadership and expediency in implementing the Open Streets Initiative and addressing the needs of these businesses,” Kojian said. “Now more than ever, we need to come together as a community to support our local establishments.”

To accommodate through traffic, Broadway and 3rd Street remain open, with westbound 1st Street partially open to allow for parking garage access. Various traffic safety devices are installed along the corridor, including a combination of bollards and k-rails for maximum pedestrian safety and to facilitate emergency vehicle access. Designated delivery zones have been established for businesses along the corridor, and temporary spaces will be created for restaurant take-out and retail curbside service.

The Long Beach Open Streets Initiative was approved by the City Council earlier this summer to provide relief to businesses forced to close indoor operations due to the State’s COVID-19 health and safety restrictions. Businesses currently allowed to operate outdoors include restaurants, fitness studios/gyms, and personal care services. Retailers are allowed to continue indoor operations, and therefore are not included in the Open Streets Initiative at this time. However, it is expected that Pine Avenue retailers will benefit from an increase in pedestrian traffic along Pine Avenue due to the street closure.

The Pine Avenue street closure will be marketed by DLBA primarily through its Dine Out DTLB campaign, which centers around an online interactive map that showcases restaurants in Downtown open for dining, takeout, or delivery.

“Closing Pine Avenue for outdoor dining and other services will spark excitement in business owners and patrons alike,” Kojian said. “Please remember as you enjoy this pedestrian-friendly zone that all health and safety guidelines must be followed. Diners and visitors must wear masks and maintain a distance of six feet from others, and businesses must adhere to protocols,” Kojian said. “The phrase may sound a little tired by now, but it remains true: we’re all in this together.”

Businesses seeking additional information and assistance may contact DLBA Communications Manager Samantha Mehlinger at SamanthaM@dlba.org or DLBA Placemaking Manager Mariah Hoffman at MariahH@dlba.org.

The Downtown Long Beach Alliance is a non-profit, community-based organization whose mission is to cultivate, preserve and promote a healthy, safe and prosperous Downtown. By balancing the interests of the residents, as well as businesses, the DLBA creates tangible progress by way of vested interest and solidified partnerships across local, municipal, and commercial lines. For additional information, visit downtownlongbeach.org.

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