Next Beach Streets event to take over Pacific Avenue from Downtown to Wrigley

After several events that have shut down streets to vehicles in order to open them up to humans—from Cambodia Town and Cal State Long Beach to Bixby Knolls and North Long Beach—the next Beach Streets event will take over a 2.5-mile stretch of Pacific Avenue, from Third Street in Downtown to Willow Street in Wrigley.

The event—which also includes a small section of Willow Street just west of Pacific Avenue—will take place on Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Last year’s sole event, Beach Streets Twilight, wasn’t quite as successful as previous events—and that could change with the Pacific Avenue event since it mimics the more common form of a ciclovia.

Map of the Pacific Avenue Beach Streets event. Courtesy of the City of Long Beach.

Beach Street Twilight was mired with issues: Backlash from local restaurant owners prompted the postponement of the ciclovía since it would run into dinnertime—despite the fact that event was to coincide with the introduction of the Amgen Bike Tour and with it, 13 Amgen teams, their staffs, their families, and their fans. False starts, an odd timeframe, and little marketing made the event the least attended in Beach Streets history (if you exclude the small-but-mighty Grand Prix-View that occurs annually during Grand Prix season).

By comparison, events like the one held in Downtown Long Beach (which garnered over 50,000 attendees) and Cal State Long Beach (which had upwards of 60,000 attendees) were not only much better attended but much more amenable to the idea of what a ciclovía is supposed to be: Shutting down a major road or arterial to open the space up for runners, walkers, bicyclists, strollers, differently-abled and more to explore the street at a human scale.

However, a major issue runs into this event and that is the lack of the Blue Line operating. With only shuttle buses running from Downtown Long Beach to 103rd/Watts Tower Station, many bicyclists might feel uncomfortable having to trek by train, only to hop on a bus and to do the same upon return.

Brian Addison is a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or on social media at FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn.

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