City to Change Street Sweeping Times in Long Beach for First Time in 30 Years

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Photo by Keeley Smith. 

Stumbling out of bed before the 4:00AM street sweeping time is a common experience for beleaguered parkers in Long Beach’s Alamitos Beach. It’s often too early to make a cup of coffee, let alone drive one’s car away in an effort to avoid a $50 ticket.

Well, a reprieve has been granted to such parkers.

Today, Mayor Robert Garcia announced that the city will be changing street sweeping times throughout the city for the first time in 30 years, in addition to uniformly narrowing the street sweeping window times from four hours to two hours across the board. Phase I of the new street sweeping times is slated to hit Alamitos Beach and a few other neighborhoods in the area on March 21, while more changes across the city will occur throughout the year.

“I’ve lived in Alamitos Beach before,” said Garcia, who called for improvements in the 2016 Fiscal Year budget. “Waking up and moving a car at 3:50 or 4:00 in the morning for some people is very hard.”

Other changes to take place over the next year include changing street sweeping days from trash pickup days and the installation of thousands of new signs to reflect new street sweeping times. Officials urged residents to double check surrounding signs before parking their vehicle, as the street sweeping changes won’t occur until the new signs are in place. Neighborhoods with the most parking issues and densest populations were the target of the city’s changes; officials stressed that many residential neighborhoods without parking complaints will remain unaffected.

Phase I will affect Alamitos Beach, as the map shows. Phase II, scheduled to take place 30 to 40 days after time changes in Alamitos Beach, will affect downtown, parts of Rose Park and North Alamitos Beach. Officials made Alamitos Beach a priority due to its dense population and history of parking problems.

Street Sweeping CHANGEs

Images courtesy of the City of Long Beach. 

“This isn’t going to solve everyone’s problems,” said Garcia. “Alamitos Beach was overbuilt decades ago without [solutions for] parking. This will provide relief for folks moving their cars before 6:00AM.

Notable changes in phase one include the elimination of 4:00AM to 8:00AM street sweeping, replacing the time range to 8:00AM to 10:00AM. None of the new street sweeping times begin before 8:00AM, and in neighborhoods considered most impacted by parking, the times do not begin until after 9:00AM.

Assistant City Manager Tom Modica said street sweepers “looked at the maps and drove the routes” to determine the feasibility of the new street sweeping windows and times.

Moving forward, the city will evaluate how the changes, which will likely result in less parking tickets, impact city revenue. Garcia and Modica were quick to note that street sweeping is not conducted to raise revenue, as many assume; street sweeping is meant to remove debris and improve stormwater quality throughout the city, they said. A city release said 150,000 miles of the city are swept each year, resulting in the removal of nearly 11,000 tons of debris.

“We don’t do it to make money,” said Modica. “Essentially, the cost of the tickets offsets the cost of the street sweeping itself.”

“We might lose revenue,” said Garcia.

The two said the city would be evaluating how the new times affect the city’s revenue before making any plans or potential adjustments.

Street Sweeping

Per the city’s release, issued today, the exact changes to be made include:

  • Elimination of all 4:00AM to 5:00AM parking restrictions citywide.
  • Elimination of most 4:00AM to 6:00AM parking restrictions in downtown Long Beach south of Anaheim Street (except the areas around schools).
  • In “parking-impacted” neighborhoods, all routes will be moved to a two-hour window (with the exception of 7th Street and schools).
  • Ocean Boulevard, Broadway, Anaheim Street and Seventh Street are the only major corridors in the Phase 1 parking impacted area that are swept earlier than 8:00AM (due to driver safety reasons). Ocean Boulevard from Cherry to Park will move to 6:00AM to 8:00AM (like Broadway). Alamitos Avenue from Ocean to Anaheim will move to 6:00AM to 8:00AM.

“By changing our sweeping times, we’re allowing our residents to rest easier and know that they can get those extra hours of sleep without having to wake up to a citation,” said Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez in a statement.

“Changing the City’s street sweeping routes is one large jigsaw puzzle – and one that we’re on our way to solving as we start with Phase 1. I know that this will be a positive impact on our residents’ quality of life,” said Councilwoman Suzie Price in a statement.

This story was updated at 3:44PM, correcting the time in Mayor Robert Garcia’s first quote. 

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