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Bixby Park in the eastern section of Alamitos Beach

Alamitos Beach is a coastal neighborhood in the southern portion of the city of Long Beach, California.

Contents

Location

The coastal neighborhood is bounded by Junipero Avenue on the east, Shoreline Drive and Alamitos Boulevard on the west, Fourth Street on the north, and Ocean Boulevard on the south. Surrounding communities include the East Village Arts District to the west, Hellman to the north and Bluff Park to the east, with a wide sandy beach along the Pacific Ocean to the south.

Climate

Due to its coastal location next to the Pacific Ocean, temperatures in Alamitos Beach are moderate throughout the year. Heat and humidity rarely coincide, making heat waves more tolerable than they would be otherwise. Temperature highs typically range from the low-80s F° in the summertime, 70s F° during the spring and fall, and 60s in the winter.

As in most locations in Southern California, rainfall occurs largely during the winter months. Storms can bring heavy rainfall, but Alamitos Beach receives less precipitation than locations adjacent to the San Gabriel or San Bernardino mountains further inland, whose rainfall is enhanced by orographic lift.[1]

Characteristics

The coastal neighborhood is mainly dense residential, with large condominium buildings along the beach and smaller condominium and apartment buildings with some single family residences as one moves inland. A public beach is within short walking distance of all residences with some buildings having direct access. The beach includes the Long Beach bicycle path that starts at Shoreline Village and ends in the Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach.

The neighborhood was laid out in the 1920s, and many of its buildings date back to that era. As a result, the experience of living here is to feel the human scale of its often-quaint two-story-building setting, and with many conveniences only a short walk away. The urban yet human-scale neighborhood makes this section of Long Beach unique among beach communities in Los Angeles and neighboring Orange Counties.

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Nightlife

It is known for its vibrant nightlife, and for its significant LGBT community. The Broadway Corridor business district in Alamitos Beach, is home to many well-established gay bars, restaurants and other businesses that are gay-owned. Bars serving a largely LGBT clientèle include The Paradise Piano Bar, The Brit Pub, The Mine Shaft, and The Falcon. The 4th Street Corridor, along the constituting northern border of Alamitos Beach, is where straight bars like The V-Room, and The Pike Bar & Fish Grill are located. The shops and restaurants along Shoreline Village and the Pike are also within walking distance.

Long Beach Pride Parade along Ocean Blvd. in May

Events

Ocean Blvd is the home of many city events including the Long Beach Marathon, the Long Beach Pride Parade.[2] the Amgen Tour of California Bike Race[3] to name a few.

Politics and issues

Alamitos Beach is part of Long Beach's 2nd Council district, and is represented by Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal.[4]

Breakwater

The Long Beach Breakwater which was originally built with the intention to protect the former Long Beach Naval Shipyard is now the subject of moderate controversy. Many contend that this portion of the breakwater has lost its purpose since the Naval Shipyard is no longer there. Others believe that this structure is necessary in protecting the other Long Beach coastal neighborhoods to the south east from storm activity. Some environmental groups, including the Long Beach branch of the Surfrider Foundation[2], have proposed modifying or removing the breakwater to promote better water flow and increased wave activity.

As of October 2009 the Army Corps of Engineers was looking into a study funded by the city of Long Beach to reconfiguring the structure. [3] The Breakwater Reconnaissance Study[4] found that the structure can be modified without endangering any coastal properties but complete removal was not recommended. Many believe that reconfiguring the breakwater will lead to increased wave activity, tourism, and property values in Alamitos Beach and surrounding areas.

Parking

The parking situation in Alamitos Beach has been acknowledged by local government as "the most heavily parking impacted" section in all of Long Beach[5] and a "crisis."[6][5] The Long Beach government website also notes that it is not unusual for residents in the area to return home from work only to circle their block and outlying streets for about an hour each evening looking for a parking space.[5] Many residents report paying an average of $200 per month in fines due to either accidentally occupying or being forced to park in "No Parking" or "Street Sweeping" zones.[5]

In the 2000s, some neighborhoods were designated as "Parking Impacted Areas", but saw no substantial changes in parking rules or regulations in the designated areas.[7] Local government has put a ban on illegal garage apartments and "split bedrooms" in an effort to ease the parking crisis.[5] City counsel may also soon allow residents to park on the curb blocking their own driveways.[8] Since 2006, only 1,200 new spaces have been added to the highly congested area.[5]

There are some in the community who are very critical of the city government's permit process to owner-preferred residential neighborhoods to the neglect of Alamitos Beach's highly transient population, most notably in urban planning relative to automobile parking, i.e. the chronic shortage of available places to park. Those who believe the city to be responsible for the problem, cite the extreme difficulties in parking on weekend nights, when bar and restaurant patrons take up parking spaces on neighboring residential streets, leaving residents with nowhere to park. Others, including Broc Coward, Councilwoman Suja's chief-of-staff, have stated that the density of the community precludes adding prohibitively-expensive parking structures, and that the idea that Alamitos Beach residents can park near their homes is no longer a viable concept. New construction permits seek to redress this issue with off-street parking requirements partially due to the Bluff conversion of single family dwellings into condominium complexes in the early 1990s as well as public parking and access to public beaches governed by the California Coastal Commission. It should be noted that in the 2008 City Budget, the City projected a total of $19 million revenue from parking tickets ($11 million in tickets to be written by the Police Department and $8 million in tickets to be written by the Department of Public Works, and plans to hire more parking enforcers to extend enforcement hours)[9][10], revenue that some believe amounts to a penalty tax for living in Alamitos Beach, and which, to some residents, explains the city's reticence to seriously address the parking problem, so long as the current parking shortages continue to generate a large volume of parking ticket revenue.

Air pollution

Alamitos Beach is also downwind of the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles, which together generate a high volume of diesel-engine particulates into the atmosphere, making outdoor activity in Alamitos Beach and surrounding neighborhoods, what some believe to be a significant health risk. The Ports have entered into an agreement with the Cities of Long Beach and Los Angeles to have docked ships turn off their engines [11] and, by 2012, to eliminate the truck engine pollution coming from the high volume of trucks moving containers to destinations further inland.[12] Some believe that the public health impact from increased childhood-onset-of-asthma cases and overall mortality from inhaled particles, which has been documented by researchers[13][14], is considerable, and that the city's 2012 target for the truck cleanup is too business-friendly and people-unfriendly. Others believe that while they concede the dangers of particulate pollution, that the major pollution reductions planned between now and 2012 cannot be realistically be accomplished overnight, and that adverse health effects must be balanced against the need to not disrupt the operations of the two ports which play a major role in the movement of goods between the United States and its Asian trading partners.

See also

References

  1. ^ "NCDC: Weather Station: Long Beach Daugherty Field". http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwDI~StnSrch~StnID~20001598. Retrieved January 22, 2009.  
  2. ^ Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride, Inc.[1]
  3. ^ Amgen Bike Race
  4. ^ "Suja Lowenthal, Councilmember, 2nd District, City of Long Beach". City of Long Beach web site. http://longbeach.gov/district2/default.asp. Retrieved November 26, 2009.  
  5. ^ a b c d e f Longbeach.gov page: "Parking Facts".
  6. ^ Longbeach.gov page: "City of Long Beach, CA - Parking Solutions".
  7. ^ Longbeach.gov page: "[http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.longbeach.gov/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp%3FBlobID%3D24508&ei=I3lDS73lOJCwsgP62a2MCQ&sa=X&oi=nshc&resnum=1&ct=result&cd=2&ved=0CAoQzgQoAQ&usg=AFQjCNGhqMD1qFheRMcy8rcCy51F0g42ZA 'Parking Impacted Areas' memo from Suja Lowenthal, May 6, 2008."
  8. ^ Long Beach Press-Telegram article: "Long Beach Council expected to take up driveway parking".
  9. ^ http://www.ci.long-beach.ca.us/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=15859 2008 Police Budget
  10. ^ http://www.ci.long-beach.ca.us/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=15860 2008 Public Works Budget
  11. ^ Port of Long Beach - Vessels
  12. ^ http://www.polb.com/news/displaynews.asp?NewsID=329&targetid=7 Pre-1989 Trucks to be Banned to Improve Air
  13. ^ Children’s Asthma in Long Beach
  14. ^ Sanchez, Felix (April 28, 2006). "L.B. air some of the dirtiest in the nation". Long Beach Press-Telegram. http://www.coalitionforcleanair.org/pdf/news/L-B-air-some-of-the-dirtiest-in-the-nation-LB-Press-Telegram-4-28-06.pdf. Retrieved 2008-04-28.  

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