Long Beach Corridor Visioning Studies
The City of Long Beach engaged Utile and Roger Sherman Architecture and Urban Design (RSAUD) to reimagine four east-west corridors: Broadway, 4th Street, 7th Street, and East Anaheim Street.
Broadway is one of Long Beach’s key east-west corridors, connecting downtown to the residential neighborhoods, and a few short blocks from the ocean. However, it lacks a clear identity, and the sidewalks and streetscape are uneven in quality. Utile and RSAUD identified five nodes with a critical mass of retail and restaurants as sites to enhance. The study recommended reducing the number of travel lanes from four to three, expanding the sidewalk zone at the key nodes, and introducing angled parking at places to increase the number of parking spaces.
For 4th Street, an already vibrant three-lane corridor, the recommended improvements include “bump-outs” at many of its unique “T” intersections, accompanied by overhead canopy lighting and the repurposing of existing power poles once those utilities, as is expected, have been undergrounded. A program of urban games also is being instituted in “bump-ins” occurring on private properties where buildings are set back 10 feet or more from the sidewalk.
On 7th Street, a heavily-trafficked commercial thoroughfare passing through the entire city, attention was focused on locating more frequent crosswalks, supported by the utilization of over 45,000 SF of dead-zones in the medians of the five-lane corridor, when not occupied by left-turn lanes. The new center strip is to serve as a citywide directory or wayfinding device for visitors using 7th Street as a means of entry into the city, looking for its numerous region-wide destinations (Queen Mary, Belmont Shores, etc.). It in addition serves as a “safe landing” point for crosswalks, as well as to break the width of the street into two more pedestrian-scaled experiences.
The East Anaheim Street Corridor is a one-mile-long stretch along Anaheim Street between Atlantic and Junipero Avenue. Home to a rich range of businesses, including restaurants, retailers, and grocers, the area is recognized as a center of the Cambodian community. The goal of this study was to enhance the identity of the corridor and help it achieve greater recognition as a regional destination through corridor-wide conceptual plans, best practices for storefront improvements, and design and signage guidelines for the district.
The studies were completed in 2015, with pilot projects the following year.