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Beach Streets Assessment

Long Beach

Project Objective

Conduct review and audit of Beach Streets, Long Beach, California’s Open Streets Program. Organize business focussed workshop, develop training techniques for volunteers and create report with recommendations to help guide future growth and expansion of Beach Streets program.

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  • Date: 2016
  • City: Long Beach, CA
  • Client: City of Long Beach
  • Service: Open Streets Planning

Long Beach is a municipality of almost 500,000 that borders Los Angeles and Orange County. It is the second largest municipality in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. Beach Streets is the Open Streets program organized by the municipality. It had seen mixed results in terms of attendance and achieving the desired outcomes.

The program has the potential to be one of the most successful in North America. Open Streets are free recreation based programs were streets are temporarily opened to people and closed to cars, allowing people to walk, run, cycle, roller blade, and improve their health.

Step 1 – Situation Assessment: In March 2016, 8-80 Cities conducted a series of interviews with residents, businesses and other stakeholders involved with organizing, programming and participating in Beach Streets. 8 80 Cities then conducted an audit of the program during a program date.

The review and interviews focussed on quality and consistency of branding, evaluation efforts, and the variety of programming activities. 8 80 Cities then create a detailed report of the feedback received with a series of questions and vision statements that needed to be answered by Beach Streets.

Step 2 – Workshopping Ideas: After compiling and consolidating the data gathered from the interviews 8 80 Cities worked with the local partner to identify common themes and opportunities. 8 80 Cities ran a workshop with program organizers designed to develop a common set of goals and values for Beach Streets as a whole, as well as a series of action plans to be implemented for the next program date.

Step 3 – Implement Action Plan: 8-80 Cities supported the program organizer in implementing the agreed upon action items both in the lead up to, and on the day of the next open streets program. Improvements focussed on consistency of program banding, clear strategies for community and business outreach, better curated programming activities, and new materials to evaluate program outcomes.

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