Plopped in front of George's Greek Cafe Friday was what looked like a day camp that wandered from the Bay Shore beach and set up in parking spaces on Second Street.
Readers called or e-mailed Patch asking what the chairs in the street were for. We were reporting on the Endeavour and hadn't seen the encampment. But a reader sent in this photo from before noon, and the Press Telegram reports that the City of Long Beach's Office of Sustainability installed the temporary "parklet."
The story just doesn't say why it was done. Patch will follow up Monday, but in the meantime, did you see the makeshift "parklet" in the street, and what did you think?
When last we reported Aug. 15 on the Parklet concept--which has been done on Fourth Street and in other cities such as San Francisco as a way to add a micro pocket park--Patch learned of Naples businesses starting a petition drive to oppose the concept. One of the Naples merchants said businesses there were feeling pressured to support the idea. Click here to read that story and reaction.
Opposition has been more vocal than support on the idea. Even other Second Street businesses oppose the idea, because parking is already impacted in Belmont Shore, they say.
In fact, parking's at such a premium that the Belmont Shore Parking and Business Improvement Advisory Commission has used public funds to pay 50 cents a ride, or up to $15,000 a month, through February, 2013 to bus Shore employees for free.
The Grunion Gazette quoted Parking Commission Chair Bill Lorbeer on Long Beach Transit's report on the program's use: 800 employees signed up for free passes, and there had been 442 unique riders between Memorial Day weekend and July 25, 2012.
Of the free pass program, Lorbeer told the Grunion, “the purpose of this is to create the effect of an employee parking lot at a fraction of the cost.”