Vice Mayor Rex Richardson will unveil plans for a $26 million reconstruction of Artesia Boulevard in North Long Beach next week as he kicks off a series of five community engagement meetings he calls Thrive 90805 – the ZIP code of most of the Ninth City Council district it represents.
Long Beach already has $13 million on hand for the latest “complete street” overhaul, with the rest expected to come from the Metropolitan Transportation District and the state Department of Transportation, Richardson said last week. The project is in design, he said, with enough work to show it to the public and get feedback.
This first meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 28 July. Reconstruction work could begin by the end of the year, the councilman said.
“We will have new medians, bears, bulges at intersections and dedicated bike lanes,” Richardson said.
Bioswales are alternatives to traditional storm sewers and bulbs are sidewalk extensions.
“We are going to get rid of the green pylons (separating the bike path from the parking lot and the traffic lanes),” Richardson added. “Instead, we will have unobtrusive concrete standards with solar lights.”
Artesia Boulevard changes character from east to west, with the eastern portion near Paramount Boulevard being primarily for industrial use. The transition of adjacent neighborhoods to the west into retail and residential. The commercial and residential sections will be subject to more elaborate works – landscaping, pedestrian elements, special streetlights.
The area where Artesia passes under the Highway 91 overpass, Richardson said, has long been a problematic location, with little to no lighting and a dangerous sidewalk. This part of the street will be the focus of work, he said, including a new mural project.
“The July 28 meeting will be the first glimpse of plans for most,” Richardson said. “We’ll take their feedback and then the engineers can finish the design.
“We should innovate by the end of the year,” he added.
Next week’s meeting, which is due to start at 6 p.m., will take place at the recently renamed Doris Topsy-Elvord Community Center in Houghton Park. Details of an “Activate Uptown Open Streets” event on August 21 will also be revealed that evening. This event, sponsored by the Southern California Association of Governments, will close Artesia to motorized vehicles.
Thrive 90805 Community Meetings will be held every other Wednesday through September and will address various habitability issues. Topics include Economic Opportunity on August 11, Neighborhood Empowerment on August 25, Health (Food Security) and Activity on September 8, and Youth Futures on September 22. All meetings will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the Topsy-Elvord Community Center, 6301 Myrtle Ave.
“We want to get everyone involved,” Richardson said. “When we’re done it will be something to be proud of.”