The Long Beach Parking Crisis

After a long day at work all I want to do is come home and relax. How can that happen when I can’t find parking on my own street? It’s 7pm on a Wednesday on the corner of Alamitos in Long Beach. After cruising the neighborhood full of cars illegally parked in red and idling in the streets, I find parking on a distant block. I say my prayers then walk my way through the dimly lit alley. As I approach my home, I notice the same three cars parked in front of my place, not having moved an inch in the past 72 hours. My eyes began to open as I noticed neighbors around me with multiple cars to their household. For weeks I wondered why I had difficulty parking at 12pm on a Tuesday. I soon found the reason for my peril was the existing numbers of inoperable and unused cars belonging to the residents of my neighborhood. My closest neighbor who owns his property shares in a multifamily residence. He and his immediate family own four cars with the other family on the property owning four vehicles as well. Therefore, on only one property, there are eight vehicles requiring space. Of course, there is no off street parking provided on their property, so as you can imagine they alone take up half the street. Remember, this is a house with eight vehicles, imagine an apartment.

With this newfound discovery, I hoped to find a solution. The solution seemed to be right in front of me and all I needed to do was open my eyes. Residents need to work together to change the parking crisis. Selling or donating unused vehicles, removing inoperable vehicles from private property, and parking considerately can greatly improve the current parking situation. We need everyone in the community to be involved and aware of the problem so they know how we can all be a part of the solution! The first step is letting people know they can take action and start improving their neighborhood’s parking situation very easily. The easiest way is to park considerately when approaching a space. Make sure to either pull all the way forward or all the way back into the space, allowing room for another vehicle to comfortably fit if possible. Try to avoid saving spaces by parking in the middle as this causes more people to do so as well. The second step, which may not be so easy, is to sell your unused or unwanted vehicle. By doing this you will have extra cash in your pocket and an extra space for parking when you get home! The not so easy step is to sell or donate your inoperable vehicle, which is stored on your residential property. Not only will this help improve your house appeal, but also it will make room for more parking or entertaining! The final step you can take if you want to be more proactive within your community is to anonymously report vehicles to the city, which have been parked and immobile for more than 72 hours. You are also able to report inoperable vehicles and other neighborhood code violations at LB Code Enforcement. This is a step anyone can take, however please consider the previous steps before following through with a call to the authorities.

How you can help:

Park considerately

Sell or donate unused vehicles

Remove inoperable vehicles from private property

Report abandoned vehicles (72 hours)

Parking violations you can be cited for:

Boats, vehicles, trailers, or campers illegally parked in the front, side yard, or an unapproved surface.

Inoperative vehicles stored on residential property.

Leaving your vehicle parked in the same location for more than 72 hours.

Parking commercial vehicles (over three tons) in residential areas.

Parking in alleys.

Painted curb meanings: 

Red – No stopping, standing or parking at any time.
Blue –
Handicapped parking only (must display disabled license plate or a valid placard).
Yellow –
May park long enough to load or unload freight or passengers.
White –
Two-minute passenger loading and unloading only. Driver must remain in the vehicle.
Green –
May park for a limited time only. Time is usually painted on curb.

72 hour parking rule and reporting:

Long Beach City Ordinance allows for a vehicle to be parked in the same place on a city street for up to 72 hours. To report, call LBPD non-emergency dispatch, at (562) 435-6711.

When calling, please be ready to provide your name, telephone number, and address, along with the following vehicle information:

-location of vehicle (street address)
-color of vehicle
-make and model of vehicle
-license plate number

Parking Enforcement will go to the location to mark the tires and leave a notice on the windshield. The notice advises the registered owner they have 72 hours to move the vehicle at least 1/10th of a mile under it’s own power, or it will be impounded. At least 72 hours later, the vehicle will be rechecked, and if the vehicle has not moved, it will be towed to police impound.

Resource: Long Beach Code Enforcement & Reporting Abandoned Vehicles