Ask Long Beach Kalif: Long Beach Venues

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The creator of the famous Facebook page has all the answers to your questions about our fair city

By HEATHER KERN

The Edge is proud to team with Long Beach, Kalif. in bringing you a monthly Q&A about our diverse city. We will explore the clichés of a beach town, a port town, a multicultural town, a town of neighborhoods, dive bars, vintage shops, breakfast joints and those that reside, work, and visit Long Beach. Send your Long Beach-related questions to Ask LBK at longbeachkalif@gmail.com and follow Long Beach, Kalif and The Edge on Facebook. #asklbk

Q: “Why is it that with all the bike lanes in Long Beach people still ride their bikes on the sidewalk? I have witnessed on many occasions bike riders on sidewalks causing pedestrians (mostly mothers walking their kids to school) to move onto the grass to let them by. I’d be more than willing to move onto the grass for a young bike rider but when it’s an adult, who should know better, it definitely feels like an inconvenience.” – LB Dog Mom

A: It is so maddening to be walking along the sidewalk and out of nowhere a bike whizzes past you, nearly running you down or forcing you to move off of the sidewalk for an oncoming bike, especially when you’re walking home with your Holé Molé taco order. It’s also scary to ride a bike in traffic. It is perfectly legal to ride your bike on the sidewalk in Long Beach in most cases. The only places it is not allowed is in a business district, bridges, along schools, churches, playgrounds, senior centers and near the railing on bluff park. You’d think common courtesy would be enough but as it is with vehicular traffic, so it goes with bikes. It’s like a transportation food chain out there; trucks to buses to cars to bikes to skaters to pedestrians. Vehicles need to share the road with cyclists so they feel safe enough to use the road instead of the sidewalk. You take your life in your hands when you ride a bike on any of our major traffic corridors, like Seventh Street, so riding on sidewalks is a much safer prospect. Long Beach has no shortage of wonderful side streets complete with stop signs and traffic signals. If you’re on your bike, try taking one of those. The city continues to increase the amount of bike lanes, so maybe some day we will be both one of the most walkable and bike friendly cities in the country. It could happen, right?

You can read up on Long Beach bike laws here:

(http://www.bikelongbeach.org/sos-safety/safety/municipal-vehicle-codes)

Q: “I remember when the Vault 360 was open. It was a great venue, small enough to be intimate yet large enough to draw some pretty rad artists to LBC. Alex’s Bar and Dipiazzas continue to support local and “old school” bands, but is there any particular reason we don’t have a venue for larger, more mainstream artists?” – I Wanna Rock

A: In the 70s, 80s and into the 90s, Long Beach was home to many mid-sized music venues; Big John’s, The Foothill, Fenders, Bogarts, and the Long Beach Arena – which seats up to 14,000 people – all featured touring up-and-coming, big name bands. The only one still standing is the Long Beach Arena and it seems perfectly content to fill the space with boat shows and religious conventions. Fenders slowly became a place for quiñceaneras before literally going down in flames. The Foothill was torn down and developed into townhouses. Bogarts fell to redevelopment of Marina Pacifica and The Vault closed after the sudden death of the owner. A potential hardship of running a mid-sized venue has to do with a radius clause from tour promoters that can make it difficult to book touring bands. The radius clause stipulates that a performer, for a certain length of time (30-90 days and possibly an entire year) prior to or following an appearance at a concert or festival, must not hold concerts at other locations within a certain radius of the city where they are to perform (typically 25-50 miles). With Long Beach firmly in the middle of Los Angeles and Orange County, a band would have to choose one show in Long Beach versus two shows, one in L.A. and one in O.C. There is hope on the horizon though. Plans were announced for redevelopment of the area surrounding the Queen Mary that would include an amphitheater, and The Vault was recently purchased by Millworks Long Beach, and although they have not announced any official plans on how they intend on using the space, the future looks bright. In the meantime there is no shortage of music festivals, from folk to reggae, bringing bands to town all summer long, and TONS of small clubs to see great music every night.

For a comprehensive weekly list of events in and around Long Beach, check out Dick Picks every Thursday on www.facebook.com/longbeachkalif in addition to The Edge’s weekly calendar.

Thanks for the questions Long Beach, and keep em’ coming!



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