There is concern that Laguna Beach will lose 47 parking places on Forest Avenue when the Promenade replaces the street. Yes, 47 places will be eliminated from Forest; but not overall. If we do it the smart way, we will lose only about 19 parking places, perhaps fewer, from the downtown-parking inventory.
The loss of only 19 parking spaces is not worth fussing over and should not be a deterrent to implementing the Promenade, nor even a small justification for a parking garage. Let us refer to the part of Ocean Avenue that runs past Zinc as “upper Ocean”, and the part that runs past Wells Fargo “lower Ocean”.
The plan is to turn lower Ocean into a one-lane, one-way street for access to downtown when Forest Ave is closed at Pacific Coast highway, thus replicating the downtown access provided by Forest, which is also one lane, one way.
The pavement space created by turning lower Ocean into one lane enables the redesign of the parking configuration. All we have to do is redesign the parking on lower Ocean to mimic that of upper Ocean, which is one way with diagonal parking on the right and parallel parking on the left.
Based upon measurements I made of both parallel and diagonal parking spaces on Ocean, a typical parallel space can be converted into about 1.8 diagonal spaces. Using this ratio and taking into account the loss of spaces when the existing diagonal parking in front of Wells Fargo is converted to parallel, the net gain is 28 spaces available to offset the loss of 47 spaces on Forest Avenue.
Norman Powell, Laguna Beach