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Transportation Commission Gives Support to Extending Parking Meter Hours

The issue will now go before West Hollywood City Council in December.

West Hollywood's Transportation Commission on Wednesday voted, 4-1, to support city staff’s recommendation to extend the hours for enforcement of parking meters.

Under the city staff recommendation, parking meters on the west side of the city, from La Cienega Boulevard to roughly Doheny Drive, would be enforced from 8 a.m. to midnight Mondays through Saturdays, and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. On the east side, from La Cienega Boulevard to Fairfax Avenue, meters would be enforced from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. 

However, between Fairfax and La Brea avenues only the meters on Santa Monica Boulevard would be affected, with the hours of enforcement from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. Hours for all other meters between Fairfax and La Brea would not be changed.

In addition, meters on La Brea Avenue south of Santa Monica Boulevard would be enforced from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. Meters on La Brea Avenue north of Santa Monica Boulevard would not be affected.

Commissioners Steven Brian Greene, Steve Wayland, Vice-Chair Lindsey Horvath and Chair David Warren voted in favor of the plan. Commissioner Scott Schmidt dissented. Commissioners David M. Eichman and Leon Shparaga were absent.

The issue now goes to the City Council for consideration at one of its December meetings.

About 20 people addressed the commission, most of whom expressed concerns about the impact the changes would have on employee and residential parking.

Darren Gold, chairman of The Avenues Art, Fashion and Design District, said he supported the proposal for the extended hours, but some of his colleagues have derided the idea.

“At first, extending hours to help businesses seemed a bit counterintuitive, but as a business owner who watches people park at 6:01 p.m. and stay until the morning, I see the benefit,” Gold said. “It becomes a visitor parking lot outside our businesses.”

In response to concerns about employee parking, city staff amended the proposal to include the possibility of a special parking permit for people who work at businesses in the affected areas.

The permit would be issued to the local businesses' employees, allowing them to park at underutilized meters after 6 p.m. and to use certain city parking structures all day on Sundays. 

Phil Howard, owner of the Laurel Hardware restaurant at 7984 Santa Monica Blvd., said he was in favor of the extended hours because they would improve the parking options for a number of his customers who make short visits.

“People come in for meetings and brief visits for friends,” Howard said. “It’s not worth putting their car in valet. I get a lot of feedback from customers about this.”

Several longtime residents objected to the plan, asking the commission to view the city's parking issues with a broader perspective.

“It’s really important to take a comprehensive look at this issue, from residential parking to employee parking to the transportation of locals.” said resident Sheila Lightfoot. “Trying to deal with one piece instead of looking at the whole situation is shortchanging all of us." 

Resident Steve Martin suggested that instead of extending meter hours, city funds now being allocated for projects such as the automated parking garage planned for City Hall should be redistributed to solve the city’s employee and residential parking problems.

“We need to create an affordable program for close-by employee parking,” Martin said. “We’re spending a lot of money for this mechanical parking lot at City Hall.”

One point of debate was how the revenue generated by the extended meter hours would be spent.

City staff at Wednesday's meeting said all revenue from the extended meter hours would be put into additional patrols by Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies and private security.

Horvath said financial decisions were not in the hands of the commission, but that Mayor Jeffrey Prang assured her the money would be spent on public safety.

Wayland said the city’s focus should not be on employee parking, but rather easing the parking burden on businesses' customers.

“I’m satisfied with the changes being recommended,” Wayland said. “I do support it. We’ve heard overwhelming concern for employee parking. But I don’t think we can have employee parking drive the policy. The issue is customers.”

Greene said his chief concern was notifying the public of the possible changes in parking meter hours and listening to community feedback.

“All of us are in agreement that we’re concerned with employee parking,” Greene said. “I’m generally in support of it. But we really need to make sure the outreach and publicity is very thorough.”

Schmidt, the commission's lone dissenter, agreed with residents who argued for a more comprehensive approach to the city's parking woes.

“I don’t believe that we’re there yet with this proposal,” Schmidt said.

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Teddy R Stewart October 25, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Yea, they haven't sucked enough out all of us yet. They are running people away from the area. I know alot of people that will not come into the area to eat or shop becasue of the parking enforment and getting towed and tickets.
Leandro M Pucci October 25, 2012 at 07:28 PM
I love the "comment" by Phil Howard of Laurel Hardware... it sounds like he's getting ready to cut the valet service... There are 1o-15 meter spaces around his "restaurant" at the most. If at least the idiot planners thought of a resident/employees shuttle service along the boulevard, so people could do errands without the need of a car...but, not screw the people, they just have to swallow all the crap that is throng their way.
Ali October 25, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Meters on Sundays is just greed, at least on the East Side. There are no restaurants to speak of that need the turnover of parking spaces. West of Fairfax, where there are restaurants that need parking, I can possibly see the need, but not East of Fairfax, even on Santa Monica Blvd. They are nickel and diming the residents to death. I've lived in the City since before Cityhood and if I could afford to move, I would leave this City far behind. It is not the sweet, little neighborly town it once was. And that is a very bad thing. Progress is good, development can be good, but our City Council is not working for the good of the residents.
me October 26, 2012 at 05:54 AM
will our "west hollywood" patch ever come back????.....or will AOL just dump it into a "los angeles" patch and call it a day???....a couple of local pieces per week just doesn't cut it.....state and national politics in addition to other regional pieces have completely taken over the "west hollywood" patch......wehoville can't seem to get moving either and wehonews is pretty hap hazzard when they haven't "gone fishin" (wink, wink) and sometimes not very impartial......ugh, is it THAT hard to put out a good, informative and reliable news source in weho???
Ali October 27, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Really? Spam?? Buy an ad if you want to advertise here.
me October 27, 2012 at 05:55 AM
yep, i flagged his post but nobody is minding the ship at the weho patch so they haven't taken it down....RIP WEHO PATCH
Brantley Watson October 28, 2012 at 12:11 AM
No, we're here "me." But it takes more than one person to flag a post for us to take it down. If that were the case, then people could simply flag posts they disagreed with. If others choose to flag it, it will be addressed. Thanks for reading.
me October 28, 2012 at 03:47 AM
wrong answer brantley!!!!.....this wasn't my personal opinnon, this was SPAM advertising a personal business!!!!!.....one would think someone at the patch would be on top of this stuff......but alas, his SPAM is still up so i guess the patch approves even though it has NOTHING to do with this
Marie Cunningham October 28, 2012 at 04:17 AM
Dear me, Before you attack Brantley (but you already have...), undertand that he was trying to explain why your single "flag" did not alert us that SPAM had been posted. We do go through and remove SPAM posts daily. Public sites sadly get many of these types of posts. We do not approve, it goes against out Terms of Use, and we do our best to comb through all posts to make sure nothing egregious is in there. Truth is, if you are complaining about a single SPAM post out of the hundreds that have been posted to Weho Patch, then we are doing a fine job of cleaning them up. Hey, you seem to have lots of issues with the site, yet continue to read it and post numerous comments a week. You can always contact me at mariec@patch.com to discuss the issues you are having. Coffee is on "me." Best, Marie
me October 28, 2012 at 04:21 AM
thanks for the offer of coffee, appreciate it, but i think you are all too aware of what the issues are with the weho patch marie....if you look back only a couple of months, i'm sure you will see how many people have stopped visiting the patch.....i still have hope that things will change, that's why i visit....
Marie Cunningham October 28, 2012 at 04:25 AM
Me, I have offered to speak with you numerous times. I am not sure why you think I was bashing you. You are, in fact, "bashing" Brantley. Feel free to contact AOL and share with the company your many grievances. I have addressed the issue above. We do not condone SPAM and you continuously disrespect the individuals who are trying to run this site for an entire community, not just you. Best, Marie
me October 28, 2012 at 04:27 AM
PATCH TERMS OF USE (in part): You are solely responsible for the Content that you post on the Service or transmit to other users. Without limitation, you agree that you will not post or transmit to other users anything that contains Content that: contains any advertising, promotional materials, "junk mail," "spam," "chain letters," "pyramid schemes," or any other form of solicitation.
Marie Cunningham October 28, 2012 at 04:31 AM
Me, There are many intricacies that go into Weho Patch. You continuously criticize the site with little compassion for the hard work we truly put into our jobs. Not all situations are ideal, but we are trying to work through it to the best of our abilities. I am completely fine if you do not want to meet and would prefer to stay anonymous. However, you are incorrect that fewer are reading...our numbers are stronger than ever.
me October 28, 2012 at 04:32 AM
marie, you have chosen to delete your offending post, which i copied before you did that....i see the spam is still up though, and yet you choose to spar with me.....
me October 28, 2012 at 04:42 AM
marie, when i click on your name, it says you are associated with the "beverly hills patch".....when i click on brantley's name, it says "malibu patch".....does the "west hollywood patch" have an editor?....i see james mills, the great/temp editor of some time, has bolted to another weho website.....has he been replaced?....just curious....in regards to visitors, all i know is that there are only a handful of us posting.....a few months ago, we had many, many
Marie Cunningham October 28, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Me, I deleted my post because I wanted to write you a more thorough response about the SPAM, and I also figured that in my attempt to keep things light, you would take offense. Here is what a wrote, as I have nothing to hide...though the exact wording may be off: "Hey me, For someone who complains so much about the site, you sure do tune in to read it often. Thanks for your loyal readership! Happy Halloween, Marie" Feel free to repost the exact wording. Best, Marie
Marie Cunningham October 28, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Me, First and foremost, James is awesome. Absolutely awesome. His departure is something we here in SoCal had no control over. I completely understand the frustration. I have run Beverly Hills Patch for almost three years. Now I am editing the Weho site, while still working the BH site, with Brantley as the Weho site's dedicated reporter. Please feel free to ask any questions. The reason I wanted to take you to coffee is because I thought it would give me a chance to answer and discuss questions you have regarding the site. Going back and forth in the comments section is not how I prefer to interact with readers...it lacks a chance for full understanding and without a person speaking, words on a screen can get misconstrued. The SPAM has been deleted and the user suspended for violating our Terms, but sometimes it takes the site a second to catch up with itself.
scott ferguson October 28, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Marie - Keep up the great work. A small group of people thought this was their private enclave to present one point of view, and are not happy that this is no longer the case. If they want to set up their own "We hate West Hollywood" website, nothing is stopping them. One problem with the WeHo Patch before was that people not agreeing with their POV found little here but constant repetitive diatribes by the same people presenting their personal grievances with city government with little variation. Having a wider group of issues is a good, not bad thing.
me October 28, 2012 at 05:34 PM
POT MEET KETTLE

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