With its proposed increase in parking meter hours tabled by the City Council because of major opposition from residents and businesses, City Hall has begun an effort to educate residents as to the advantages of its plan.
The Parking Division has posted the argument for extending parking meter hours on the city’s official website along with a map showing where the proposed extensions would be applied.
After 6 p.m., when drivers aren’t required to use parking meters except on Sunset Boulevard, “… the most visible and convenient spaces fill up and slow parking turnover to a crawl,” says the statement posted by the parking division. “This generates a false perception that there is a City parking shortage when in fact plenty of spaces are available at nearby garages or lots. Because many long-term parkers stay at meters all night visitors who arrive after 6 p.m. and need to park for two hours or less have to pay for off-street parking which is higher than the hourly rate one would pay at a parking meter if meters were enforced after 6 p.m.”
The statement notes that the city has created more than 1,100 new parking spaces in garages and lots since West Hollywood was incorporated in 1984.
The proposed meter hour extension would require use of meters on Sundays in most commercial areas. It would vary by commercial district, with meter payments required from Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. along Santa Monica Boulevard from Doheny to La Cienega. Meters would be active from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday along Santa Monica Boulevard from La Cienega to Fairfax. Meter parking would be in force from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday on Fairfax Avenue from Norton to Willoughby. On Santa Monica Boulevard from Fairfax to LaBrea, meter parking would be in force from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. La Brea Avenue from Fountain to Santa Monica Boulevard would have meter parking from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. And on La Brea south of Santa Monica Boulevard, meters would be enforced from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Sunset Strip meters would be enforced from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
At a city council meeting on Dec. 3, the extended hours were criticized for their impact on business in Boystown, the city’s gay nightlife district. Larry Block, owner of the Block Party, a clothing store in that area, said the proposal was “an admission fee to come to West Hollywood.” The council asked city staffers to review the comments and is expected to reconsider the proposal in February.