OPINION: Challenge WeHo leaders to give up their reserved parking spots

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West Hollywood city leaders have grand plans of turning WeHo into the most bike-friendly city in California. What’s the catch? You might not have a place to park your car anymore, especially if you live on the city’s lower-income East Side and your apartment complex doesn’t provide you with a designated space. The city is planning to rip up potentially hundreds of parking spots, which many residents depend on, in order to install protected bike lanes, an added safety measure for the city’s small but vocal cycling community.

If you park your car on Gardner Avenue, Fountain Avenue or Willoughby Avenue, you’re likely headed for a rude awakening. And those who park nearby better prepare for much more intense competition for whatever parking spots remain.

These changes are not years away – they are happening right now, and it’s more or less too late to stop most of them. 

Meanwhile, our five elected city councilmembers – plus the dozens upon dozens of close friends and allies they’ve appointed to our commissions and advisory boards, as well as our highly paid executive municipal staff members – all enjoy access to reserved parking spots not just at City Hall but at public parks and at city events all across town.

We think that’s more than a tad hypocritical.

We hereby challenge our Mayor, Vice Mayor and City Councilmembers – John M. Erickson, Chelsea Lee Byers, Sepi Shyne, John Heilman and Lauren Meister – to share the burden they are imposing on WeHo residents by relinquishing their own special parking privileges.

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As an added show of solidarity, we also call upon WeHo’s City Council to forego the use of personal and/or city-owned motor vehicles for transportation to and from any and all city business affairs, including but not limited to meetings, events, festivals, ribbon-cuttings, etc., that occur within West Hollywood city limits.

They should instead limit themselves to the manual modes of transportation – cycling, walking, skating, et. al. – they insist are necessary to achieve the climate and mobility goals they themselves enshrined in West Hollywood’s strategic plans for the future. 

We also encourage City Manager David Wilson, City Attorney Lauren Langer, the executive staff at City Hall and everyone in our urban planning and economic development departments to show their commitment to this vision for WeHo’s future by doing the same.

We realize many of them are not West Hollywood residents, but by commuting from their homes in other cities, they will prove to naysayers that it is absolutely possible not just to survive but to thrive in Los Angeles County without a vehicle. 

Now, let’s be realistic. 

We understand that not everyone is capable of walking or riding upwards of 5 or 10 or 20 miles per day, that inclement weather makes such restrictions infinitely more complicated, that people have a need to arrive on time and that people will inevitably suffer injuries or fall ill, and that there will be instances where it is just not possible to not take a vehicle – so we will grant our city councilmembers, commissioners, boardmembers and senior staff the luxury of traveling on our vaunted Metro buses when (and only when) extenuating circumstances necessitate it. 

We have full faith in our city leaders’ ability to rise to the occasion and to meet or even exceed the high bar they are setting for all of us. We wish them godspeed. 

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION

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WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
1 month ago

Considering the safety risks that come with being in politics, I think having a designated parking space isn’t a bad idea. They can also focus on their jobs, rather than worry about finding a place to park.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
1 month ago
Reply to  WeHo Mary!

Life is a safety risk for us all. We all have jobs requiring our focus, and we all have to worry about finding a parking space. Reserved spots for elected and appointed public servants is an unnecessary and and pompous perk. Same holds for the often abused parking placards many carry. Pomp and circumstance and other trappings of office too often seem the primary motivators of some; witness the current titular mayor’s fancy new officious embroidered jacket.

Hypocrisy
Hypocrisy
1 month ago
Reply to  WeHo Mary!

You must not be an impacted resident. Come back when you have no driveway or garage and are unable to find a parking spot on your street after a long day at work.

Elected officials must lead by example and forgo all privileges.

Joshua88
Joshua88
1 month ago

My sentiments echo Mr Nasium below.
“Good point.”

BUT, if you are waiting for a speech or an appointment or a crucial bit o’ news and your rep is driving around looking for parking, tell me you won’t be pissed.

Among other things that our dear Editor pointed out in his sentence beginning with “Now, lets be realistic.”

Jim Nasium
Jim Nasium
1 month ago

Good point. If there’s going to be no parking on streets or in newly constructed buildings, there should be no privileged parking for anyone. Especially for the elected officials who make these nonsensical policies.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
1 month ago

It’s a no-brainer to take this perk away. No wonder they are so out of touch with parking problems in the city, they mostly created and make worse. If they actually had to experience what “the great unwashed” have to go through to find parking, they might actually do something. And take away all permit parking. It should be a free for all; not perfect, but at least fair to all.

JF1
JF1
1 month ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

That’s right! There are no poor door policies in this city! Why should they be privileged?!

Long Time Resident
Long Time Resident
1 month ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

I am offended by what you call East Side residents. How did this post get approved? Also, why is it that the CC always make these kinds of decisions that hurt residents apply to the East Side. They should be applied to both sides of the City evenly.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
1 month ago

I didn’t mention anything about “East Side residents”. You are making things up. How did your post get approved.

Dean
Dean
1 month ago

“….. the city’s small but vocal cycling community” — more like microscopic and screaming

JF1
JF1
1 month ago

It’s all about equity… and inclusion! If we have to look for a parking space they have to look for a parking space!

Graham
Graham
1 month ago
Reply to  JF1

DEI is for racists and losers.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
1 month ago

The takeaway in this article is “….. the city’s small but vocal cycling community”.

That’s the way it seems to be in many public policies and culture.
Only a few people make a lot of noise.

Last edited 1 month ago by Gimmeabreak
JF1
JF1
1 month ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

Go to any city council meeting and you see the same big mouths that become unhinged and always want their 2 minutes of fame to make them feel validated. 🙄

Andrew Solomon
Andrew Solomon
1 month ago
Reply to  JF1

This could apply to any number of people, myself included.

Uron
Uron
1 month ago

Great idea. Let the “do-gooders” do some good. Too bad this wasn’t suggested during the rainy season.

Byers can scooter her butt the 2500 feet that she lives from the chambers. Erickson may have to recharge since he is living in an alternate reality. Speaking of which, how much CO2 is used flying from LAX-Paris for a bogus ceremony at the taxpayers expense?

Tom
Tom
1 month ago

Are you telling me that “Scooter” Erickson and “I Hate Motorists” Byers aren’t already walking to City Hall? Doesn’t Erickson live only blocks away? Of course we don’t know where Byers lives. I’m not convinced it’s on this planet, much less within the city limits.

voter
voter
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom

I agree, Tom. Aside from the vacant brain of Byers, I can’t forget her anti-Jewish activities. Being stupid doesn’t stop her from being scary.

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