Westsiders, who are among those most familiar with the traffic challenges in Los Angeles, are being asked to weigh in on potential solutions to the parking problems plaguing the city.
Los Angeles city leaders have requested a comprehensive study in order to develop both short- and long-term plans to address congestion and mobility challenges on the Westside. The effort is intended to result in the Westside Mobility Plan, a transportation blueprint offering strategies for multimodal travel, north-south rail connections and parking solutions over the next 25 years.
A main goal of the plan is to increase the efficiency of the transportation system on the Westside through multimodal solutions including transit, bicycle and pedestrian-friendly facilities. Among the first components of the plan is the Westside Parking Study, which will evaluate the current parking conditions in the region and offer strategies to manage future demands.
The city Department of Transportation has contracted the Santa Monica firm Fehr and Peers to conduct the study and a survey has been released for public input on the parking issues. The deadline for completion of the survey has been extended until Tuesday, Feb. 15 and the public is encouraged to participate.
To access the parking survey, www.westsidemobilityplan.com/parking-study-hot-spot.
Laura Muna-Landa, a senior associate with the consultant team, noted that the Westside struggles with parking and congestion challenges primarily because it is a very dense area that attracts a lot of people from outside.
“It has a whole host of challenges, and that’s one of the things we’re trying to overcome,” Muna-Landa said.
The parking study team is working closely with the offices of 11th District Councilman Bill Rosendahl and 5th District Councilman Paul Koretz on the effort, she said.
Describing the troubles affecting his district, Rosendahl said, “We in the 11th District are in gridlock for a good part of our day,” but he added that the problems didn’t happen overnight.
The goal of the parking analysis is to develop a series of recommendations to enhance the quality of the parking programs and resources in the Westside, with a focus on specific parking “hot spot” areas. Some of these areas listed in the survey include Lincoln Boulevard, Abbot Kinney Boulevard/Main Street, the Loyola Village area of Westchester and Playa del Rey.
According to the study team, in each of these commercial activity areas, parking plays a key role in providing access and supporting the economic vitality of the area.
Rosendahl said he expects the public input received through the survey to be helpful in pinpointing the specific areas that need improvements and recommending solutions.
“Those closest to a particular neighborhood know it better than anyone else,” the councilman said.
“We have a big challenge and with this study, hopefully it will give us some options.”
In an effort to obtain a cross-section of input from the community, the study team has also hosted informational booths at venues such as the Mar Vista and Venice farmers markets and First Friday on Abbot Kinney, Muna-Landa said.
Following the completion of the parking survey, staff will give presentations at community meetings and conduct subsequent studies and counts in the area beginning in the spring, she said.