By Matthew Rodman
Special to the Palisades News
Let’s wait and see if a re-energized Palisades Village on Swarthmore will result in the need for a community-wide permit parking district. A proposed, fragmented approach to permit parking in the Alphabet Streets will adversely impact all residents in this neighborhood and many in the Huntington Palisades.
Recently, Alphabet Street neighbors heard that a group of residents were advocating for a preferential permit parking district to be created in a small section of the neighborhood.
After the results of a broad survey concluded that just a few residents supported permit parking, the original proposal was dramatically scaled back, and now covers just a couple of blocks of Monument and Embury streets. Creating such a small permit parking district will likely result in drivers simply moving up a block or two within the Alphabets or into the Huntington, and does not address the potential parking concerns in a fully informed way.
Parking issues in the Alphabet Streets ebb and flow, but have recently been amplified for several reasons: the temporary loss of parking during construction of the Palisades Village project, a significant increase in home construction and the workers that accompany that work, as well as more home-workers than ever before.
Small permit parking districts don’t work well. The implementation of such a parking district near Palisades High has pushed nonresident parkers just another block away. Around the Westside Pavilion, where some blocks are permit parking only, scores of people rush into the neighborhood every two hours to move their vehicles (usually to across the street or the next block). Are we really looking to emulate these ineffective parking solutions?
The concern that employees at the new Palisades Village complex will begin to park in the neighborhood is premature. Mr. Caruso has repeatedly assured residents that all tenants and their employees will be required to park on-site, in the three-level underground parking garage, or face fines. His project may also provide parking for employees of other nearby businesses, at a reasonable cost. We cannot effectively address parking issues in the Alphabet Streets until after the Village has life again, so that we may observe what, if any problems actually materialize.
Many of us in the community are not opposed to permit parking districts in concept, but wish to wait and see how the parking situation evolves once Palisades Village opens in fall 2018. I’m not asserting that permit parking may not be needed. If in the end, permit parking becomes necessary, then a coordinated effort of all the blocks in the Alphabet Streets will ensure a fully informed and effective implementation of the program.
(Editor’s note: The City of Los Angeles allows residents, block by block, to vote for permit parking. Once established, every homeowner must go in person to the LADOT Parking Enforcement Office and prove that he or she is the homeowner. That residency entitles you to pay for two permits, which are needed to park longer than the two-hour limit. Annual renewals are processed on-line. You are also allowed (only) two additional permits— for a nanny or teen’s car. Having a birthday party? You’ll need to go back to the LADOT Office and buy one-day permits for your guests. Additionally, permit parking regulations are enforced 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.)