LA TIMES – In West Hollywood, Sunset Boulevard has long been the odd street out. It is the only one where parking meters tick until 2 a.m. Not so on other streets in this 1.9-square-mile city, not even along Santa Monica Boulevard, where metering ends at 6 p.m. So as clubs and restaurants fill up along the storied Sunset Strip that begins in Hollywood, it’s a sure bet many of those folks parked for free — even all night — in WeHo. That could soon change. A plan being drafted by the city’s Transportation Commission would extend the hours of more than 2,000 parking meters. City officials say the proposal is in response to the notoriously bad traffic and scarce curbside parking, thanks to being part of one of Los Angeles County’s night-life hubs.
The City of West Hollywood has announced relaxed parking regulations for the Independence Day holiday. While permit parking and other regulations will be enforced, parking meters and associated time limits as well as peak hour towing restrictions will be suspended on July 4. In addition, there will be NO street sweeping. The enforcement of all parking regulations will resume on Tuesday, July 5, 2011. Permit parking and all other restrictions WILL be enforced on July 4, 2011.
On June 27th, 2011 the City’s construction contractor, Hardy & Harper Paving Company, will commence street paving work on Holloway Dr, Horn Ave, Sherbourne Dr, Shoreham Dr, Palm Ave, and Westmount Dr.
The construction work for the upcoming week involves grinding off a couple inches of the existing deteriorated asphalt roadway, and then installing a rubberized asphalt pavement surface (uses recycled car tires). Day by day, the contractor’s work will include:
8 AM to 1 PM Westmount Dr & Palm Ave
11 AM to 5 PM Sherbourne Dr & Shoreham Dr
8 AM to 2 PM Holloway Dr
11 AM to 5 PM Horn Ave
8 AM to 3 PM Westmount Dr & Palm Ave
11 AM to 5 PM Sherbourne Dr & Shoreham Dr
8 AM to 5 PM Holloway Dr
12 PM to 5 PM Horn Ave
The Contractor’s working hours will be daytime from 8 AM to 5 PM. During the grinding work, there will be temporary no street parking and very limited access for cars in and out of driveways. Once grinding is complete, street parking will be restored. During the paving work, there will be temporary no street parking and NO ACCESS for cars in and out of driveways until after the asphalt cools.
In an effort to discourage scavenging of recyclables from waste bins, the City of West Hollywood has created an Anti-Scavenging Program. Part of the Anti-Scavenging Program will include the placement of anti-scavenging decals on waste bins by Athens Services. Scavenging of recyclables is not only a nuisance but a major concern which includes problems such as waste containers being left open, waste strewn about the surrounding areas and attracting unwanted animals and pests as well as identity theft. According to the Washington Post, although identity theft numbers are down since 2009, more than 8 million people were victimized last year with overall losses from identity fraud calculated at $37 billion. With identity theft presenting itself as a national epidemic, the City of West Hollywood has created several tips to help protect West Hollywood residents from both waste bin scavenging and identity theft.
The City of West Hollywood has launched a new campaign to help fight against bandit taxicabs. Bandit taxicabs are taxicabs that are not licensed to operate in the City of West Hollywood. Currently, there are seven fully-licensed and insured franchised taxi companies that are authorized to operate in West Hollywood. These companies employ drivers that have passed a criminal background check and are subject to random drug and/or alcohol testing. In addition, each vehicle is subject to an annual inspection.
“PRIDE 365: Power. Passion. Purpose.” is the theme of this year’s Pride Festival, produced by Christopher Street West and sponsored in part by the City of West Hollywood. The LA PRIDE Festival offers an opportunity for all to gather and be celebrated, entertained, educated and encouraged in finding new ways of generating Pride values for greater equality and social acceptance. This year, during the renovation under the City of West Hollywood Park Master Plan and building of the new West Hollywood Library, the LA PRIDE Festival will take place with an exciting new format within West Hollywood Park, on San Vicente Boulevard from Santa Monica Boulevard to Melrose Avenue.
The experience is being touted as ‘valet-like’ while also being on the cutting edge of technology. But what can happen when the ‘valet’ parking your car is a robotic machine? West Hollywood recently announced that it awarded a contract to a company called Unitronics to build a futuristic new automated parking facility at City Hall. Following the news, Weho Daily reader Chris Bray made us aware of another robotic parking structure being operated by Unitronics with a less than stellar history. That could be why systems to detect people and animals in cars are prominently explained in press materials provided by Unitronics and the City of West Hollywood when announcing the contract for the facility here.
A possibly drunk driver plowed through the median on a blind curve on San Vicente on Thursday night and then fled the scene. Beverly Hills Police apparently found the vehicle and driver a short while later on Coldwater Canyon. “My neighbors and myself darted outside after hearing what sounding like a horrible traffic impact,” said Weho Daily reader Corey Spears, who lives near the scene. “A neighbor who witnessed the incident explained that an SUV careened through the median on San Vicente heading north around Dorrington Avenue.” The accident “tore down three substantial traffic signs subsequently leaving a trail of skid marks and wreckage in the street,” said Spears.
On Friday, The City of West Hollywood will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Santa Monica Boulevard and Holloway Drive for the dedication of a dramatic new water feature that will sit on the corner in view of passing traffic. The event will take place April 15, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. The program will include a presentation of colors, official comments, ribbon- cutting and light refreshments. In 2003, the City of West Hollywood completed construction of the Veterans’ Memorial at the location. As part of this project, the City Council requested that accommodations for a future water feature be included at the site. On September 21, 2009, the City Council renamed the site as the Sal Guarriello Veterans’ Memorial, in honor of the late City Councilmember Sal Guarriello who was instrumental in the construction of the original project and the design process of the Water Feature.
Michelle Rex, interim deputy for newly elected Councilmember John D’Amico, told L.A. Weekly that West Hollywood residents have been calling and writing City Hall suggesting that a street be named for Elizabeth Taylor, who passed away on March 23. During a time when no one of prominence would address the fear and growing concerns about HIV and AIDS, particularly President Ronald Reagan, Elizabeth Taylor showed unique courage and leadership and used her celebrity to fight the disease and find a cure. She was also a big friend to the gay community and sometimes would visit The Abbey on Robertson Blvd to sip martinis and tequila shots. “It’s impossible to underestimate Elizabeth Taylor’s impact on the fight against AIDS from the very beginning,” said Aids Project Los Angeles Executive Director Craig E. Thompson after her passing. “We’re simply devastated by her loss.”
So far, it appears that naming a street for her is only an idea being floated around, and no formal discussion has taken place.
In car centric Los Angeles, just one week after the adoption of a revolutionary bike plan, car-free bike activist Stephen Box is poised to score a huge upset in Tuesday’s City Council elections. Box, who has been a huge leader in LA’s tenacious cycling movement, could upset 10 year incumbent and entrenched City Councilman Tom LaBonge, in the race for the City’s 4th Council District seat. The 4th District wraps around West Hollywood from Fairfax to La Brea, extending north to the San Fernando Valley along Laurel Canyon. Box’s rise to serious City Council contender from political nothing activist is something of a political “rags to riches” story: Box wasn’t political till he was hit by a bus while riding, and local politicos treated his complaints with disdain. From there, Box went on to serve jump start LA’s transportation blogging movement, co-author the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights, spend three years transforming the City’s new bike plan, and bringing LAPD to the table on cycling issues.