Weekend hikers, take note. Parking in the streets south of Hollywood's famous urban hiking spot will likely be getting worse. The Los Angeles City Council last week approved the renewal and expansion of a parking permit district abut the popular Runyon Canyon, an urban wilderness park that attracts scores of people looking for a workout on the canyon's steep trails that offer views of the city and Hollywood Sign.
Restrictions in Temporary Preferential Parking Permit District No. 112, which covers a five-block area around the park's Vista Street entrance, currently allow two-hour parking between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. seven days a week. Those with permits may park beyond the two-hour limit and at night. The new rules will additionally ban parking on weekends for non-permit holders.
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Darryl Ford of Hollywood Unbound, a blog that follows planning and development in the neighborhood, says "residents of each block in the proposed expansion area will still need to petition LADOT before they could post the new preferential parking restrictions on their block(s)" and believes residents will quickly do just that, if not already.
"Adding new weekend parking restrictions will do nothing to reduce the number of people who visit Runyon Canyon Park and will do nothing to fix the problems being caused in these neighborhoods by visitors to Runyon Canyon Park," Ford opined before a committee pushed the proposal to the full council. "Worse still, this action will likely increase weekend traffic congestion in this area, as visitors to Runyon Canyon Park will spend more time circling nearby streets in search of parking."
He added that the action will be bad for nearby streets that do not carry the same parking restrictions. It "may help quiet some of the local residents who are clamoring for a little relief but, in the long run, doing so won't really address the root of the area's problem."
The temporary parking district will expire next August when the City Council must take up the issue again if no solution is found. The city was planning to build an 80-space parking lot in a grassy field where yoga classes are usually held, but the idea has been on hold since 2009 after a group appealed the plan. A task force was created last month to address numerous quality of life issues such as illegal parking, dog waste and excessive noise.
Parking north of the park, where finding a space in a small lot off Mulholland Drive can be a challenge, has not been changed.