Tonight's meeting of the GGPNC Transportation Committee
(7:00 at the Los Feliz Community Police Center
) will tackle a couple of thorny parking and traffic issues, including congestion mitigation on congenitally clogged Los Feliz Boulevard (congestion being yet another
excellent reason to oppose
the Adler Realty Mega Project/Traffic Generator on the Derby site), and a proposed parking structure in Los Feliz Village, a notion with which I've a bone to pick.
"Why", you might ask,"would you oppose the addition of badly need parking spaces in and around Los Feliz Village?"
Because (and I may just be a paranoid anti-development moonbat
), this parking structure would do nothing but create more trips by car into Los Feliz, generate more traffic, and gradually change the character of the Village by turning Vermont into a mini-Grove. The parking situation as-is must be sufficient to support the level of business we currently have on Vermont and Hillhurst: the thriving storefronts of the Village attest to that.
The only reason to create more parking is to squeeze in more people. And with people come Gaps, Barnes and Noble bookstores, and chain restaurants, the very things that folks who live in Los Feliz are fleeing in the first place.
And what to make of the term "structure"? That implies a multi-story concrete bunker, a grey, featureless eyesore plopped down in the middle of our pedestrian oriented neighborhood. Where will it go? What buildings will be lost to make room for it? Who will pay for it? And why not instead leverage our proximity to the Red Line, encouraging visitors to take the train by providing a free shuttle from the Sunset/Vermont station to the Village? Aren't we supposed to be in the midst of a paradigm shift in L.A., away from the car and towards mass transit? Or is that all just a bunch of baloney that does little more than provide city officials an excuse to give developers who build near transit stations huge tax breaks?
This parking structure scheme seems to me to be another indication of the intention of real estate and business interests to intensify land-use in Los Feliz. The first rumblings of this came in the form of the Adler plan to raze the Derby and replace it with a huge mixed-use development. As the Adler folks said themselves "There are a lot of people who would like the opportunity to live in Los Feliz, and we want to provide that for them."
I'm not against newcomers moving to Los Feliz. I'm not necessarily opposed to allowing some medium density projects within Los Feliz. I am against turning real estate developers loose on our neighborhood to build at will, until we are indistinguishable from Westwood or Century City.