WeHo Council Approves Weekend Pedestrian-Only Plan for Robertson Boulevard

View looking south on Robertson Boulevard from Santa Monica Boulevard intersection.

With a unanimous vote on Tuesday night, West Hollywood’s City Council approved a plan to make a portion of Robertson Boulevard into a pedestrian-only zone on Saturday nights and all day on Sundays.

The plan, which will launch as a three-month pilot starting in mid-April, will close Robertson Boulevard to vehicular traffic between Santa Monica Boulevard and El Tovar Place, just north of Melrose Avenue, from 6 p.m. on Saturdays to 2 a.m. on Mondays.

That portion of Robertson Boulevard has narrow sidewalks and people often spill out into the busy street, especially near The Abbey and The Chapel nightclubs. By eliminating vehicles, it gives people more room to walk without fear of being hit by a car, thereby improving public safety.

In a discussion that consumed over an hour at the tail end of a six-and-a-half-hour long meeting, Councilmembers John D’Amico and John Erickson explained by sponsoring the item, they hoped to give city staff an opportunity to get creative with things to do with the community space.

They suggested possibly extending OUT Zone dining areas into the street or having food trucks there or having a mini street carnival. D’Amico also suggested possibly on Sundays having yoga classes in the street or 12-step recovery programs meeting there.

“We’re trying to create this opportunity and then slowly fill it with a set of things that our city Community Development Department, through their OUT Zone experiences, can carefully curate or put into place,” said D’Amico.

Erickson added they’d adjust things depending on the feedback they get from businesses and the community.

That portion of Robertson Boulevard would remain open to vehicular traffic during the week, including on Friday nights.

Seven of the 11 people speaking during the public comment period spoke against the idea. Several said it was unwise to launch a pedestrian zone which will attract more people to the area during the coronavirus pandemic when social distancing should be practiced. They said it would be better to wait until after the pandemic to start it.

However, Mayor Lindsey Horvath suggested it is the right time to launch it because there is less traffic and fewer impacts because of the pandemic. “If it can’t work in these constrained conditions, it’s definitely not going to work in everyday full-blown life [when pandemic is over],” Horvath said.

Most of those opposed lived in nearby areas and were concerned about traffic spilling over into residential areas when Robertson is blocked off.

Resident Manny Rodriguez, who lives just a few blocks away, called the idea “premature,” saying there was not a proper traffic study and suggesting that Rangely Avenue, a residential street, would become a “Little Melrose” with lots of extra traffic.

However, Kristin Cook, the city’s public safety director, said the city would make safety adjustments including adding public safety officers as needed.

Abbey and Chapel owner David Cooley phoned in to say he supports the plan, but added he was not behind the idea, saying he only learned about it 24 hours before the meeting. Cooley suggested the city also do the pedestrian zone on Friday nights, since Robertson is busy then too.

The Council was open to the idea of Friday nights, but opted to see how this pilot program works before adding Fridays.

D’Amico first suggested creating a pedestrian zone on Robertson on Saturday nights in May 2012, but the idea was shot down by the other councilmembers. After Tuesday’s unanimous vote, D’Amico joked that he could now resign from the Council as getting this approved was “all he ever wanted to do.”

WEHOVille readers agreed with the City Council’s decision. Results of our reader’s poll on the issue below:

0 0 vote
Article Rating

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

24 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Joan Yeoman
5 days ago

I sent a Email to Leslie, but as usual…WH never cares about anything that I recommend.

Matti
Matti
7 days ago

West Hollywood has truly built itself around walkability. This characteristic is not an afterthought here, but central to the city layout and culture. It’s clearly been a guiding principle for many years and the contrast is evident once you cross out of the neighborhood’s eastern border into LA City. But although exceptional with respect to LA, public space in Weho is still very much dominated by automobile speed of travel and ease of access, like much of urban America. Time is past due to turn the page on streets that heavily prioritize one mode of transportation and foster ones that… Read more »

Weho Poster
Weho Poster
8 days ago

All the people predicting that doom will follow this very good decision should read this: https://www.fastcompany.com/90294948/what-happened-when-oslo-decided-to-make-its-downtown-basically-car-free

Vigilent
Vigilent
7 days ago
Reply to  Weho Poster

Oslo accomplished this with much foresight, many developments and a much different mind set of their citizens.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
8 days ago

the majority of residents aren’t going to the gay bars in that area. why is the city council so focused on helping those businesses and not others??? we know the answer.

JD Frankfort
JD Frankfort
8 days ago

That’ll be great for working people who go to Anawalt on Sundays and can’t get there at other times of the week /s. This is a ridculous idea that’s only going to over-burden neighboring streets — as if Santa Monica Blvd. isn’t already overcrowed — and make it even more unbearable for local who live nearby.

Webuiltthiscity
Webuiltthiscity
9 days ago

This must be a test run for the developers of the project at The Factory. Doesn’t their mall/hotel include an open air walkway to the park? It would make sense to include Robertson Blvd’s closure as part of this plan. No time like the present to get everyone riled up and distracted from who this really benefits.

Larry Block
Larry Block
9 days ago

The west side of town will be bumper to bumper on Santa Monica and then round Roccos and then round the block on Melrose and the other cars will
Go down Huntley and Melrose, some will have to loop around Doheny- Well it’s ok to look like Dodger Stadium if we were giving out vaccines but we’re just encouraging Covid. Ps- move the construction wall on the south side of abbey 20 feet and let them expand into the park area and keep the streets open for the rest of city.

Vigilent
Vigilent
9 days ago
Reply to  Larry Block

Where is critical or at a bare minimum logical thinking?

Peter Buckley
Peter Buckley
9 days ago

Let’s see how it goes, but if the traffic forced into neighboring streets becomes a nightmare, then that’s that. Ok Lindsey? And can we please have the stop signs on Lloyd repainted?

Bill G Skywatcher
Bill G Skywatcher
10 days ago

Hey, who knows what April will bring (certainly not showers to LA!) but definitely Los Angeles’ newest COVID sharing zone! Come share your virus with other citizens of Weho! Come one! Come all! What’s a community without a little virus sharing??

Adding Fridays is unlikely to pass. It will greatly diminish access to Pavillions for people coming after work, so don’t hold your breath on that one.

WeHo used to be the “Creative City,” now it’s just the insane one — the one that makes living it for people who need a car almost a deplorable one.

Last edited 10 days ago by Bill G Skywatcher
FJ1
FJ1
10 days ago

D’Amico believes (with a straight face) that people will want to do yoga on the street. Yeah. Wouldn’t you? Especially when a multi-million dollar park with grass and trees will be just stone’s throw away. Asphalt sounds so much more enticing. He also envisions AA meetings on the street…taking the anonymous out of Alcohol Anonymous. Give me a break. The Abbey gets to expand their “dining” into the street on weekends…cause you know..everyone goes there for the food. The surrounding neighborhoods will be all over this for increase sound levels and traffic /parking issues. If the neighborhood’s quality of life… Read more »

Last edited 10 days ago by FJ1
Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
10 days ago
Reply to  FJ1

100% agree.

Vigilant
Vigilant
11 days ago

And what is your job description? Creating Out Zone Experiences to justify my exorbitant salary and perks inside the four corners of my desk.

CodyWarlock
CodyWarlock
12 days ago

Why dont we just hand the entire city of West Hollywood over to David Cooley and Lisa vanderpump and be done with it. I’m sure they’re lining city councils pockets quite nicely.

FJ1
FJ1
12 days ago
Reply to  CodyWarlock

Yup. The only business this is really benefiting from this pilot program is …what for it….wait for it…the Abbey.
Surprise, surprise.

Jeffery aubel
Jeffery aubel
10 days ago
Reply to  FJ1

Bossa nova, pump, Hedley’s and tortilla republic will also benefit

JustSaying
JustSaying
9 days ago
Reply to  Jeffery aubel

Bossa Nova is moving to Sunset and Tortilla Republic is closed for good – but good for Hedley’s – cute spot.

Jeffery Aubel
Jeffery Aubel
9 days ago
Reply to  JustSaying

That’s sad, didn’t know

Weho resident
Weho resident
9 days ago
Reply to  Jeffery aubel

Tortilla Republic (now closed) and Sur are not included in the pedestrian area and Bossa Nova would have moved by April.

FJ1
FJ1
7 days ago
Reply to  Weho resident

Yup, the ONLY place benefiting is the Abbey..and those that like asphalt yoga.

FJ1
FJ1
7 days ago
Reply to  Jeffery aubel

Bossa Nova is closing, Pump already has outdoor seating, Tortilla Republic is closed and Hedley’s is not in support of it (you can watch the taping of the meeting online).

Kirk K
Kirk K
5 days ago
Reply to  Jeffery aubel

Oh really, how am I supposed to pull up for curbside pickup on take out orders at Hedley’s when the street is closed to traffic? They will lose business. Not fair to business owners on Robertson except those selling cheap beer and playing loud music.

Click to Hide Advanced Floating Content


TaxSlayer Simply Free Tax Filing

0
0
vote
Article Rating
24
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x