Opinion: Saturday Night Fever; Robertson Boulevard Weekend Closure Plan Not Well Thought Out

It had to be at least five years ago when I was invited by the BID which held sway over the commercial residents of the block of Robertson Boulevard between Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard to observe a presentation by city staff. What the city had in mind was to re-arrange the parking to one-side angled, eliminate parking on the other side, plant more trees and shrubbery, install benches and otherwise pretty up the entire block. It was to be a pilot project meant to encourage better pedestrian access and to offer a more pleasant aspect for visitors. Knowing how such proposals, if enacted, actually become reality, I asked if I’d still be alive when it came to fruition. It never did.

Now the city has a new plan for that once-busy piece of commercial real estate: It wants to close Robertson between Tovar Place and Santa Monica Boulevard between 6 p.m. Saturday and 2 a.m. Monday, every weekend. The plan would use the sidewalk and street for a myriad of other activities such as a farmers market or yoga.

On Wednesday, the West Hollywood West Residents Association, hosted by Manny Rodriguez, held a ZOOM conference for residents to hear and view the city’s proposal as presented by city staff. This proposal, as have many others, was advanced through process and onto the Council agenda without any discussion with either commercial interests or residents. When the Council voted unanimously for it, that action was similar to voting for a “blank piece of paper,” as characterized by Mr. Rodriguez, since only the staff report was offered as a rationale.

Let me get right into this. The proposal is highly favored by the Young Turks on the Council and by staffers who consider the city planning process more as playing on a giant board game with movable objects representing buildings and other city features. But, where are the little stick figures meant to represent residents? While one might applaud the idea of a more pedestrian friendly city, as several residents did during the meeting, such proposals as this are only pop-ups without a broader view such as inclusion in the General Plan in order to establish such ventures. How residential neighborhoods and the commercial community might be impacted seems to have been overlooked.

In this case, high-volume Saturday night traffic would be dispersed into the surrounding residential neighborhoods – already under siege by visitors who blithely ignore parking restrictions. It would impact residents who might have invited family or friends to their homes on a Sunday only to find no place for them to park. Our constant problems, endless traffic and lack of parking spaces are only exacerbated by the Robertson Closure Proposal. It’s a “rush-through” idea without the proper consideration of its consequences.

Readers can view the ZOOM meeting with presentations by writing West Hollywood West Residents Association at whwra90048@gmail.com

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Jonathan Simmons
Jonathan Simmons
4 days ago

1. Was this first ever SUPER FAST DECISION in history done before or after Heilman? A farewell gift to his benefactors developers??? First’ Who will benefit financially from this decision Is that business or those people worthy as a long term GOOD BUSINESS PRACTICE HISTORY? If it’s an “insider” a delay to review and actually take unofficial but vote/ballot by any WeHo residents who want their input to be part of the decision. The misuse of “The Brown Act” which limits input, when it was specifically written for small municipalities in CA running wild with no accountability to residents. Gossip… Read more »

Danny R
Danny R
17 days ago

I Just got back from Palm Springs. Tons of parking, strict noise ordinance and wide open streets. Calm, peaceful and serene. Heaven! I look forward to retiring there one day when the city gets to be to much for me. I understand that living in the center of West Hollywood’s nightlife might get to be too much for me later in life and I will Bow out gracefully, letting the young enjoy their youth like I once did. ❤️🙏💪

FJ1
FJ1
13 days ago
Reply to  Danny R

That city is not what it was 25 years ago or more. There are drug addicts, alcoholics and the mentally ill wondering the streets of PS too. And it’s getting scary as well.

FJ1
FJ1
17 days ago

Yep the city asked for no input until after they approved it. What a way to run things. The only business benefiting from this will be the Abbey. Yoga on the street? How dumb since we just spent millions of dollars to enhance our park why would anybody choose to do exercise on asphalt? A lot of streets in the normal triangle have permit parking starting only at 7pm. Did anybody think how that’s going to impact the neighborhood streets during the daytime on Sunday? What about the noise. Are the residence in the surrounding areas entitled to some peace… Read more »

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