Week 5: Robertson Pilot Program still waiting to take-off

Cocktail tables line the curb of Robertson Blvd. this past weekend during “Out on Robertson,” during which the street was closed off to encourage foot traffic to local bars and restaurants.

Out on Robertson, the much bally-hooed street closure pilot showed little momentum this past weekend. This weeks headliners were: The Abbey and Rachel London, a West Hollywood resident and home-based clothing designer. No other West Hollywood businesses participated. Non-profits who had taken part in previous weekends Project Angel Food and Black Women Lead did not participate again.

This week the street closure once again began earlier than announced. The barriers southbound on Robertson went up and 4:50 Saturday afternoon. One hour and ten minutes earlier than discussed at each meeting between residents and city officials.

The Abbey tables in the street were mostly empty at the 5:30 pm hour on Sunday. All the other businesses were closed on the street. Signs on Melrose eastbound directed cars to the Parking Lot entrance on La Peer at the old Factory construction site.

The Pilot Program was introduced by Council member John D’Amico and Council member John Erickson. It passed the entire City Council without any outreach to businesses or residents, without a budget attached or staff report.

Each weekend durning the pilot program period Santa Monica Blvd is suppose to close at 6pm on Saturday evenings until early morning Monday. Over a dozen cars have been towed over the period despite the empty streets south of the Abbey.

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[…] its three-month run, the program has had little participation from local businesses. The street never “transformed” into a pedestrian friendly zone as intended. Project […]

Sammy Wammy
Sammy Wammy
1 year ago

maybe there wld be more foot traffic if they had left Hamburger Haven in tact? that undoubtedly created lots of foot traffic? oh wait perhaps that wasn’t the type that the Abbey wanted?

Steve Too
Steve Too
1 year ago
Reply to  Sammy Wammy

Hamburger Haven was an eyesore with poor food that lasted well past its expiration date. While it’s sad that people may have lost their jobs, anything that replaces it will be a vast improvement.

hifi5000
hifi5000
1 year ago

On Wednesday May 19th at 6:30 PM,there will be a meeting of the West Hollywood Transportation Commission via teleconference.It is listed on the city’s calendar section on its web site.If you don’t like this Robertson pilot program,sound off at this meeting and tell them this program stinks.

Scott
Scott
1 year ago

I was a part of the “light crowd” (which was not as light as Mr. Block may have wanted), and it was great to walk around the opened up street and not have to worry about getting run over by an SUV. It will be great to see what Robertson looks like once it’s turned into a permanent pedestrian plaza!

Jim Nasium
Jim Nasium
1 year ago
Reply to  Scott

You’re easily amused.

JJ1
JJ1
1 year ago
Reply to  Scott

Usually people who worry about getting hit by cars stay on the sidewalk. No need to close an entire street within a city for for an entire weekend for people with moving vehicle phobia. Waste of our tax dollars to benefit one business within a city (and to make people with moving vehicle phobia feel safer).

Scott
Scott
1 year ago
Reply to  JJ1

Do you seriously think that the 3rd St Promenade in Santa Monica should allow car traffic again just because pedestrians can “stay on the sidewalk”, framing those who enjoy the improved urban environment there as having a “phobia”? If the lifestyle you need involves blasting your car through every square inch of land you can see, then you really should consider moving to a suburb.

Jim Nasium
Jim Nasium
1 year ago
Reply to  Scott

Comparing the Santa Monica Promenade to Robertson Blvd? So far, that’s the funniest thing I’ve heard today.

Scott
Scott
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Nasium

It wasn’t a direct comparison, just a point to make about the vitality of pedestrianized zones. You and I would seem to agree that Santa Monica Boulevard, with its plethora of shops, bars, etc., would be an even better location to restrict traffic and open up to pedestrians.

JJ1
JJ1
1 year ago
Reply to  Scott

Yes, Santa Monica Blvd would make sense from that stand point. But it’s not feasible with the traffic situation. If it’s doesn’t work, don’t wast money doing it. That is my point.

Sammy Wammy
Sammy Wammy
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Nasium

I concur on this “joke”

JJ1
JJ1
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Nasium

Right?!

JJ1
JJ1
1 year ago
Reply to  Scott

No, I think 3rd St Promenade is the perfect type of situation where a street should be closed to pedestrians. It has a nice mix of restaurants, bars, retails shops, a movie theater. Robertson on the other hand, only has ONE business within this pedestrian zone. Totally wrong place to close of an entire street as evident in the fact that no other business is out there on the asphalt. Total waste of of tax dollars to have code compliance and sheriff deputies sitting there all weekend long. You’re the one that made the comment that you’re afraid of getting… Read more »

Steve Too
Steve Too
1 year ago
Reply to  Scott

The Robertson experiment should not be under consideration for a permanent 24/7 pedestrian plaza.

Robertson is a thoroughfare south of Santa Monica Blvd. Normal weekday traffic could not be rerouted onto Melrose via San Vicente or LaPeer/Almont. The “traffic calming” measures on Melrose make a permanent detour impossible.

If (and that’s a big if) the pilot program is a success, the most one could expect is a limited hours plaza on certain weekend hours.

Enough.
Enough.
1 year ago

TOTALLY RIDICULOUS. A waste of city resources. And all to benefit one business..The Abbey. No other businesses on Robertson wanted this. The residential neighborhoods north and south adjacent didn’t want this. This past Sunday morning at 11:45am, someone with a microphone at the Abbey started screaming into it and it could be heard into the Norma Triangle. Then the music started blasting. People screaming (picked up by the live mic). Several residents called Code Compliance and a few HOURS later it stopped. I’m so thrilled that the councilmembers realized their dream of people doing yoga on asphalt. Can we now… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Enough.
Steve Too
Steve Too
1 year ago
Reply to  Enough.

There’s one other business on the block that probably loves the closure – The Hollywood Foreign Press Assoc. They have a long history of wanting to limit access.

C.R.
C.R.
1 year ago
Reply to  Enough.

Well it sounds like a lot of people were having a great time if it was so loud, so which is it here? I say give it until the end of the summer, then reevaluate whether or not to keep it going.

WeHoMikey
WeHoMikey
1 year ago

It would be nice if there could be a mix of food and merchandise on the street, such as what one might experience at a street fair. Palm Springs does their “Village Fest” every Thursday during the summer months and it has been going on for over a decade at this point. While shutting Robertson Blvd. to car traffic on Saturday evenings is long-overdue (it’s been impassible for many years due to bar traffic), trying to gauge the success of a 36 +/- hour shutdown during “May Grey” or “June Gloom” isn’t really representative. A milestone weekend (Memorial Day, July… Read more »

Manny
Manny
1 year ago
Reply to  WeHoMikey

Since March the city has been actively reaching out and begging businesses like the ones you describe to participate. The answer has been no, they’re not interested, it’s not worth their while. That is obvious. So desperate in getting some kind of participation that the city began reaching out to Instagram pages and “home businesses”. It’s been obvious not much success there either. Six guys did show up on week two and did some stretches for an hour. The city begged those guys to show up. As a point of fact, Palm Springs closes Palm Canyon for only 6 hours… Read more »

JJ1
JJ1
1 year ago
Reply to  Manny

Manny, you have summed it up perfectly. Thank you. Have you considered a run for city council? We could use some reasonable, smart grown-ups running things.

Scott
Scott
1 year ago
Reply to  WeHoMikey

Totally agreed! Pilot programs are intended to explore what works and what needs to be changed, and that’s the certainly the case here.

Mr. Block could really benefit by the city’s crafting of an improved, more walkable environment around Boystown. His editorial stance on Robertson, which seems a bit like a strange fixation, is very puzzling.

Cy Husain
1 year ago

Hey I think it would be a great idea to make ALL of West Hollywood a CAR-FREE zone just like the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica❗😃 We could all get around by Public Light Rail, Electric Buses and, Scooters. It would significantly reduce our adverse Environmental impact♻ and, give us a chance to meet new people everyday.💖

Michael Grace
Michael Grace
1 year ago

Look at the road maintenance. It’s worse than Los Angeles. People must be desperate to meet in that atmosphere.

Maybe the guy running The Abbey can chip in and pave it. He is the “second coming” to the WEHO City Council.

Last edited 1 year ago by Michael Grace
WeHoMikey
WeHoMikey
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Grace

perhaps you’d like a red carpet rolled out?

Michael Grace
Michael Grace
1 year ago
Reply to  WeHoMikey

Nothing will help that disastrous scene.

WehoFan
WehoFan
1 year ago

Robertson needs to be repaved.

Sammy Wammy
Sammy Wammy
1 year ago
Reply to  WehoFan

oh please all of not most of California needs to be repaved

Jim Nasium
Jim Nasium
1 year ago

I think the group of three shown in the picture are comforting the person who had this idea.

Peter Buckley
Peter Buckley
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Nasium

Isn’t that Lindsey?

Enough.
Enough.
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Nasium

LOL too funny

Peter Buckley
Peter Buckley
1 year ago

This really has to stop. Did anyone in City Hall complete a traffic flow study on Robertson for a typical weekend?

WeHoMikey
WeHoMikey
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Buckley

have you ever tried to drive on Robertson on a Saturday?

Manny
Manny
1 year ago
Reply to  WeHoMikey

I have, it’s not a big deal. It’s my chosen route at any time of the day or night and it moves. The fact that it’s heavily used as you describe is reason enough to leave it open. At least people aren’t jaywalking from Bossa Nova to the Abbey anymore.

Vigilent
Vigilent
1 year ago

Velvet ropes on Tobacco Road.

If there is one person with a glimmer of aesthetic sensibility on the City Council or City Staff would they please identify themselves?

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