Is Sunset Boulevard becoming WeHo’s Times Square?

With more and more digital boards lighting up West Hollywood’s most famous street every day and night, WeHoans can’t help but notice how Sunset Boulevard is starting to resemble Times Square.

To many city leaders and business figures in the community, it’s a sign of hope and prosperity.

For others — particularly people who live nearby — it’s bad news.

Eighteen digital billboards on the Sunset Strip have already been approved, and 10 more are in the planning stages for the 1 1/2-mile stretch between La Cienega and Doheny.

Residents say the strobing effects of the billboards have made Sunset Boulevard more dangerous to drive on, and that the constant light pollution has led to a decline in their quality of life.

“The digital billboards are comparable to the size of 20 normal-sized billboards and emit as much light as 90 new street lights all in one place,” said Ellen Evans, president of the Doheny Sunset Plaza Neighborhood Association.

“The intersection of Cory and Sunset, which is the gateway to the Sunset Strip, is already a traffic bottleneck, and this proposed massive 14,000 square foot billboard will transform the intersection into an even more severe situation, causing congestion further down Sunset into Beverly Hills,” said WeHo resident Linda May.

Opinions like these clash directly with the thinking in City Hall, where city leaders are looking at the billboards as a gold mine of new revenue. Former Councilmember John D’Amico envisioned the billboards illuminating the Sunset Strip into “a two-mile-long living piece of art.” 

Sol Yamini, owner of three businesses on the Strip (Pinkdot, Pinkdot Xpress and Urbn Leaf) and a boardmember of the Sunset Strip Improvement District, believes they are giving the legendary street a new lease on life.

“Sunset Boulevard is going to be an upscale Times Square,” said Yamini.

He laments the potential loss of beloved spots like the Viper Room but believes the changing nature of the Sunset Boulevard is vital to West Hollywood’s future.

“I see the Sunset Strip as being the coolest place, the most high-end, one of the best destinations in all of the U.S.,” he said.

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olen
olen
9 days ago

anybody who wants this many billboards is OUT. OF. THEIR. MINDS.

JR Birdsong
JR Birdsong
10 days ago

As long as the businesses along the SUnset Strip, Santa Monica Blvd. et al, and the enormous tax dollars they bring into the city coffers, not much will change. Most of the city council is in ‘bed with club owners’, so do not expect much to change there! The MORONS that voted for fewer Sheriff’s instead of more, should be run out of town.

Former WeHo concerned citizen
Former WeHo concerned citizen
14 days ago

About 6 years ago a former planning commissioner told be point blank the city council wants Sunset Blvd to be Times Square and he was helping to enact that plan

Lolo
Lolo
15 days ago

No, au contraire just more hotel rooms for OnlyFans workers.

Koweho
Koweho
11 days ago
Reply to  Lolo

If you can afford the room rate, do in it what you want.

Really...
Really...
15 days ago

I wonder if the many visual distractions caused by far too many (as of now) digital billboards have been responsible for traffic accidents. Does anyone know? Does the City know? And, NO, I do not want Sunset Boulevard to look like what has become a truly ugly Times Square. I did celebrate one NYE in TS many years ago when life was more simple, safe and not as in your face commercial. Think of NYE in Sydney (the iconic bridge), Egypt (the ancient pyramids), Paris (the Eiffel Tower), London (the Eye) and then visualize the obscene commercial assault on the… Read more »

Tom
Tom
15 days ago

“’Sunset Boulevard is going to be an upscale Times Square,’ said Yamini.”

No, it’s going to be Blade Runner.

Sunset Fail
Sunset Fail
15 days ago
Reply to  Tom

Times Square will never be rid of its seedy undercurrent and neither will be the Sunset Strip. Anyone in City Hall that thought this would be a dramatic upgrade is neither sophisticated nor has ever visited Fifth Ave, The High Line or any cosmopolitan Main Street in the US or Europe.

At a time for the need of tight community, the City has run in the opposite and more dangerous direction.

C.R.
C.R.
11 days ago
Reply to  Sunset Fail

You will never have a “tight community” if the rent is as unaffordable as it is now in West Hollywood. You will have a constant revolving door of people moving in and out in a state of transition, staying only short term in the same location. Thus lasting community and caring for that community will be greatly reduced. There’s no way around that.

Ernesto Sportello
Ernesto Sportello
10 days ago
Reply to  Tom

Hardly. Blade Runner has style. Weho want to be downtown Reno. Just as tacky but more expensive.

Tim
Tim
15 days ago

I’m not against digital billboards, but there has to be a maximum brightness allowed. That dentist across from Tocaya at Sunset Plaza is ridiculously obnoxious and blinding.

Koweho
Koweho
15 days ago

I believe the city actually has a formal development plan to make Sunset a digital media center, so yes they want a version if Times Square.

SeeMe
SeeMe
16 days ago

Times Square actually has jammed sidewalks, full of people. Sunset Boulevard, sadly, remains a ghost town beyond the cars.

Enough!
Enough!
16 days ago

Yup, and you city “leaders” don’t care. At one time the city was trying to reduce the blight of billboards…now it fully embraces them. $$$

Sellout
Sellout
16 days ago

According to Mr.Yamini’s opinion, “Sunset Blvd. will be an upscale Times Square”. Pardon the public Mr. Yamini, that made considerable investments in their homes in the Sunset Plaza & surrounding area which maintained a discernible quality of life. You have no basis for that type of a judgement. A choice of the Hollywood Hills is a far cry from Times Square under the wildest stretch of imagination. Your lense is a delivery service and an opportunistic cannabis emporium not a sophisticated life style chosen by the residents. For West Hollywood decision makers to sell out the residents of the immediate… Read more »

David Abrams
David Abrams
16 days ago

The Sunset Strip has, in many ways, always been defined by its billboards. Photos of the street from any era are full of billboards. The new digital billboards are beautiful and bring back an exciting visual appeal to the street.

Really...
Really...
15 days ago
Reply to  David Abrams

Absolutely disagree !!

Rick Newberger
Rick Newberger
15 days ago
Reply to  David Abrams

Yes. All part of our louche charm.

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