A survey of the parking situation in West Hollywood’s Preferential Parking District 2 has found that parking is relatively available although there may be some abuse of the city’s parking permit program.
The survey, conducted by Spencer Consulting Services, looked at the area bounded by Santa Monica Boulevard on the north, Melrose Avenue on the south, Huntley Drive on the west and West Knoll Drive on the east. That area has almost 500 legal street parking spaces. The parking situation is deemed “healthy” If fewer than 85 percent of street parking spaces are occupied. In District 2 the daytime occupancy rate on weekdays was an average of only 58 percent. On Saturdays, the average was 69 percent.
Parking in the area is restricted to residents and their guests and visitors, who must have special passes, and to commercial vehicles, which also must have permits. On weekdays, the survey found, on average 87 percent of the spaces occupied were by residents and four percent by commercial vehicles. Service vehicles, those with disabled driver permits and those without permits accounted for the rest of the occupied spaces. There were no commercial vehicles using spaces on Saturdays.
The survey noted three areas where occupancy rates were higher than the overall average.
1) On Huntley Drive from Melrose to Sherwood, occupancy rates were 63 percent on one side of the street and 78 percent on the other. Spencer Consulting said that the high occupancy rate is a result of the number of housing units on the block and that abuse of the permit system might also be a factor.
2) On West Knoll from Sherwood to Melrose, the average weekday occupancy rate was 70 percent on one side of the street and 76 percent on the other. Spencer Consulting attributed that to high residential demand and also possible abuse of the permit system.
3) On Sherwood between West Knoll and La Cienega the average occupancy rate was 86 percent on the north side of the street, which Spencer Consulting said could be attributed to the fact that that side of the block has only three legal parking spaces.
The survey reported “ample evidence of abuse” of the city’s guest permit passes, which were being used by restaurant employees to park while they were at work. Such permits are granted to district residents for use only by their guests. Spencer noted that valet working for restaurants “regularly offered to buy Guest permits for $100 over the price which the City charges.” West Hollywood residents with their own parking permits can purchase up to two guest permits for an annual fee of $33 each. Spencer noted similar abuses in its survey of the Preferential Parking District 1.
As it did in its report on the District 1 parking situation, Spencer Consulting recommended that the city reduce the number of visitor permits a resident can obtain within a given period and the number of consecutive days a permit can cover. Residents can obtain for free up to 50 visitor permits a day and up to 400 a month. In addition to one-day permits, 10-day visitor parking permits are available.
In its District 1 report, Spencer Consulting said an indication of apparent abuse of the visitor permit system is the fact that permits issued in West Hollywood grew from 106,000 in 2006 to 194,000 in 2013. “Most of that 83 percent increase has been in multiple-day visitor permits,” the Spencer report said. “They now constitute 61 percent of visitor permits issued, up from 26 percent in 2006.”