Car Crashes into Parklet in Front of the Sunset Strip’s Book Soup

parklet, car crash
A car crashed into the parklet in front of Book Soup on Sunset Boulevard this morning (Photo courtesy of Jerome Cleary)

A car crashed into the parklet in front of the Book Soup store on Sunset Boulevard around 8:30 a.m. today. The parklet was empty and it’s not yet clear what injuries, if any, the driver suffered.

According to the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station watch commander, it appears there was a mechanical problem with the car, possibly a brake failure.

The crash got quick attention from several local residents who have spoken out against the parklet program. In March of last year, the City of West Hollywood invited local businesses and community organizations to suggest areas where from one to three parking spaces could be converted into parklets. A parklet is sort of an extension of the sidewalk by repurposing on-street parking spaces to create publicly accessible gathering spaces. Parklets can include seating, greenery, and bike racks, among other features. The spaces are meant to support commercial districts, contribute to the vibrancy of neighborhoods and provide additional open areas.

Applicants received a grant of $25,000 and the city began to approve seven parklets, with two on the Eastside, two on the Sunset Strip and three parklets in other areas.  In addition to the one at 8818 Sunset in front of Book Soup, one has been installed at 1051 N. Havenhurst Drive in front of the Miss Melbourne coffee shop, another at 8250 Santa Monica Blvd. in front of Bikes and Hikes LA, the bicycle shop, and another near 8869 Santa Monica Blvd., on the block between Larrabee Street and San Vicente Boulevard.

The Miss Melbourne installation has been popular, with guests of the coffee shop frequently sitting outside there. Danny Roman, owner of Bikes and Hikes, also has said the installation near his shop is successful. However, members of the West Hollywood Heights Neighborhood Association have been critical of the Book Soup installation and the one at 8869 Santa Monica Blvd. has drawn criticism from the owner of nearby Z Pizza, who is upset about losing the parking spaces.

The parklets can only be created on streets with posted speed limits of 35 mph or less. A parklet can extend onto a sidewalk if a four-foot unobstructed walkway is maintained for pedestrians. San Francisco has a well-known “pavement to parks” program and has created nearly 50 parklets since it launched in 2010. . Similar programs are in place in Long Beach and Los Angeles.


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Kirsten Visit
Guest
Kirsten Visit

“The parklets can only be created on streets with posted speed limits of 35 mph or less. “ I have worked near that intersection Sunset/Holloway for 20 years… and very few drive 35 mph or less there! This is situated at a busy intersection -day& night- with a curve and lots of distractions.

Kirsten Visit
Guest
Kirsten Visit

Whoever thought these “parklets” were safe? No surprise here. I would have thought more innocents would have been injured, maimed or killed. Too many jerks are texting and distracted while driving. A few years ago, there was a fatality at this spot from a distracted driver in wee hours of the morning. Poor decision by the City Council!!

AJ Mulhall
Guest
AJ Mulhall

Some of these “Parklets” makes sense, others not so much. The one on front of ZPizza is a joke. The only time I see it used are drunks at night and homeless people sleeping – and it’s always trashed. I’m still not sure what the purpose of extending our sidewalks years ago just so all the patios could then expand?! It has created numerous bottlenecks that cause people to then walk in the street on a busy weekend night – in front of Mickeys being the worst! The park there just adds to what was already an annoying and potential… Read more »

Kyle
Guest
Kyle

Join the discussion…I’ve given up trying to walk on the sidewalk in front of Fiesta and Micky’s on the weekends. The parklet removed about 4′ of walkable space (around the trees). I, along with lots of other people, just walk in the bike lane (yes, inches away from traffic). It’s the only way to get through, not be shoved into the parklet tripping over it (have seen many people trip and go head first over it – you can’t seen it at night in crowds and being so low). Maybe use all that money to clean the sidewalks, the decrepit… Read more »

Manny
Guest
Manny

Wow, the observations and negative impacts to the pedestrian experience and safety that you describe around that particular parklet is reason enough to GET RID OF IT!

Jonathan Simmons
Guest
Jonathan Simmons

“PARKLET” that’s a new term to me. Why weren’t barriers for safety built?? LIKE concrete filled stainless steel poles just above waste high and a light on top. Spaced out properly, it wouldn’t be offensive looking or diminish whatever people do in a “Parklet” but will eventually save lives due to thee chaotic street lay out there. (and the inevitability of something like this, or worse occurring again, and again. Is human safety thrown to the wayside so the City can use the “Parklet” to add to Private Developers legal obligations to create NEW GREEN SPACE to build all the… Read more »

WeHo Resident
Guest
WeHo Resident

These so called “parklets” make sense where they can provide extra seating area for businesses such as coffee shops, bakeries or restaurants where sidewalks aren’t wide enough to accommodate ample street side seating. Putting them in front of businesses that are primarily about alcohol (such as one on SMB) or ones where encouraging patrons to loiter serves no purpose, seems like a waste unless it’s to allow smokers a nice place to hang out (which isn’t allowed). Taking away parking spaces should only be done where a business will attract people to hang out there. I think that is much… Read more »

Eric Brightwell
Guest

Thank god no one was hurt… and that the parklet was demolished by a glacier-melting, exhaust-spewing, space-hogging automobile and not a bicycle or e-scooter!

Monica Siegel
Guest
Monica Siegel

I find it fascinating that the residents of this so-called “progressive” city oppose anything that will result in less traffic in this town. I’m guess the majority of West Hollywood residents support Donald Trump’s roll back of environmental regulations too. Keep those cars rolling folks! And let’s hope that Cancer Center gets built at Beverly and Robertson, because our lungs are going to need it.

WeHo Resident
Guest
WeHo Resident

Traffic is primarily caused by people needing to work and conduct the requirements of daily life. Taking away parking spaces or impeding traffic in various ways does not magically create viable public transit options or allow people to stay home. I can certainly say I’m not in favor of rolling back environmental regulations and am in favor of mass transit (please bring the subway to WeHo), but in the meantime don’t make traffic even worse or waste money on parklets that serve little purpose and remove parking. The air is cleaner when cars are moving efficiently to their destinations rather… Read more »

Chloe Ross
Guest

In a city where parking is at a premium and is such a revenue stream, this strikes me as ridiculous. In a city where drivers are usually texting or reading. their messages, this strikes me as a recipe for disaster. Why do this? We have many more pressing issues in WeHo. The parklet idea may look great on paper, but clearly has some problems. Sorry about Book Soup. That is a monstrous intersection.

MWF
Guest
MWF

These parklets are extremely poorly conceived and are a massive waste of money that might be better used actually cleaning the vomit covered streets in West Hollywood and picking up the trash throughout “Boystown”, where garbage cans overflow with garbage from Friday until Monday. The parklet on Santa Monica Blvd. in front of Mickey’s is literally across the street from a huge park and recreation area- how does this make any sense? It takes up at least 2, if not three badly needed parking spaces in an extremely parking space deficient area, and serves only as a rest stop for… Read more »

AJ Mulhall
Guest
AJ Mulhall

Agree 100%

Keith
Guest
Keith

Knew this was going to happen. ridiculous idea from the city to do these. Spend the money on cleaning up from the homeless on a daily basis sidewalks and streets are disgusting. West Hollywood is becoming an embarrassment!!!!!

J. T. Anderson
Guest
J. T. Anderson

It took a car crash to get rid of that stupid “parklet” on Sunset. The city continues to waste money on ridiculous projects that in no way improve the quality of life in West Hollywood. All of the so-called parklets should be removed. Get rid of the ugly red paint and tiny planter boxes with dead flowers on Sunset/Holloway. If you want people to walk on Sunset more then clean the sidewalks and pick up the trash. The only area on Sunset that is clean is the Sunset Plaza. The rest looks like a third world country. Plan and plant… Read more »

Joe
Guest
Joe

The area on the east side of Sunset between Alta Lima and Sunset Plaza is very nicely maintained. There staff is always working on that section.

Vigilant
Guest
Vigilant

That is because the property owner CARES!

Look Out!
Guest
Look Out!

I think we all saw this coming, I just expected it from the *east bound* lanes of Sunset. Hope no one was hurt.