That’s the headline in the local college paper. Read the story here. I know a tad about this area and the school that’s home to the paper. I attended UCLA all those years ago and spent many an evening studying in the local beer halls of Westwood. I know the Broxton garage well. And I know the village very well.
The problem with Westwood is that they don’t charge ENOUGH for parking on street. That means rather than park for free in the Broxton garage people drive around looking for space on street, clogging the narrow streets and causing havoc with the traffic.
The writer compares the Village with Santa Monica, Westside Pavilion, and Century City. Wow, I guess Ms. Katrina Oh doesn’t get out a lot. Santa Monica spent millions renovating its downtown core. It is arguably one of the destination locations in Los Angeles. Trendy shops, restaurants and clubs line the city’s Third Street Promenade. There are tons of movie theaters, and the just reopened Santa Monica Place shopping center that is as they as “ab fab.” Oh and there are six large parking structures that in fact, due charge for parking. The place is jammed and on weekends, its wall to wall people. Westwood Village, with its vintage stores and old theaters not so much.
Or, there is Westside Pavilion home to Nordstrom’s, tons of stores, and a new state of the art cinema with what, 10 screens, wine bars, great restaurants, and even a theater where you can sit with your sweetie on great sofas while sipping wine that was delivered to your seat. There is no way that people come to Westside because of the parking, as it arguably has one of the worse parking lots west of the Mississippi. They come there because the place is a great place to go.
OK, what about Century City. I have written about this wonderful, high tech garage here so I won’t bore you again, but suffice it to say that Century City Shopping Center is one of THE shopping centers in LA with top of the line restaurants, a 15 screen cinema with IMAX, Bloomies, other terrific shops, including “The Art of Shaving” where you can spend $350 for a Gillette vibrating razor. AND, Ms. OH, they do charge for parking.
Granted at both CC and SM, you can get validated and do get a couple of hours free, however you do pay, and at CC pay dearly if you go over the two hour limit. People go there not because of the parking, but because it’s a great place to go.
If Westwood wanted folks to shop, play, and visit, perhaps they could do some refurbishment, redesign, and the like. 40 years ago Westwood was a destination location. Hasn’t changed a bit.
Oh, and those poor students who drive there and park in the Broxton garage. Why don’t they walk? Westwood is across the friggin street from the campus, where all of them have parking permits.
As for Privatization, Why should the city own parking structures, anyway? That’s was private industry is all about. They should be concentrating on properly running their on street operations.