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South Bay Digest

Manhattan Beach

October 03, 1985

Despite concerns expressed by the business community, the City Council voted Tuesday night to lengthen no-parking periods along Sepulveda Boulevard and to eliminate parking in two areas.

The council, in a 4-1 vote, banned parking between 3 and 7 p.m. along the west side of Sepulveda throughout the city, except on Saturdays and Sundays. Parking is currently forbidden between 4:15 and 6 p.m. On the east side, parking will be prohibited from 5:30-9:30 a.m. between Tennyson and 11th streets instead of the current 6:30 to 9 a.m. ban. Parking will be banned completely on the east side of Sepulveda elsewhere in the city.

The move to restrict parking will increase lanes available during peak hours in the morning and evening, as requested by the state Department of Transportation. However, the council's action is contingent on its request that Caltrans increase traffic signal time on east-west streets across Sepulveda Boulevard. If Caltrans does not reply in 90 days, the city has the option of rescinding its decision.

Mayor Jim Walker, who voted against the restrictions, said his concern is that Caltrans will not honor the city's request. "If there is no word back in 90 days, my solution is to put parking back at all times on Sepulveda."

Walker said other South Bay cities are not making the same efforts to reduce traffic problems.

Public Works Director Mort August said green lights on Sepulveda last about 170 seconds per cycle, while on cross streets green lights last about 30 seconds.

"Because of the long delays, traffic builds up on side streets," he said. "We want them to reevaluate the signal time so that side streets would improve their east-west flow of traffic by about 5 to 10 seconds." That would mean that about four more cars per lane could cross Sepulveda Boulevard per cycle, he said.

Meanwhile, local businessman say the parking restrictions will hinder their businesses.

"People are used to just pulling up in front of a store and going in and making a purchase," said Greg Diete, owner of Je t'aime, 1509 N. Sepulveda Blvd. "They will feel a bit more inconvenienced because it would cause a little more delay."

Guy Raffaele, owner of Gemini Jewelers, 1145 N. Sepulveda, also opposed the restrictions: "It will cost the merchants about two hours of parking." He added, "It's going to cost me about 5% of my business."

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