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Parking Woes in Westwood Village

September 13, 1987

I am a West Hollywood resident, and although I love my neighborhood I take the 15- to 20-minute ride down Sunset to Westwood once or twice each week. I love the atmosphere of the village, the movies, the shops, the people, the restaurants and the frozen yogurt. I could easily spend a few hours there walking, talking, eating and catching a flick.

However, it seems to me that a commercial area such as Westwood would in some way try to cater to its patrons by providing a less expensive means of parking one's car. As far as I can see, it is the only neighborhood with a $1-per-hour parking meter, when you're lucky enough to get a spot. Otherwise you're paying $3 (to) $4 for the privilege of renting a spot in a lot.

I don't get it. Any other commercial area that needs the consumers as much as a village like Westwood (need I mention that shops come and go out of business in Westwood faster than you can say "Rum Raisin with sprinkles, please") provides limited free parking. Isn't it strange that the City of Beverly Hills, more than Westwood, caters more to the idea that you need to provide space for your customers in order to get them there and keep them there? All over Beverly Hills are parking lots with 2-3 hours of validated free parking, and they are not even catering to a movie crowd, a crowd that stays in one place for at least two hours.

Century City, a major shopping center and future home of many movie theaters, has the necessary parking spaces for the facility. As a matter of fact, the parking situation in Westwood is unique in that the neighborhood doesn't do anything to give their consumers the time to . . . consume, before receiving a parking ticket. Yes, the inevitable Westwood parking ticket. A fact of Westwood Village life that few have missed.

I know I'm not alone in my attitude when I say that I would frequent the Village more often than I do if there were available free parking. At this point, if the same movie is playing elsewhere, that's where I'll go. It would be easier and less expensive. Free parking lots in a neighborhood that needs customers as badly as Westwood does, seems like such a logical solution to a nagging question.

STAR FROHMAN

West Hollywood

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