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Palisades Grapples With Chronic Parking Woes

December 20, 1987|BONNIE HEALD | Times Staff Writer

A shortage of parking space in the Pacific Palisades Village has pitted homeowners against local shop owners and employees.

Residents near the Village commercial center have petitioned the city Department of Transportation for permit parking, but civic leaders say this is a Band-Aid approach to the real problem--a parking shortage of 435 spaces.

"It's the right issue, but the wrong answer," said Ronald Dean, Community Council member.

Two weeks ago about 150 residents jammed into a city Department of Transportation hearing on permit parking.

Not all residents support a permit parking district in the Palisades. Although many residents agreed that Village employees have taken over nearby residential parking space, they said a permit parking district would only expand the problem to adjacent areas.

The Palisades Community Council and the Chamber of Commerce have each set up special committees to deal with the parking shortage that has plagued the community for the last 10 years.

Susan Carroll, Chamber of Commerce president, said numerous complaints from shoppers led business owners to discourage employees from using the Village's metered parking spots.

Unfortunately, this probably caused the residential parking problem, she said. "There is just not enough parking."

"It's an overflow problem that happens anywhere you have successful commercial businesses," said Claire Rogger, deputy to Los Angeles City Councilman Marvin Braude.

Braude's office has been assisting the community parking committees in their attempt to gain city approval for a new Village parking structure and a community shuttle system.

Money is available, Rogger said, "but when you're dealing with city government, nothing is very quick."

According to Doug Uhler, community coordinator for the two committees, about $400,000 in the city budget is earmarked for a new Palisades parking structure.

The money, from local parking meters, increases at a rate of about $5,000 a month, he said, but the city Transportation Department will not authorize its expenditure until a parking study commissioned by the department is completed. The department contracted with engineering company Linscott, Law & Greenspan to study the Palisades parking problem.

The study is nine months behind schedule. Uhler said the final report is due in three weeks.

On Wednesday, a draft of the second part of the two-part study, released earlier this month, was reviewed by representatives from the city Department of Transportation, the Chamber of Commerce and Linscott, Law & Greenspan.

Upset With Research Effort

The meeting was closed to the public, but Uhler said the Transportation Department expressed strong displeasure with the contractor's research effort.

Of special concern to the community parking committees was the study's conclusion that a proposed Palisades shuttle service was not justified, Uhler said.

He said the parking committees have proposed a shuttle service that would connect outlying residential areas of the Palisades with the Village and possibly the beach area.

Rider fares and sales tax revenues would pay for the system, he said.

The study stated that a shuttle would have no impact on the parking shortage in the Village because only the elderly, youths and the disabled would use the system, Uhler said.

Disagreeing with the study's conclusion, Uhler said: "They didn't have enough information."

Although a new parking structure is still three to four years away, Uhler said, he still hopes a shuttle system can begin by spring, 1988.

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