The presentation hinged on four points:1) public safety
3) Hollywood sign
4) media campaign
The intersection of Vermont and Western Canyon was heavily impacted during Spring Break. They propose one-way traffic on Vermont and two-way traffic on Western. A shuttle would stop at Traveltown, the LA Zoo, connecting to the Metro Red Line at the Sunset & Vermont station.
There will be free parking at the Greek Theater and Section 9. East & West Observatory Road will have angled parking (metered). The goal is to redirect tourists who wish to view the Hollywood sign from the neighborhoods to the park.
The shuttle route would be from the Greek Theater to the Obsevatory. Another shuttle would run from the Greek Theater to a Hollywood sign viewpoint. A third shuttle would run through the tunnel and back. Shuttle service would run every 15-20 minutes.
Vehicle traffic invading Vermont and Ferndale would be alleviated. Hollywood & Western may be designated as the official Hollywood sign viewing point from the Metro system. There will be shuttle stops outside the park.
Q & A session:Q. Will Western Canyon eventually become a one-way street?
A. Eventually, but not in phase 1. Phase 1 will roll out in Fall 2016.
Q. Can you give us more details about the shuttles?
A. They will hold 21 passengers. There will be 4-5 shuttles total.
Q. What about the sharrows along Obsevatory Road? Sharrows do not work to improve public safety. Impatient motorists passing cyclists can cause problems.
Q. What about the environmental impact of the shuttles?
A. The mitigated negative declaration tells how much emissions the shuttles will generate annually. The document is available on LAparks.org.
Q. How does the neighborhood traffic exit Commonwealth Canyon Drive? Residents cannot get to their houses, nor can emergency vehicles access those residents.
Q. Why can't Griffith Park be closed to all cars like Central Park in NYC?
A. We are reaching saturation of cars within the park, so this may be a long-term solution.
Q. Has a bike lane been introduced to the one-way plan?
Q. Can revenue generated by parking fees be used to repave Mt. Hollywood Dr. and keep it closed for pedestrians and cyclists?
Parting thoughts:The shuttle in Zion National Park is a buzzkill for pedestrians and cyclists. The selfie culture is dominating wilderness access.
|Griffith Park is my Backyard, Too (Mapped on 12/21/2015)|
After thoughts:During public comment, I spoke about how I was among the dreaded Spring Breakers, although it was 15 years ago. At that time, websites were sparse. Back then, I found information about the Youth Hostels we stayed at on a webpage, but most of our information was found in travel books and magazines.
As a tourist, I would not have had the sophistocation to take public transportation back in 2001. Coming from Nebraska, I had no idea how to navigate the Metro light rail system. I have lived in California for more than 10 years now, and I am just now figuring it out.
|This is a scan of the actual scrapbook.|
In order to take our photos in front of the Hollywood sign, we drove around the area until we found some neighborhood to park in and hike up a bit. Some nice locals even took our picture. I want to say that our "tourist dollars" poured into California, but the truth was that we didn't actually go inside Legoland or Disneyland. We did a lot of walking in areas that were free.
What I didn't realize at the time is that I was already imagining what it would be like to live in Southern California. I love the sunshine and recreational opportunities that come with it. Speaking with a former running buddy, I describe how the streets of Glendale are a dangerous place to go running, but Griffith Park is considered a safe space. Also, the climbing offered by Griffith Park, in particular Mt. Hollywood Dr. (currently not open to cars), is a great way to train for other longer rides that involve hills. If I only ride out to CSUN and back, it's too flat to prepare for hills.
Having a safe space to climb on a bike is EXTREMELY important to those who train for the long multi-day rides such as Aids/Lifecycle, the Climate Ride, and Ride2Recovery California Challenge.
With all the negativity (on the part of cyclists) about sharrows, I did a bit of reading. It turns out that sharrows are meant to show cyclists the safest place to ride. I had been confused when there are sharrows in the middle of the lane, I ride in the middle of the lane. I thought there were no sharrows in Glendale painted to the right of the lane, but here's one example.
|Watch this video here.|
When a sharrow is painted in the center of the lane, it means that riding to the right side of the lane is not safe, due to parked cars (creating a door zone) for example.
If you really want to read the entire report regarding "Griffith Park Action Plan" as it is called, see here:
If I, as a cyclist, had to do 2 hours worth of research and reading to really understand a "sharrow" it's unlikely that people will use them as intended.
|SF to Salinas Century (May 2015)|
The other thing, that I think is related to these issues, is a discussion of requiring cyclists to have safety flags and wear a certain amount of square inches of fluorescent fabric.
I have no problem wearing fluorescent colors and reflectors and I have a flag for my bicycle that I use when I'm volunteering as a ride marshal or when I ride recreationally along the Pacific Coast Highway. I wonder if the Park Action Planners realize that opening Mt. Hollywood Dr. to cars will force cyclists like me to start worrying about my safety. I already worry enough as it is, can't we just have one car-free space to train?
When I ride among cars, I will wear a safety vest and if on a particularly busy highway, I will fly my flag. I don't want to have to do all that to ride in my "backyard," aka Griffith Park.
I understand that a helmet is expensive. The safety vest I wear was $15. I think we paid $12-15 for our flag at a bike shop, but you can buy a 6' flag online for $7. Some helmets cost $60-120 and some are as cheap as $7 (see Burbank Bike Angels). I have heard that a mandatory helmet law for cyclists is not supported by bicycle advocates due to the cost burden for low-income individuals that rely on a bicycle as their primary means of transportation. What about the requirements for reflectors ($8)? Are they not cost-prohibitive? The lights I use are in a state of constant flux, but $26 was just for a USB-rechargable taillight. A set of front and rear lights was $39 (in 2013). Half of our fleet of bicycles is missing the pedal reflectors ($5). So just to meet the current laws would cost just over $50. Adding requirements for a helmet, vest, and flag would bloat the cost for the casual cyclist, commuter, or competitive athlete.