Los Angeles city officials hope to restore some peace to Griffith Park with a new traffic and parking proposal addressing the backed-up cars and scarce weekend parking that can spoil the urban retreat for park-goers.
But many of the hundred or so community members who gathered for a public meeting on the draft plan Wednesday night expressed doubt that the proposal would do enough to put a dent in the stream of nearly 8,000 cars that enter the park most weekends, clogging neighborhood roads.
The city's Department of Recreation and Parks and Councilman David Ryu presented the proposal at the public meeting that was held at the Friendship Auditorium in Los Feliz.
"It's a jungle up there," said Ryu. "I think the key focus is how do we decrease vehicular traffic while still promoting accessibility to Griffith Park as a whole, regardless of your mode of transportation."
Among the more controversial proposals is one to charge for parking on the upper roads of the park and in the Griffith Observatory lot. Lower lots, such as the ones at Fern Dell and the Greek Theater, would remain free to encourage more visitors to park and walk, bike or take shuttle service to the upper reaches of the park.
Revenues from parking could fund an expanded DASH shuttle service, currently operated only on weekends. The proposal calls for shuttles running on a one-way loop from lower park areas up to the observatory every 15 minutes.
Some at the meeting were skeptical that the changes proposed would cure the problem.
Los Feliz resident Julie Campbell lives on North Vermont Ave near the park entrance, which she called "the gates of hell" due to the severe congestion she contends with on a daily basis.
"Thank you, guys, for trying, but this ain't it," she said. Instead, she suggested requiring reservations for parking access and moving more parking and shuttle access away from the Los Feliz area.
The city also proposes a new shuttle route to a viewpoint for the Hollywood sign on Mt. Hollywood Drive, which was previously closed to car traffic. Bike and pedestrian advocates protested loudly last March when the park announced a temporary opening of the road to car traffic.
Dozens of people at the meeting also expressed opposition to the opening of Mt. Hollywood Drive to shuttle traffic, saying a shuttle was unnecessary and would impede one of the few car-free areas still left in the park.
Bike advocate Ben Nero pushed to eliminate cars from the park altogether: "Griffith Park doesn't have a traffic problem. It has a car problem. We need to close the roads at the bottom and get cars out of the park," he said.
The city will continue to take public input on the proposal before any changes go up for a City Council vote.
View the full proposal here or below. Further public meetings will be scheduled or you can
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Griffith Park parking proposal
This story has been updated.