While viewers will see only a partial eclipse of the sun from Southern California, Griffith Observatory is expecting big crowds Monday and is preparing for a major traffic and parking snarl.
Unlike the small towns in places like Oregon and Idaho that are suddenly filling up for eclipse day, Griffith Park is used to being overrun by visitors — so much so the park has made some changes in the last year to try to better manage traffic and crowds.
Drivers must now pay $4 an hour for parking spots along West Canyon Road and Observatory Road and in the Observatory Lot. Free parking is still available in the Greek Theater lot on days the venue is not holding a concert, such as Monday.
The parking revenues are helping to fund expanded DASH bus service from the Red Line station at Vermont Avenue and Sunset Boulevard into the park. The buses now run on weekdays as well as weekends with a base fare of 50 cents.
But park superintendent Joe Salaices said the changes haven't totally solved the problem.
"We have not been able to reduce the amount of vehicles that are coming up. There’s a lot of vehicles coming up to the observatory," he said.
So come Monday, the park will tightly restrict traffic, opening to cars only at 7:15 a.m. and then closing off areas to vehicular traffic once spaces fill up. That means even if you take Uber or Lyft, the car likely won't be allowed up the hill.
Extra DASH service will be running from the Red Line station up Hillhurst Avenue to the observatory starting at 8 a.m., and, of course, it’s always a nice spot for a hike on foot.
Find more tips for attending the Griffith Observatory eclipse party on its website.