Local residents visiting Abbot Kinney Boulevard may soon have to fork over a few dollars to park along the famed roadway and its adjacent side streets, according to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT).
With a desire to increase parking turnover in the area and encourage more visitors to local shops, Councilmember Mike Bonin and the Abbot Kinney Merchants Association recently asked LADOT officials to review the parking policies for Abbot Kinney Boulevard, LADOT’s website states. “In response to this request, LADOT developed a plan to install parking meters on Abbot Kinney and along commercial frontage on all the intersecting streets.”
The proposal, which is detailed online at laexpresspark.org/venice, could include the installation of 196 on-street metered spaces, seven accessible parking spaces for individuals with disabilities, 18 motorcycle-specific stalls and 9 on-street dockless device corrals for e-scooters and e-bikes that would hopefully reduce clutter on sidewalks, according to officials. And the implementation of a 2-hour parking time-limit every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. has been considered as well.
“At this point, the plan is still in a design phase,” and a timeline has yet to be established, said LADOT’s Public Information Director Colin Sweeney, who mentioned the proposal is subject to change based on stakeholder feedback — some of which was given at a recent community event hosted on by representatives from Council District 11 and LADOT.
Venice resident Allan Parsons attended the community meeting, where he said he asked Bonin’s Transportation Policy Director Eric Bruins about the origin of the plan.
“To which Bruins said they talked to Abbot Kinney business owners, who said they want turnover, and tourists who want to be able to park and shop on Abbot Kinney — both of which are reasonable expectations,” Parsons said. “However, I reminded Mr. Bruins that ‘Mike Bonin’s office is supposed to be representing constituents who vote for Mr. Bonin in Council District 11, and tourists are not part of Mr. Bonin’s voting base,’ to which Mr. Bruins back-peddled and explained, ‘Yes, we want to take into account residents’ concerns.’”
Parsons added, “So, this seems to be a project to pacify shop owners on Abbot Kinney and is another veiled attempt to generate even more revenue for the city through meter revenue and parking enforcement.”
Fellow Venician Roseann Boffa, who lives near Andalusia Avenue — one of the side streets that will likely receive metered parking if the proposal is approved — agreed with Parsons’ sentiments.
“Half of the parking is currently taken by people going to the beach and the other half is from Abbot Kinney,” Boffa said, describing how her neighbor drives around the block for as long as half-an-hour looking for a spot within a few blocks of her house. “And that’s without this plan, so if it goes through then I feel the people who live here will definitely have nowhere to park.”
Restricted and permit parking methods were mentioned during the meeting, according to attendees, but Boffa said these policies would only hurt the local residents who often have visitors and loved ones over.
“It feels like I just moved back to Manhattan and am living in New York where it’s dog-eat-dog to find a spot,” Boffa said. “I always joke that Venice is like SoHo with a beach and now its spot on. It’s just like parking in Manhattan all over again.”
Bonin could not be reached for comment, but the councilmember’s spokesperson David Graham-Caso said, “There has been a lot of strong feedback to LADOT’s proposal. The councilmember is listening carefully and will discuss it with LADOT.”