You Can Only Have Fun for 1 Hour in Hollywood on a Saturday Night

dEAd Hollywood Parking Meter
Photo by Mike Hudson

I’m in Hollywood regularly and revel in having “good parking karma.” That is, I usually have good luck in usually finding street spots within a few blocks of my destination and avoid the lots. While I’d read about city-wide changes in parking rates, hours, and meters, it didn’t really affect me until this past weekend.

Running a little late for a show at the Pantages Theatre, where we parked would possibly make or break us seeing the beginning of the performance. With that in mind, we resolved to just find a lot and I had the cash ready to hand over. But, we saw a spot on Hollywood Boulevard very close to the theater. Based on our prior knowledge, we knew at 7:55 pm, we’d be fine parking there.

Wrong. Not only are all of the meters chopped off of the poles in favor of pay stations, there are new rates and hours. And they are outrageously ridiculous. Not only is it $2 an hour to park in that area*, it is 1 hour parking only until MIDNIGHT on Fridays and Saturdays! This is in the middle of a dense collection of restaurants, clubs, and theaters. What could someone do that will only take one hour? I’m guessing the parking lot fees will go up even higher.

Since the musical we were attending was not going to be wrapped up in 50 minutes, we ended up in a lot. At least we still made it to our seats on time.

*I don’t know the exact geography of these hours. I was on Hollywood Blvd. between Vine and Cahuenga.

13 Replies to “You Can Only Have Fun for 1 Hour in Hollywood on a Saturday Night”

  1. I hear the mayor is currently nuzzling cocktail waitresses at the downtown Bonaventure and celebrating his victory over you silly voters.

    I suggest you go down there and thank him personally.

  2. I’m also extremely upset about the new parking extended hours and rates. They’re going to need to rethink the hours and make them more realistic especially in Hollywood. One hour parking extended until midnight on a Friday or Saturday night is pure insanity. I hope enough complaints will reverse this revised parking law.

    If you discourage people from ever going out, businesses are going to lose some serious money and it will not promote spending.

  3. It’s f***ing nuts. When we went to the Tiki Ti for Classic Eats the bartender warned us (and anyone who visits his website) that while the signs posted indicate the meters stop clocking at 6pm, they actually now go ’til 8pm. LAME. and evil.

  4. Its part of the grand plan by more than a few city managers chasing scag approval of redevelopment plans and funding to “pry us out of our cars and rely on mass transit”. Really my city manager used those exact words in his little weekly propaganda letter where he bashes citizens.

    Snarks aside, when you have to be in high density areas like that it does make sense to take mass transit, and LA is slowly getting better at it.

  5. @frazgo: when mass transit runs past midnight and is safe during the late hours, i’ll take it, but this is a poor effort to promote mass transit if those two things aren’t even remotely available.

  6. As skim noted above, if the mass transit had later hours, I would have absolutely taken it. I live very close to a Red Line station and there is one very close to the Pantages. But, we would have been rushed to get back after the show and wanted to make a night of it with dinner after. This is continually a problem. We’ve taken the Red Line downtown for a show and then ended up returning to Hollywood with a friend for dinner and hanging out, only to have him have to drive us home as the trains stopped running. So much for being green.

  7. While I agree that the Red Line hours should be extended, the Subway is not the only way to be green. There is an extensive bus system in Los Angeles. It goes everywhere the Red Line does and many more places. It runs far more often than any of the rail lines. While it can be intimidating at first, the more you ride it, the more your realize the intimidation is unfounded, particularly when traveling in groups, as you were. The more people who ride it and share with their friends how extensive it is to take, the more “normal” it will seem to ride the bus. The more people refuse to ride any transit, the more there will always be a market for car lots and not smart development and transit solutions.

  8. Yes, the bus is a viable option and I have ridden it and had no problems, even though it was more for work reasons. It would just require me to get my act together in terms of planning my time, as I’m always running late!

  9. With that in mind, too, Metro (and LA Dot and the other munis too) needs to work better to make the online trip planner and information at stops more functional, accurate, and useful, so the bus seems like a more viable, accessible option to everyone.

  10. I also live near the red line and have full access to the bus lines to go into Hollywood and West Hollywood. The problem is that the trip planner doesn’t work unless you are able to use it from a stationary computer. When I try to access it on my blackberry, it often tells me that there are no buses scheduled to run when I know it’s not true. I can usually get to where I need to go, getting home is another story.

    The parking situation in Hollywood is ridiculous. Does anyone know of an organized movement to get something done about it? It might be hard to go up against the parking mafia, but I think if it were an organized effort it would be easier. I feel as though the owners of the Hollywood valet companies are behind this a little bit. $20 to valet on Cahuenga?! Ridiculous.

  11. So then Frazgo what is the alternative? A community with no planning or design? A free for all? How easy do you think it would be to get to a show at the Pantages, or anywhere, then? Would we even have a Pantages, or would it and other historic venues be torn down in the name of progress? Would we have a community of any merit, identity, or sense?

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