Archive for May 28, 2011

Anyone who lives in or visits West Hollywood knows that parking is a problem.  A major problem.  And an expensive problem when one of the countless parking enforcement drones (employed by private contractor Serco) slaps an inflated ticket on your car the moment a  meter expires or when you parked in what you thought was a “safe” space or area.

West Hollywood just finished construction of a new 333 space parking structure. It’s accessed off of Robertson and El Tovar and, when the library is complete, it will also have an entrance on San Vicente Blvd where where the new library is grafted onto the front of the structure.

Artist's rendering of the nearly completed library. This is the front of the building on San Vicente Blvd across from the Pacific Design Center, just north of Melrose. The parking structure is in back and can be entered off of Robertson Blvd and El Tovar.

Here’s the basic information from the City’s press release on the opening of the structure.

The five-story, 333-space, West Hollywood Park/Library Parking Structure provides convenient parking for park visitors as well as the surrounding business community. Features of the West Hollywood Park/Library Parking Structure include:

  • Three rooftop tennis courts
  • State-of-the-art Pay on Foot (POF) technology where visitor’s process their own parking tickets via cash or credit card payments
  • Advanced validation system for special events
  • Multiple safety features including emergency call boxes

Hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Parking rates include:

8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Daily
1st Hour is free
1 Additional hour free with park validation
Thereafter $1 each 20 minutes
$12 maximum

6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday
$1 each 20 minutes
$6 maximum

6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday
$1 each 20 minutes
$8 maximum

6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday
$10 flat rate
Two hours free parking for park visitor’s with validation

That’s all nice, but it’s not the most interesting parking structure to come to West Hollywood.  The City Council has approved the construction of 5-story, 200 space, automated robo-parking structure in place of the 67 space surface lot currently in back of City hall at 8300 Santa Monica Blvd at Sweetzer Ave.

The current look of West Hollywood City Hall at Santa Monica Blvd and Sweetzer Ave.

These kinds of parking structures have been used for decades in other parts of the world. According to an article in WehoPatch, the only other similar parking structure, west of the Mississippi, is being built right now in Santa Monica, near St. John’s Hospital.

My favorite parking structures, by far, are the two, gigantic, automated parking structure used by Volkswagen at its Autostadt delivery center and theme park near its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany.

The twin automated carpark towers rise over the VW's Autostadt theme park.

The City has budgeted $13 million for “the structure, technology, motor court and community plaza area.”  The cost to engineer and fabricate the actual mechanism is approximately $2.6 million or $13,200 per space. The contract goes to Unitronics, an Israel-based automation and logistics solutions specialist.  The project is supposed to start construction in June 2012 and finish by July 2013.