To the editor: The proposed makeover of Hollywood Boulevard is a civic opportunity lain dormant for decades, but Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell’s vision is still myopic.
The L.A. Times’ article on this aptly mentions the success of pedestrian-only Karntner Strasse in Vienna. Overlooked as a seminal marker for the pedestrianization of thoroughfares is the world-famous Strøget walking street in Copenhagen that debuted in 1962.
Copenhagen’s vision has become internationally influential. I hope O’Farrell will see the light and make Hollywood a fully enjoyable pedestrian stroll without motor vehicles.
William K. Solberg, Los Angeles
To the editor: I love it! A road diet for Hollywood Boulevard, an area already starved for road space in a car-dependent city.
I appreciate how O’Farrell wants to make the Hollywood Walk of Fame like Santa Monica’s highly successful Third Street Promenade or Times Square’s pedestrian area in New York. But Hollywood Boulevard is a major thoroughfare, and Third Street isn’t and never was.
This plan, like other road diets, will only push motorists onto surrounding streets, including residential streets where they will be tempted to drive recklessly out of frustration with the slow traffic.
If our city planners want us to become less reliant on our cars, they might want to first consider making Metro bus rides free. Then, ideas such as the pedestrianization of the Hollywood Walk of Fame might lead to fewer traffic nightmares.
Alexander Wells, Los Angeles
To the editor: I support O’Farrell’s Heart of Hollywood initiative and its plan for a Hollywood Boulevard makeover. This makeover mirrors the recommendations made by an Urban Land Institute (ULI) advisory services panel in March 2001.
The ULI panel report recommended differentiating Hollywood Boulevard into four identifiable districts: an international visitors district, a central community district, a mixed-use transit-related district, and an eastern residential district.
Walkability, wider sidewalks, street trees, better lighting, pedestrian walkways and improved signage are the key elements of this proposed ULI Hollywood Boulevard makeover.
Perhaps nearly 20 years after the ULI recommendations, Hollywood Boulevard will indeed be made over.
Philip S. Hart, Los Feliz
The writer was co-sponsor of the ULI Hollywood advisory services panel in March 2001.