Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Lights, On Your Feet

If you've ever braved the drive through the DWP's Griffith Park Festival of Lights, you've probably vowed never to do it again. On most nights, the traffic stretches all the way down Los Feliz Blvd. and even onto the 5. Motorists spend hours creeping their way through Griffith Park -- and let's face it, the light show isn't worth sitting two hours in the car.

That's why we now prefer to walk the route (parking at the zoo), if we go at all. And why we earlier applauded proposals to shut down the route to cars entirely.

Unfortunately, according to the L.A. Times, the DWP wasn't a fan of keeping the cars out. The paper notes the agency's bizarre reasoning:
The residents want the entire event to be pedestrian-only. Festival-goers do have the option of walking now, but they have to share the road with idling cars. So the DWP studied the issue for months.

And the Hall of Fame sentence the report contained was what?

"Transportation officials did voice strong concerns that the walking-only event could generate more traffic and congestion, due to established car-driving patterns and the limited number of parking spaces that are available in the immediate festival area," the DWP report stated.

The DWP contends that the Los Angeles Zoo parking lot -- adjacent to the festival route -- and other places in the area have just 1,300 parking spaces, but 2,500 to 4,500 cars visit the festival each night.

That's a recipe for a traffic jam, the DWP says.

There's no way that traffic jam could be any worse than the mess that now transpires.

Oh well. The walking option still exists for anyone who doesn't want to spend ALL EVENING in their car just to see a few flashing lights. (If you must insist on using your car, go early -- right after dusk -- on a Tuesday or Wednesday night.)

Also, in one concession to residents, the DWP will make the festival pedestrian-only on Nov. 21 through 25 -- the first five nights.

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