Willoughby, Vista/Gardner, and Kings Street Design Concept Plan Invitation

May 8, 2024 ·

Aerial overview of the city of West Hollywood. Photo by Nathan Dumlao via Unsplash.

WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Tuesday, May 7, the city of West Hollywood indicated in a press release that community members are welcome to attend an upcoming Informational Open House to learn more about the Willoughby, Vista/Gardner, and Kings Street Design Concept Plan. The focus of the in-person open house is to provide community members with detailed information regarding the Street Design Concept Plan and share an overview of the project’s steps taken to-date and next steps, moving forward.

The Informational Open House will take place on Tuesday, May 21, at 6 p.m. at the Plummer Park Community Center in Rooms 1 and 2, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. Drop-in; no advance RSVP is needed. Light refreshments will be served.

West Hollywood’s mobility projects are guided by the adopted Pedestrian and Bicycle Mobility Plan, which advocates for comfortable, safe, healthy, and convenient places to walk and bicycle in the context of a balanced, multimodal transportation network serving pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and motorists of all ages and abilities.

The Street Design Concept Plan was identified as a priority project in the Pedestrian and Bicycle Mobility Plan, and it launched in 2019. The project’s primary objective is to enhance the neighborhood and protect the safety of both pedestrians and cyclists through strategic street improvements across the corridor. This comprehensive streetscape initiative aims to create safer, more accessible routes for walking and biking while effectively reducing cut-through traffic.

By transforming Kings Road and Vista/Gardner Streets into key connecting corridors, the Street Design Concept Plan facilitates a seamless link between residential and commercial areas and east-west routes like Santa Monica Boulevard and Fountain Avenue. This connectivity not only supports a healthier, more active community, but promotes environmental sustainability and enriches local quality of life.

The Street Design Concept Plan is the first project stage in the development of the Willoughby, Vista/Gardner, and Kings Street Design Capital Improvement Project.

As a result of recent approval of the Street Design Concept Plan by the West Hollywood City Council, the Plan now moves forward to the Design & Engineering Phase, where concepts will be developed in much more detail. This includes the development and incorporation of detailed engineering plans, specifications, and cost estimates that will serve as the blueprint for project construction. The next stage of the project will determine the feasibility of the conceptual project elements from the Street Design Concept Plan and allow for additional insight into any refinements that may need to be incorporated into the project’s final design.

The Community Engagement and Plan Development Process to date has included:

-The Willoughby, Vista/Gardner, and Kings project was identified in the Pedestrian and Bicycle Mobility Plan adopted in 2017, and outreach on the Concept Plan for these streets began with a visioning workshop in Summer 2019.

-The project was delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, but in August 2022 the City hosted two community virtual workshops. Feedback and survey responses guided recommendations.

-In 2022, demonstration projects were installed along Willoughby as an alternative way to share ideas and provide community input.

-In addition to the community workshops, staff also met with residents to share information about the project. City staff attended multiple update meetings with the City of Los Angeles, including Council District 5 and the Mid-City West Neighborhood Council.

-As part of the demonstration project and community workshops in 2022, Here LA and the City’s WeHoTV collaborated to put together an engagement video to help community members envision potential street changes and improvements.

-In April 2023, based on feedback from the community, City staff finalized the report and recommendations to include protected bike lanes along Vista/Gardner, except for the two blocks between Fountain and Lexington, which were excluded due to the potential loss of parking along this segment.

-Staff presented these recommendations to the Transportation & Mobility Commission in June 2023, and the Commission expressed its support.

-In November 2023, the West Hollywood City Council directed staff to develop a policy to include protected bike lanes on all roadway projects. Following this directive, staff developed a protected bike lane option for Gardner between Fountain and Lexington.

-In March 2024, staff presented the Street Design Concept Plan to the West Hollywood City Council with two options for Gardner between Fountain and Lexington, including one with the addition of protected bike lanes.

The city will provide additional community outreach opportunities, moving forward, to refine concepts as part of the upcoming Design & Engineering Phase. West Hollywood will be looking for ways to address issues of concern, including decreasing impacts to on-street parking.

For additional details about the Street Design Concept Plan visit the Engage WeHo information and feedback page, which is located at https://engage.weho.org/willoughby.

For more information contact Bob Cheung, West Hollywood Senior Transportation Planner, at (323) 848-6346 or at bcheung@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

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