Monday, October 24, 2016

LAPD faces parking crunch at new Glassell Park station

Northeast Division LAPD Station

GLASSELL PARK —  Early this year the officers and staff of the LAPD Northeast Division moved into a new station that is more modern and spacious than their old home. But there’s one thing that the new, approximately $25 million station is lacking: parking. Now, the city is proposing to spend nearly $10 million more to build a new parking garage while the LAPD works to lease temporary parking spaces from a church.

The 52,000-square-foot station at the corner of San Fernando Road and Treadwell Street was constructed with leftover bond funds from Prop. Q, which paid for new public safety facilities. But there was not enough bond money to pay for a parking garage, leaving staff and visitors to cram into small surface lots or search for scarce street parking.

There is some parking relief in sight. Mayor Garcetti’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year includes $9.68 million to design and construct a 240-space parking garage “to ensure efficient operations at the station,” according to budget documents.

But, if that budget item is approved, it would still be a while before construction begins. The construction itself would worsen the parking crunch because the station’s approximately 270 officers plus support staff will not be able to park on an existing  lot while the new structure is being built. Capt Arturo Sandoval said he’s happy to see money in the proposed budget for the garage but that construction will “significantly” reduce the number of parking spots to the rear of the station.

The police station’s parking problems might be addressed in the short term thanks to the New Life Vision Church in Atwater Village. Until a new garage is completed, the LAPD is planning to lease parking spaces from the church under a free, two-year lease, according to a City Council motion introduced by Councilman Mitch O’Farrell. It’s not an ideal situation since the church is about a mile a way from the station, which will require LAPD employees to be shuttled back and forth. But apparently that’s less inconvenient than having officers and staff hunt for street parking.

“Any off site parking may require sworn and non-sworn personnel to be shuttled in to Northeast by on-duty employees,” Sandoval said in an email. “This has been done at other commands as their stations were being built. We will do what we can to minimize any impact caused by parking off site.”

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  1. But they can’t fix sidewalks or potholes?

    • I think “they” is more like “we” in this case. Sidewalk repair has been up for a vote in the past, and that bond issue was voted down. Later, a 0.5% sales tax was about to be proposed, but was then withdrawn because of a pending lawsuit – which has forced the city to make a plan to fix the worst sidewalks — but in a very slow cadence. It has become a pretty complex situation.

      • The city really painted itself into a corner when it took over the cost of maintaining sidewalks in the first place. Add to that, all the ficus trees they planted which tend to uproot the sidewalk.

        I think sales tax is the wrong way to go though. It’s a regressive tax and we already pay some of the highest rates in the nation.

        I just hope we can figure out a way to incentivize tree replacement (rather than removal) before we return the sidewalks to property owners. It’d suck to see thousands of ficus trees removed, and nothing replanted in their place.

  2. It will not hurt to walk from the church parking to the police station or public transportation? just saying and yes it would be nice to fix potholes and sidewalks

    • Linette C. Woron

      Why on earth did the city build the new station without adequate parking in the first place? Also, Police officers risk their lives for us, I can’t see asking them to walk nearly a mile from where they park to the station.

      • Sounds like the project was funded using leftover bonds. So they probably figured we might as well build the new station with the revenue that exists today; and worry about a parking structure if/when it become an issue.

        But I suppose one could argue they didn’t need to build such an architecturally elaborate station… I imagine that ate up a lot of the budget.

        I wonder if they can rent overflow parking spaces from that giant Goodwill lot across the street, and just put in a pedestrian activated traffic signal to cross San Fernando there? Seems like a much cheaper solution, if it’s viable.

  3. P.P.P. by the City of LA.

  4. 35 millions and still no street sweeping in Glassell Park….

  5. In other news donut shops in the area has reported increased business since this station opened.

  6. I thought Garcetti wants everyone to leave their cars behind and ride a bicycle (which he refuses to do for himself). And he wants to eliminate parking on the street, or at least make it too expensive for anyone but the rich to use. Why do we need parking for police? Let them ride bicycles, the don’t need to patrol in cars. Or, walk the beat. Or, maybe they can ride the bus.

    Previously, they devoted a big parking lot in the back to only police. The front parking for the public had about five spaces and was nearly always filled, sometimes with police cars that didn’t bother to go around back. The public couldn’t get in, and you can’t park on San Fernando Road. If we are going to spend $10 million on a parking structure, there better be PLENTY of parking for the public in there. I’m afraid there will be five spaces or less for the public. And they better not charge the public to park, they should not be making a necessary trip to the police station be a moneymaking event for the city.

  7. I can’t believe no one is questioning the cost????? it took 25 million to build and furnish and entire new building, yet a parking structure is going to cost 10 million????????

  8. It was also really important that they build the new LAPD station as quickly as possible. While it’s not ideal that they completed the building without having the proper parking in place, many of the longtime LAPD Northeast Division officers believed that the former station was causing excessively high rates of cancer: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2014/05/01/lapd-officers-believe-the-northeast-station-is-making-them-physically-ill/

    The former station was originally a Kodak film lab and was believed to be inundated with harmful toxins.

    • But that was really fake information. That was all known before they ever took over that site a couple decades ago, That was all mitigated and capped before they ever redesigned the building for police use. That is not something new they did not know about and solve years ago. That is just the typical fake information to justify the expense of a new station — the city is always giving out such fake information to justify things, they figure people don’t know. Well, some of us do.

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