STUDIO CITY—For those who hike or live near Wilacre Park, parking has become a real problem. Due to the recent 300 percent increase in parking fees ($1 to $3), many hikers have decided to avoid the cost altogether and park in the residential neighborhoods surrounding the park.
“A buck didn’t bother me before but this new parking fee is coupled with the fact that one can no longer purchase an annual parking pass for this specific park (you must purchase an all inclusive annual pass for $300 to $450),” claimed one hiker discussing the parking issue on yelp.com.
According to comments made on the site, many hikers have chosen to park on the street just outside the parking lot, which proved a poor decision for one unlucky individual who stated, “My car was broken into once there”¦I’ve seen several bashed-in windows along Laurel next to the park. I recommend parking in the tucked-away residential area behind the park.”
Residents of the area have reported numerous issues as many hikers have begun to heed this advice. As the number of people parking in the residential neighborhoods has increased, so has the amount of trash allegedly discarded in the area by negligent hikers. Those residing in the area are also concerned with the growing number of unsupervised children and dogs, deeming them accidents waiting to happen as drivers struggle to maneuver their way through the narrow streets. One of the primary issues is the number of parked vehicles clogging the streets and blocking residents’ driveways and mailboxes.
Homeowners claim they understand that some of these issues are just the grain of salt that coincides with living next to the park, but those utilizing the trails need to be respectful.
A major area affected is Iredell Street, which has no curbs or sidewalks. According to local law enforcement, part of the problem is that the street lacks no parking signs. Without them, police are unable to do anything about those vehicles parked along that street.
Several complaints have been sent to the city requesting solutions to the problems. Possible solutions proposed by residents include installing no parking signs and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy lowering its fees. The Conservancy claims that due to a lack of funds needed to maintain the parks, a reduction in fees is out of the question.
In a response to the problems caused by a lack of public access to the park, the Department of Transportation is actively working on a list of possible measures.