Metered parking planned for Abbot Kinney

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Abbot Kinney Boulevard has long been home to upscale boutiques, art galleries, and—surprisingly—free parking.

That last part could soon change. Having already rolled out a demand-based paid parking system in other parts of Venice over the summer, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation is now planning to add meters on the well-trafficked street.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin and transportation officials will host an open house tonight to discuss the project, which would also include paid motorcycle parking and zones for electric scooter parking.

According to a tweet from Bonin, these measures would “increase parking availability, ease traffic flow, reduce pollution, and relieve scooter dumping” in the area.

An information page about the proposal notes that the call for paid parking along the street came in part from the Abbot Kinney Merchants Association, a group of business owners focused on promoting the street as a cultural center. Both the merchant group and the Venice Neighborhood Council have long struggled to address parking concerns along the boulevard, where spots are in high demand (and seldom available).

Proposals were advanced in 2009 and 2013 to bring metered spaces to the street; neither plan was carried out.

Since then, dockless scooters and bikes have proliferated in the neighborhood, giving residents and visitors new ways to get around—and creating new concerns about cluttered sidewalks.

The city’s new proposal calls for 196 metered parking spaces (plus 18 motorcycle stalls, which would cost half as much) on Abbot Kinney and side streets that intersect with the boulevard. Nine scooter “corrals” would be added in order to encourage riders and scooter companies to park the devices in places that don’t block the public right-of-way.

The meters would be administered through the city’s Express Park system, which was first rolled out in Downtown LA in 2012. Some Venice parking spaces are already managed through the system, which charges different prices for spots depending on the time of day and the desirability of the parking spot.

Prices in Venice now range from 50 cents to $3 per hour.

The open house Thursday is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Westminster Avenue Elementary School.

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