HOLLYWOOD (CBS4) – A proposal to temporarily offer free parking in downtown Hollywood went down to defeat Wednesday afternoon.
The Hollywood City Commission was looking at offering free parking in the two city-owned downtown garages between October 15th and January 15th. The city estimated it would lose about $75,000 in revenue over that period of time.
But some members of the commission still smarting from the backlash over the budget problems and subsequent slashing of union employee pension plans, and raising taxes, questioned the wisdom of the timing.
“I recognize your struggles; but I don’t think this is the answer to the problem,” said Commissioner Heidi O’Sheehan.
Other commissioners agreed and the measure failed by a vote of 4 to 3.
Downtown business owners were dismayed over the paid parking situation. Metered street parking costs a dollar an hour. In the downtown garages, the first two hours are free and it costs a dollar per hour afterwards.
“Having free parking would bring a lot of people back,” said Diana Herrera, who runs a downtown clothing store on Hollywood Boulevard. “A lot of people stopped coming downtown because they would get a two or five dollar ice cream and leave with a $20 ticket because they stopped five minutes longer than they were supposed to.”
Mary Munson who frequently lunches downtown told CBS4’s Joan Murray, “A lot of the restaurants are not full. This area has so much to offer. I think without parking fees it would attract more people.”
Commissioners did say they would like to look at a broader solution to solving the downtown business woes.