(Los Alamitos, 9/24/2013) Last week the Los Alamitos City Council decided to route their decision on freeing up parking space at Laurel Park through the Traffic Commission, which is scheduled to meet at 6 pm Wednesday, 9/25/2013 in the Council Chambers to consider options.
Staff recommends a three hour maximum parking restriction to prevent Los Alamitos Medical Center employee from congesting the lot. At the 9/16 Council Meeting only two Council Members voted for the staff recommendation (Mayor pro tem Mejia-Graham and Council Member Murphy). Council Member Grose pointed out that the longest maximum parking time in the city now is 2 hours, but the Parks & Rec Director said that wouldn’t be enough for Baseball teams to warm up and complete their games.
Grose also pointed out that the lot also gets congested from parents dropping and picking up students at Los Al Elementary School next door.
Mayor Kusumoto and Council Member Edgar indicated they thought the correct protocol would be to get the Traffic Commission’s recommendation, hence Wednesday’s special, one item Special Meeting.
Besides parking time restrictions, other possibilities might include:
- Signs indicating “Parking for Laurel Park users only. Others may be fined and/or towed.”
- Asking the Medical Center to get their staff to avoid parking at Laurel, & Los Al Elementary to do the same with their parents.
- Turning one of the 24 spaces to an “Emergency Vehicles only,” which would keep one space vacant most of the time so people won’t have to back out onto Bloomfield, a problem that surfaced in the City Engineer’s investigation of the problem.
The Commission might also want to consider what areas would be impacted if the restrictions were put into place: Apartment Row? Other local businesses? The Elementary School lot?
I’m also wondering if this is an indicator of a greater problem once the Medical Center Parking Structure is completed, especially if there will be a fee for parking there, as is the case with most Medical Center Parking structures I’m aware of.
I’m also wondering if the problem could have been averted if Tenet had built the new parking structure first, then begun construction on their new Medical Office Building, rather that build both simultaneously, resulting in a greater loss of parking.
Commission meetings are not televised, although they probably should be. The public can express their concerns and suggestions at the beginning of the meeting.