Griffith Observatory

Plan Calls for Parking Fees, More Shuttle Service Near Griffith Observatory

Recreation and Parks officials are considering a plan to charge for parking, provide free shuttle service and improve cycling paths at Griffith Park in hopes of reducing congestion and improving traffic flow at the park.

Parking is free throughout the 4,310-acre city park, but Recreation and Parks officials are proposing that about 400 spaces near the Griffith Observatory be turned into metered parking, while another 581 spaces in the lower portion of the park would remain free.

Proceeds from the parking fees would be used to fund free shuttle service to take visitors to popular destinations around the park, including the Observatory and a viewing point for the Hollywood Sign. The plan also includes projects to improve pedestrian and bicycling paths.

Recreation and Parks spokeswoman Rose Watson said the goal is to encourage more visitors to park off-site and to use shuttles or public transportation to get around the park. She said city officials "still want people to have access'' and do not want to discourage people from going to the park.

The plan is aimed at helping "mitigate the traffic flow at Griffith Park and make the experience positive for visitors and easier for cyclists,'' according to the city department. The park receives about 10,000 visitors each day, according to Watson.

The Recreation and Parks Department held a public meeting on the issue Wednesday at Griffith Park's Friendship Auditorium. The plan has not yet been considered by the Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners.

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