SHOUTS AND MURMURS

The concept drawing for the planned West Hollywood Park.
July 24, 2014

Op-ed by Carleton Cronin, West Hollywood, California

(Because of the difficulty I have in moving about, I’ll miss most of the Council meetings and other community events where citizens have a say. So, my information comes from pals who faithfully attend, from newsletters, etc. Some of my information may be sketchy.   But, you know, if Jeanne Dobrin can get to those meetings, why can’t I?  I’ll try harder).

Carleton Cronin writes about the living in the wilds of WeHo's urban jungle.

Carleton Cronin writes about the living in the wilds of WeHo’s urban jungle.

Some first lines of songs from my youth  to help me remember what’s happening –

“Tip toe through the tulips…””?

What madness is this that has overtaken the senses of our City Council?  Crosswalk safety?

Obviously, our Council, over-heated with municipal fervor,  has forgot that such concerns will certainly upend the flow of traffic through our blessed little burg, angering drivers and – remember! – interfering with city revenue, do you think?

Early in the city-building game, the idea of a city in which pedestrians were valued  more than automobiles, the phrases “walkable city” and “urban village” were heard quite often and our  early intent was to be sure that pedestrian safety was paramount.

Then, as the city grew in importance as both a destination and a bottle-neck for commuters, pedestrian interests moved further down the list of priorities.  This recently voiced concern is most welcome.

Jeanne Dobrin and Else Eisenberg at a political gathering this past weekend.

Jeanne Dobrin and Else Eisenberg at a political gathering this past weekend.

Can we trust the whichever city departments are concerned with  public safety and with the conditions of the pavements at the crosswalks can join in common exercise?

The recent traffic survey conducted by the city as a base point from which to consider the ”calming” or re-directing  the increasing flow of automobiles, trucks and tour buses and its impact on the daily lives of residents, certainly underscores the need for closer attention to walkers who simply want to cross the street without getting challenged by cars and a too-quick “walk” timing. device.

Fines imposed on parkers who do not follow the rules, especially at meters, other illegal vehicle activities and special area parking permits make up a considerable portion of city revenue.  Balance, I’m sure is on the Council’s collective mind.

“I’ll build a stairway to paradise….”

The concept drawing for the planned West Hollywood Park.

The concept drawing for the planned West Hollywood Park.

I only hope that the leprechauns will wait a few more years before collecting me so I can see the “grand staircase” entry to West Hollywood Park in 2018.

Actually, by that time, I’ll be looking for a “grand elevator” to the top.

“I dreamed I dwelt in marble halls….”

Still, I am overwhelmed (not as difficult these days as once) by the scope of the West Hollywood Park re-design – and, I must add, by the cost.  I can remember 5 cent cigars and penny postcards, so I guess everything is, as the saying goes, “relative”.

But one can only infer from the renderings presented y the architects that such expansive magnificence may not be just for the residents of WeHo but, as the previous park was, for people from all over.  Which reminds me – there’s no baseball field to replace the old one.

How can WeHo have a softball team – and a winning one at that –without a ball field.  Where do they play?  Congratulations Council on your request for the architect to design an off-leash dog area!  Our Marley says “woof”.

“It’s only a paper moon….”

Perchance, are you follow the saga of the city of  Palmdale’s attempt to retain its “at-large” Council representation?  West Hollywood has the same basis for representation.

The concept drawing for the planned West Hollywood Park.

The concept drawing for the planned West Hollywood Park.