Friday, March 16, 2012

Ferris Wheel Effects on Parking, Traffic and Views

The Venice Stakeholders Association has called for the City of Los Angeles to perform a full Environmental Impact Report on the proposal to place a 200 foot Ferris wheel in the Venice Beach Recreation Area at the foot of Windward Avenue.

“The parking, traffic and scenic impacts of the Ferris Wheel installation are highly problematic for our neighborhood,” said Mark Ryavec, VSA president. “Oddly, the firm proposing the Wheel has offered no mitigation.”

In a letter to City Recreation and Parks officials, the VSA’s attorney, John Henning, notes that the Wheel could draw up to 16,320 visitors per day, based upon the capacity of the Wheel given at a recent public hearing by a representative of Great City Attractions, the firm proposing the installation.

“The Ferris wheel would operate 12 hours per day, 7 days per week, from 10 AM to 10 PM,” Henning wrote. “It contains approximately 40 “capsules” in which riders would sit, and there are 8 seats per capsule, for a total of approximately 320 riders when fully loaded. Each cycle (i.e., “ride”) of the Ferris wheel lasts about 14 minutes, so there would be approximately 51 cycles per day, for a total of 16,320 individual riders per day.”

Henning also points out that unlike a restaurant, which turns over its seating every 60 to 90 minutes, the Wheel will turn over its seats every 14 minutes, so the Wheel will generate four to six times has many visitors clamoring for a ride….and seeking non-existent parking.

A restaurant of that size would be required to provide 80 parking spaces under the Venice Local Coastal Specific Plan, the City land-use ordinance that governs development in Venice. Great City Attractions has offered no parking or traffic mitigation.

“We’re asking the City to apply to itself the same land-use rules that it would apply to any other new development of this size in our neighborhood,” Ryavec said.

Attachment: Letter to LA City Recreation and Parks Department

Monday, March 5, 2012

Great Observation Wheel

City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks

Re: Great Observation Wheel

Dear Sirs and Madams:

Your department has solicited community views on a proposal to allow the installation,
for a temporary period, of a 200 foot Ferris wheel, known as the Great Observation
Wheel, at the foot of Windward Avenue in the Venice Beach Recreation Area.

The Venice Stakeholders Association is a non-profit organization committed to civic
improvement. While many would be delighted to ride a Ferris wheel at the proposed
location and to enjoy the stunning views which it will make available, we have serious
concerns about the project, principally related to the parking demand and increased traffic
that will result from this installation.

We would ask that this project be viewed as an opportunity for the City of Los Angeles to
seriously reconsider its policy regarding any and all events and installations in the Venice
Beach Recreation Area. For example, the filming of the Ninja Warrior Challenge this
last week took over much of the park from south of Windward Avenue almost to Market
Street. Our members report that public parking on Windward on Saturday and Sunday,
while filming was underway, was completely taken up by 7:30 AM by visitor vehicles in
the 200 block of Windward. This resulted in residents who do not have on-site parking
being held hostage in their homes or running the risk of having to park many blocks away
from their homes if they gave up their street parking spaces on Windward during the day.

The Wheel proposal is a good reason for the City of Los Angeles to apply to the
Coastal Commission for preferential 24/7 permit parking for beach adjacent residents
and to craft an ordinance to require that all events and installations in the Venice Beach
Recreation Area pay in-lieu parking fees to a dedicated Venice parking fund, which is
immune to being “swept” by the City Council for non-parking purposes or use outside of
Venice, to the end of creating parking structures of modest height in Venice.

Thank you for your consideration of our views.


Mark Ryavec

Mark Ryavec, President

cc: Mayor Antonia Villaraigosa, Councilman Bill Rosendahl