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