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Sunday, Sep 24, 2023

Street Smart

Hollywood’s biggest problem used to be that no one wanted to go there. But with the area’s revitalization, now it seems no one can get there.

Its renewed popularity has made Hollywood tough to drive in and around, especially given the shortage of parking, increased construction and occasional demonstration. Compounding the problem: frequent street closures due mainly to movie premieres and awards shows including the Oscars at the Kodak Theatre.

So local leaders developed a Web site to help people find their way around Tinseltown. NavigateHollywood.com, which was organized by the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance and Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti, will provide parking and street closure information for the Hollywood Boulevard area and some of the residential streets in the hills. The site will go live Thursday.

“For many years, Hollywood wasn’t a place people wanted to come,” said Kerry Morrison, executive director of the alliance. “That’s all changed. Now people might not go somewhere at all because they don’t know where to park.”

It took $35,000 to launch the Web site; the cost was funded by 22 business owners, developers and associations.

The site features a trip planner that maps the route to your destination, and tells you where you can park and how much it will cost. Valet stations, taxi stands, bike racks, park-and-pay lots, Dash bus and Metro stops are featured on the site’s menu.

And, importantly, you can sign up for e-mail and text message alerts to be notified of upcoming street closures. The timing is good: This year’s Academy Awards-related closures will start next week.

“I hope this Web site will help people know where parking is and get them to go to Hollywood,” said Tricia LaBelle, owner of Boardner’s bar and restaurant, which is one of the site’s sponsors. “This is a tough time right now, and we’re doing what we can to support the businesses in Hollywood.”

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