Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hollywood Freeway Central Park Project Throwing Itself Another Gala Benefit Party

Break out your black ties.

Via Hollywood Patch comes word that the Friends of the Hollywood Freeway Central Park will be holding its second annual For the Love of Hollywood gala dinner on Thursday, January 6, 2011 to support its effort to develop a proposed 44 acre street level park over the Hollywood Freeway. Event information and tickets (which run $250 a person) can be found on the group's website.

For Love of Hollwood Gala Clip

As I've said before, I think this project is a good idea but one that is simply infeasible in the near term given its $950 million dollar price tag (figures from the 2008 HFCP Feasibility Study). In my opinion, if project proponents really are focused on bringing more parkland to Hollywood their time and resources would be better spent, at least temporarily, on implementing smaller, more cost effective, projects to develop new and improved public open spaces, parks, and plazas. (need ideas? see here, here, here, and here).

On a semi-related note, there is one thing in the Hollywood Patch article that I did want to take a swing at. There is this continuing assertion by the Friends of the Hollywood Freeway Central Park (on their website) -- repeated verbatim by Hollywood Patch -- that the City has more parkland than it does and that Hollywood has less than it does. From the Hollywood Patch article:

As in the rest of the city, two-thirds of the children lack a safe open space in which to play. Hollywood as a whole has just .005 acres of open space per resident as compared to 0.012 acres in the rest of the city, which gives the neighborhood one of California's lowest green space ratios.

These open space figures are totally incorrect.

As I pointed out in this post, Hollywood has over 20 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents (see also the City's draft Hollywood Community Plan). Additionally, the City's 2009 Citywide Community Needs Assessment Report (see Page 68 here) found 9.73 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents in the entire City. Obviously these figures differ significantly from the stats published on The Friends of the Hollywood Freeway Central Park website and repeated in the Hollywood Patch article (which translate to: 12 acres of open space per 1,000 residents for "the rest of the city" and 5 acres of open space per 1,000 residents for "Hollywood").

Before The Friends of the Hollywood Freeway Central Park start asking around for funding for a $950 million dollar project it would be nice if they would go back and double check their facts and figures for accuracy and clarity. No need to misrepresent.

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