Sorry, folks. Hollywood & Vine is closed.

10Aug07

I skipped the story in yesterday’s L.A. Times because the headline read “Hollywood rehab puts 61 stars in seclusion.”

Who isn’t in rehab out here?

The article is actually about the 61 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that had to be removed from the sidewalk and put into storage during construction at Hollywood & Vine. According to the article, the stars will stay in storage until construction is complete – in 2009.

What if Clark Griswold took the whole tribe cross country just to find that Frank Sinatra’s star was gone?

The city of Los Angeles keeps making the same mistake every time it approves a project like this. The development of the world’s most famous intersection is a good thing. But, to close off the sidewalks to pedestrians sends the wrong message to the people that live or visit here. And it’s nothing new. It’s happening in Hollywood. It’s happening in the Valley. It’s happening Downtown.

Get out of your car and walk. Except, don’t walk here. Or here. Or there. You can walk here, until you reach there. Then, cross over to there and walk to there.

Ken Summers, project director for Webcor Builders, said the Vine Street section of the Walk of Fame had to be redone.

“The old sidewalk wasn’t ADA compliant,” said Summers, referring to the Americans with Disabilities Act, which sets public access standards to assist those who use wheelchairs or other devices to aid mobility. It had an improper slope to it, he said. The new sidewalk — with the replaced terrazzo panels — will be flatter.”

Oh. Well, since you put it that way. Great. Fix the sidewalk. Take a week or so for construction, replace the stars, and then open the sidewalk with protective scaffolding to continue the rest of the project. Why do people have to wait until 2009 to use the sidewalk because you’re building a hotel?

The W doesn’t do much to help create a more walkable community either:

Southern California’s love affair with the automobile? Do these guys know that the 1960’s are over?

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