Rec Center Parking Lot Is Tied to Potrero Park, But the City Will Only Repave Part of the Lot

L.A. City Bureau of Engineering will only fix the Rec Center Parking lot circled in yellow. That means about a third of the lot, including the road in front  the Rec Center  will receive no attention. The parking spaces on the east side of the park will go untouched.

The long-needed resurfacing of the Palisades Recreation Center parking lot was once again discussed at the Park Advisory Board meeting on October 16, in the small gym at the Rec Center.

Brian Shea, the 5/10K Will Rogers Run director, has asked for years to have the parking lot repaved. It is uneven and filled with potholes and spaces between the cement curb and the edge of the pavement.

“It’s never been done in the 42 years that I’ve headed the race,” he told Circling the News in June.

In June 2018, Race Attorney David Aikenhead of Aikenhead, Cipes and Supanich sent a letter to Rec Center Director Erich Haas about the potholes and deteriorating road conditions in the parking lot.

Aikenhead wrote: “Erich, in support of Brian Shea’s concerns for the safety of his nearly 3,000 participants and volunteers for this year’s July 4 race to start and finish at Palisades Park in Pacific Palisades, please see my attached letter of today citing our specific safety concerns. We remain hopeful that the City can cure the obvious safety issues now existing at the entrance to Palisades Park before July 4.”

Haas responded the same day: “Thank you for the correspondence regarding your concerns. I have expressed your concerns to my supervisors and put in all job orders as ‘emergency.’

“This past week I had the Risk Manager and Safety Engineer do a walk through of the park with me. I specifically pointed out the large potholes in the upper parking lot and stated we have a very large annual event at the park on July 4th with over 3,000 in attendance. The Safety Engineer took several pictures. I am confident this will be addressed before your event.”

The potholes were filled, but the rest of the parking lot surface was ignored. Shea was told that once Potrero Canyon Park was completed and ready to open, parking spaces would be rearranged in the lot off Alma Real, and the entire surface would be redone.

This year, the same concerns were expressed, potholes were filled, and Shea was told that once Potrero was finished, the parking lot would be redone.

On Wednesday night this week, the PAB was informed that the ENTIRE parking lot will not be refinished—only part of it, according to Potrero Park project manager Pedro Garcia, who spoke to board member Gustaf Soderberg, a principal with VTBS Architects.

During the construction of Potrero Park, the citizen oversight committee urged that the City plan to add 10 parking spaces at the Rec Center to help account for people visiting the new park.

While serving on PAB Soderberg designed a more efficient parking lot to gain these additional spaces, but when he met with Garcia recently, Garcia told him only two-thirds of the parking lot would be resurfaced (see map below).

The long strip of parking that will front the new Veterans’ Park and bocce courts (now slated to start in November/December and completed in three months) will not be resurfaced, according to Bureau of Engineering forms. Additionally, the pavement right in front of the Rec Center will also remain untouched.

PAB members are wondering if the City can find money somewhere to complete the entire lot.

The good news? Garcia told Soderberg that the parking lot restructuring and repaving (at least for part of the lot) is now scheduled for July and August 2020.

The Rec Center parking lot repaving will not include where these cars are parked.

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