Local Business Owners Feel the Impact of Inexplicable No Parking Signs

May 4, 2012

Studio City store owners lost significant revenue after these signs were inexplicably posted in early April. Photo by David Crane/Daily News Photographer.

May 4, 2012 — Shopowners in Studio City, Los Angeles are furious over a batch of temporary No Parking signs posted by the Department of Water and Power three weeks ago. The signs were posted in conjunction with ongoing water pipe and road work along Moorpark Street and Whitsett Avenue. The disruptive improvement projects started two years ago in the Southern California community. Local businesses including beauty salons, liquor stores, dance studios and other mom-and-pop operations are still recovering from the extensive nearby roadwork of the past couple years. These new restrictions now have some reporting losses as high as sixty percent since the start of the project in 2010.

When work on Moorpark finished in December 2011, the business owners thought the worst was over – that is, until the No Parking signs were mysteriously posted despite the lack of city workers or apparent reconstruction in the area. Some shopowners even considered the cost of opening each day to be more expensive than predicted earnings. Levon Kayaoglu, who owns a hair color salon, estimated that he had lost around $15,000 in revenue since the projects began. Other businesses that rely heavily on walk-in customers to fill in around appointments reported similar losses.

Citizens made numerous phone calls to the local government with no response for weeks. A liquor store owned by a father and son wrote droves of letters to their councilman Paul Krekorian as well as the Department of Water and Power. John and Albert Kalosh then began filing compensation claims, without acknowledgment. It was not until a local news source began to make inquiries that the city removed the signs, citing that they had forgotten the signs were posted. However, city officials continued to predict that the signs would be reinstated once the project they had planned for April actually began.

With great No Parking signs comes great responsibility, as Studio City business owners can testify.

The affected store owners are worried about their ability to bounce back once the road work is finished. Without compensation for the years of disruption to traffic flow through the area, the commerce of local businesses has lost enough money to incite an epidemic of store closings in the upcoming years or even months. Norman Hughes, the owner of a hair salon and coffee shop, has filed claims between $30,000 and $40,00 with the Department of Water and Power for several years of lost income.

In response to the Daily News’s inquiries, DWP spokesman Joe Ramallo told the paper that the No Parking signs were posted in March. Ramallo claimed business owners had been notified of their installation, and the only reason work wasn’t prompt was due to rainfall that interrupted construction of manhole covers.

Despite business owners’ fears for the future, they expressed their happiness at seeing the signs come down, even if just for the time being. No Parking signs are certainly important factors in keeping streets from being clogged, but at the expense of a local economy, the impact of their presence seems more like an ignorant and  bureaucratic blow to an already struggling ecosystem. Let us know how you would approach the situation in the comments section below.

–  R. Sapon-White

Category: News, No Parking, Regulations

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