More parking available at North Hollywood Station beginning Monday

An additional 194 parking spots will be available at the North Hollywood Red and Orange Line Station beginning Monday. As it stands, the parking lot at Metro’s third busiest station is usually at or near capacity on most weekday mornings, which means some park-and-ride commuters have no choice but to circle the lot or give up and drive the rest of their trip.

The new parking facility, which is located east of the station along the north side of Chandler Boulevard, will add to the station’s parking supply to try to keep up with the increasing demand for spaces. Parking in the new lot is free.

The lot is located on previously unused Metro-owned property and is part of a sustainable parking demonstration program in which Metro is looking to make better use of land near stations while larger scale transit-oriented plans are hashed out.

That said, making sure the new facility was low-cost, easy to construct and remove with little impact to the environment were key in its design. A permeable “temporary” pavement (it should last seven to 10 years) was used, meaning water can drain through the parking lot’s surface instead of requiring costly drainage systems.

Here’s Metro’s full press release with more details:

More parking is coming for park-and-ride commuters at the Metro Red and Orange Line North Hollywood Station beginning Monday, November 16.  The new 194-space sustainable parking facility is located on a previously vacant Metro-owned lot just east of the station along the north side of Chandler Boulevard between Fair Avenue and Vineland Avenue. Parking at the new facility will be free.

The facility was designed with sustainability in mind and will help accommodate the high demand for parking at the station’s existing 954 parking spaces, which currently operate at or near capacity during weekday peak hours. The lack of parking is estimated to deter more than 1,000 potential transit riders a day.

“We must make it as easy and fast as possible for our riders to get to and from our stations,” said Metro Board Chair and L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “This parking facility is a smart, low-cost and efficient solution that makes it easier for San Fernando Valley residents to get out of their cars and onto our system.”

The new parking facility was built with sustainable elements such as special permeable paving material and LED lighting. Using the permeable pavement allowed the facility to be designed in a way that doesn’t require extensive drainage or costly improvements to control water run-off or water capture. Metro is also in the process of procuring solar-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for use at some of the parking spaces.

The parking facility is considered temporary because it’s located on a Metro-owned parcel slated for future transit-oriented development, though there are currently no development plans identified.  Metro staff looked to use a temporary, sustainable parking surface because of its low installation and removal costs. The permeable pavement has a lifespan of seven to ten years.

In addition to the new parking spaces, a multi-use path was built adjacent to the new parking lot, offering a separated path that creates a safe connection for pedestrians and bicyclists to the existing Chandler Bikeway and Orange Line Bikeway.

“The construction of much needed additional parking and the closure of the bikeway gap near the North Hollywood Station really addressed two of the biggest challenges we face at this important Valley transit hub,” said Paul Krekorian, L.A. City Council Member and Metro Board Member. “These improvements will make it easier and safer to access the Orange and Red lines by foot, bicycle or car.”

The budget for the Metro sustainable parking demonstration project was set at $1.4 million with 10% of the project funded by Proposition C. The project was completed under budget and on schedule.

The sustainable parking demonstration project will provide insight for Metro in long-term planning for parking facilities, particularly those in underutilized Metro–owned parcels that may be developed or re-purposed in the future. In September, Metro began the process of creating development guidelines for four parcels totaling 15.6 acres around the North Hollywood Station.

“The sustainable parking demonstration project is not only about parking, it’s also about making better use of space around our stations,” said Metro CEO Phil Washington. “What was previously an empty piece of land is now being used to make transit more accessible while acknowledging the potential for future transit-oriented growth in this vibrant community.”

The new parking facility will be included in Phase I of Metro’s parking guidance system program, which will provide real-time parking count data that Metro will use to improve Metro’s parking operations and planning, as well as to provide the public real-time information about station parking availability.

Parking at the new facility will be free. Metro is currently developing a Supportive Transit Parking Program Master Plan that among its multiple objectives, will establish an approach for a potential parking pricing system at Metro parking facilities located at stations throughout the system.

The North Hollywood Station in the San Fernando Valley is Metro’s third busiest station by daily ridership. It’s a key transfer point between the Metro Red Line subway to downtown Los Angeles and the Metro Orange Line bus rapid transit (BRT) to Warner Center and Chatsworth, and is the terminus for both lines. The station serves more than 22,500 Metro riders a day.

The station is also home to two Zipcars, a car sharing service that provides commuters with Zipcar memberships access to vehicles on an hourly basis. Metro partnered with the car share company last May to improve first-mile last-mile connectivity at the station.

Metro local buses, Burbank Bus, LADOT Commuter Express and Santa Clarita Transit also operate routes to and from the station. In October, the Metro Board approved a 180-day pilot program beg,inning in spring 2016 for the NoHo-Pasadena Express bus route, which will directly connect the Metro Red and Orange Line North Hollywood Station in the San Fernando Valley to the Metro Gold Line Memorial Park Station in Pasadena.

16 replies

  1. Yes, let’s keeping building more parking lots and keep give them away for free. If Metro were smart, they’d use this plot of land for something useful, like building a high density residential building so people can WALK to the North Hollywood station instead of driving and parking there, while earning rent income or profit through condo sales at the same time.

    • The 194 cars in the park & ride lot will definitely be using transit. Most of the TOD residents would continue to drive their cars. What would benefit transit most ?

      • A different perspective is that extra 194 car spaces does little to help Metro as those cars will just sit there for 8-9 hours doing nothing but eating up valuable land space earning nothing.

        If said 194 cars parked there are all single drivers using Metro from NoHo station, then that only contributes to $340 per day ($1.75 x 194) of revenue to Metro, not even worth it considering the cost of maintaining and providing security to that parking lot is likely to cost more than $340 a day. Parking lots need to be cleaned and regularly patrolled so as to prevent vandalism and those costs have to come from somewhere. Looked at this way, giving away free parking is one the worst investments Metro can make and does nothing to help increase their revenues overall.

        Doing a cost-benefit analysis, it is better for Metro to demolish the parking areas here and re-develop these sits as a TOD, in which revenues from rent, condo sales, and adding retail spaces will bring in more revenue to Metro in form of additional revenue and sales taxes.

        And there is one thing that people are forgetting: if you develop this site as a condo, not only will Metro gain profit from condo sales, but Metro can receive approx $200 a month or whatever they decide from every resident living on Metro owned property in form of HOA fees, and the city and the county will benefit from collecting annual property taxes. Those are worth far more than giving out free parking which only contributes to $340 in additional Metro rides per day and will put more money into Metro than leaving it as a parking space.

        Said money will go a long way in bringing in additional revenue to improve Metro services and provide better services than free parking.

      • A Different Perspective,

        Metro could sell the land to a developer. Zoning laws may not allow a high rise residential tower though and even if they did, that plot looks too narrow to develop anything like that there. Metro is not capable of becoming a real estate developer by themselves. That is a tricky game and it is not all profit as you fantasize. Development is a risky business and the margins are not always very good, which is why few new buildings go up here in Los Angeles. Finally, an HOA does not work like that at all. HOA stands for Homeowner Association and the developer cannot siphon off money for themselves. That would be highly illegal.

      • Jumping into the debate here:

        “Zoning laws may not allow a high rise residential tower…”

        From a libertarian, small government stand point, Euclidean zoning laws should be repealed altogether. The sole reason why zoning laws exists is because it benefits NIMBYs who want to prevent any new development nearby to protect their investment and property values. It’s a fine example of “crony capitalism” in that it puts a small group of special interests (NIMBYs) being in bed with government (zoning laws) to artificially reduce the supply of the housing market to benefit small groups of people (landowners). If you’re a Democrat or a left-leaning liberal, you’d be against zoning laws.

        “that plot looks too narrow to develop anything like that there…”

        Doesn’t take too much to Google image search “narrow tall buildings” to find examples of what can be built here. Please provide specifics that any of those cannot be done. Are you an expert in architectural design or have a degree in construction or knowledgeable in zoning legalese?

        “Metro is not capable of becoming a real estate developer by themselves.”

        Please cite why. You can look across the Pacific to see transit agencies over there doing exactly that. There’s nothing illegal about Metro (a government agency) going into the real estate business for the sake that it’s not illegal for government to build public housing or homeless shelters.

        “Development is a risky business…”

        All business is at risk.

        “HOA stands for Homeowner Association and the developer cannot siphon off money for themselves.”

        Depends on how you interpret it. HOA means that money is used to maintain and make necessary upgrades to the shared property in which the residents live in. It is used to pay for grounds keeping, gardening, roof repairs, maintain garage doors, maintaining the swimming pool, shared plumbing areas, necessary exterior upgrades, painting, adding in solar panels, electric car charge ports, etc. etc.

        Therefore, HOA fees collected from a condo built and owned by Metro property can be used to maintain the property. The interpretation can be expanded if said condo was part of the station design itself, in which it can be used to hire janitors at that station, provide security to that station, so long as the building and station is shared with the condo property.

        Metro builds condo on Metro owned station. Said condo is part of the Metro station design, therefore HOA fees can be used to maintain that station as the condo is part of the Metro station.

  2. This is okay as a temporary use, but that area needs to get built out with something dense and mixed use. The real solution on parking is using prices to manage demand and testing the demand for parking against the demand for housing and commercial space.

    Also, the cost comes to about $7,200 per space, which means each space has to generate about 4,100 full-price rides before it “breaks even.”

  3. You have the technology to charge for parking. Why do you insist on make sure parking is free? All your data will tell you is that someone is willing to use free parking. Maybe the test could have been demand based parking to see the elasticity level or the price point on which people will pay for parking. This would have been a great demo project but instead you just provide free parking without restrictions. You will now just cause more people to drive to the station. If your first/last mile strategy document is any true, you are catering to only 9% of your ridership; you should think about the other 91% when you are moving forward. Have better bike parking, could have had a bike shop-esque type of set-up could have had something for transit transfer improvement, could have put that money towards walking environment improvements, could have had a coffee shop or something there rather than free parking.

  4. This is Metro folks. The same agency who said that the honor system runs perfectly fine, developed light rail at grade, built platforms in the middle of the street, and can’t even run a TAP website properly.

    Of course they can’t do anything right like using common sense to develop valuable real estate into residential structures that are in high demand right now.

    Metro says we should all ditch cars to help save the environment.
    Metro builds more free parking lots.

    You see the hypocrisy right there that Metro doesn’t believe jack of their own words and they too are still stuck in the car only culture of LA.

  5. i can’t wait for this trend to sweep residential and commercial land as well! Free rent, free storage, no mortgages, free everything!

    I don’t understand why land that is occupied by my personal belongings needs compensation.

  6. “I don’t understand why land that is occupied by my personal belongings needs compensation.”

    Put it this way. If someone says to you, “hey can I put my stuff in your place for free” would you agree to it?

    And let’s inject some real world economics here. As soon as people find out you’re offering a place to store stuff for free, everyone else would start doing knocking on your door and saying “why did you give that person free storage and not me?” Sooner or later you’ll have your own place being used to store stuff for other people and you being kicked out of your own place that you own. The idiot then, is you because you gave away something for free that others are charging money for and now you have nothing.

  7. Anybody have a problem with the bike lane portion of this? No? I sure hope not. (I agree that free parking is a bad move, but this is temporary. It was either this or a vacant dirt lot. I’ll take this in the meantime, but…that parking structure at First and Grand downtown was also supposed to be temporary and it’s still there 47 years later…)

  8. While Metro gives out more free parking, rent continues to rise in the worst housing market in the US and more people are shoved out into the streets into homelessness.

    LA, the city of wealthy and selfish NIMBY landowners who are against higher density, funding Democrats to keep passing more non-nonsensical zoning laws and hindering any growth of new high density residential structures and transit oriented development to increase the housing supply to bring prices down to saner levels.

  9. Good point about county getting in more from property taxes.

    The average property tax in LA is about $1,400 per year according to the LA Times (

    One plot of land with one home sitting on it, LA County only receives $1,400 a year from that one resident alone. One plot of with a condo with 100 residents in it will bring in $140,000 a year in property taxes from that same plot of land.