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Good Grove/Bad Grove: Robo-Garage Edition

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If we had our way, every garage in this city would have 100,000 spaces, all with easy elevator access, and they'd have 100 exit lanes, each staffed by a friendly cashier with a lenient approach to the validation policy, and oh yeah, all the walls would be made of rich milk chocolate with a creamy nougat center. But if we can't build our garages in Fantasyland, we'll take the one at the Grove instead.

The main complaint we hear about the Grove's parking lot is that it's too crowded. Well, duh. Nobody goes to the Grove anymore because they want to avoid crowds. The Grove's parking structure may not be perfect, but it's probably as close as we can hope for. And in a city full of malls where garage architecture seems to be an afterthought at best, it's clear a lot of planning went into making the Grove's structure as navigable and painless as possible. There are lots of cashier booths, and most of them are usually open. There's even that handy digital display at the entrance indicating how many open spots are available on each level. True, we don't quite believe those numbers most of the time, but that helps us manipulate the system to our advantage. Let the low numbers scare off the faint-hearted from the lower levels. We're willing to take our chances, and we usually end up with a primo spot as a result.

If you still feel obliged to gripe about having to wait 5-10 minutes to exit the Grove's garage on a Saturday night, try to remember those 30 minute waits during peak times at some of LA's more notorious parking structures, like Century City shopping center, or the Beverly Connection, or that evil, fetid dungeon beneath the Virgin Megastore. And for a more recent example of a poorly-designed parking structure, check out that draconian clusterfuck underneath the West Hollywood Gateway. In a city full of garages from Hell, we'll settle for a garage from heck. It may not have a creamy nougat center, but the relatively painless, user-friendly robo-garage is definitely part of the Good Grove.