The West Hollywood city council will consider installing decorative lanterns across Santa Monica Boulevard on the eastside by the West Hollywood Gateway. The lanterns will be similar to the ones we now see at the Rainbow District that were installed on December 2019.
At a regular city council meeting on Monday, May 17, 2021, the council will direct staff to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the design and installation of decorative lanterns. Staff will return to City Council with the design options and proposed boundaries, as well as a recommendation to move forward with the construction contract based on the results of the RFP.
According to Item 5E in the city council meeting agenda, the project costs will vary depending on the specific location chosen and final boundaries at the Gateway. The preliminary estimate for the segment from Vista Street to Poinsettia Place is $262,000 and from Formosa Avenue to La Brea Avenue is $161,000. Staff will return to City Council with the results of the RFP and a request for funding. It may be possible to use dedicated General funds provided by the Movietown development project which are set aside for Eastside improvements and public benefits. Approximately $1.1 million of these funds remain.
The item initiated by Mayor Pro Tempore Lauren Meister and council member John Erickson is following the lead of the positive community feedback of a temporary street lantern installation on Santa Monica Boulevard for 2019 LA Pride in West Hollywood, the City Council directed staff to design a system of lanterns similar to the temporary ones installed during the event between Robertson Boulevard and Hancock Avenue. The City issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a permanent, commercial-grade system of lanterns that would be compliant with Fire Department regulations and programmable with different light configurations and effects for different events throughout the year. The permanent colorful globe lanterns were installed in December 2019 and provide a bright atmosphere and welcoming feel to the City’s LGBT “Rainbow District” during nighttime.
Item 5E directs staff to move forward with issuing an RFP to establish a similar system of lanterns on the City’s eastside. The new lighting would highlight the City’s eastside gateway and bring a welcoming feel to this side of the City. It will make the entrance into West Hollywood more obvious along Santa Monica Boulevard. The exact location of the new lanterns is to be determined. As a preliminary assessment, staff looked at two possible locations along Santa Monica Boulevard from N. Vista Street to N. Poinsettia Place and from Formosa Avenue to La Brea Avenue. More research is needed to determine the specific location of the lanterns, taking into consideration the location of streetlight poles, approval by the LA County Fire Department, and proper router placement.
The lanterns currently installed on the westside of Santa Monica Boulevard are programmable either as individual lanterns or entire strands of lights, which allows the City to recognize national events or celebrations that traditionally use signature colors. All lanterns have UV protection to prolong the life and ensure clarity of the shield around the light fixtures. In addition, the lanterns feature easily replaceable fixtures and are custom-made in the United States of commercial-grade construction to withstand the elements for successful permanent exterior installation. The lanterns are engineered to meet the weight and wind-load requirements of existing light poles to which they are attached and are compliant with fire safety regulations.
In addition to the proposed new lanterns, the City is currently in the process of retrofitting and installing LED streetlights on all City-owned streetlight fixtures in the City. This will help the City enhance safety and sustainability as the new LED streetlights are substantially more energy efficient than the existing lights and will be less expensive to operate. The new streetlights will be equipped with a remote monitoring system that will allow City staff to more expediently detect and repair streetlight outages.