The Walk on Wilshire

Closed but not forgotten…

The Voice of OC did a story yesterday on the future of outdoor dining in Orange County. Featured in the piece was Fullerton’s own “Walk on Wilshire,” a pandemic-related action that let a few restaurants in the 100 Block of West Wilshire Avenue avail themselves of outdoor tables by closing the street to through traffic.

By 2021, the program had become a full-fledged bureaucratic effort in City Hall with signage, barrier squabbling, permanent bollards in the street and rent schedules; and even new lingo was trotted out, as the heretofore unheard of term “parklet” was applied – a meaningless designation, but one clearly calculated to inspire the notion that some sort of public recreation was going on.

Like all bureaucratic operations, Walk on Wilshire had taken on a life of its own. Most recently the “program” (for indeed, a program it had metastasized into) was extended until mid-2024. No one in Fullerton should have been surprised by this calcification, especially Councilman Bruce Whitaker who has been supporting the road closure. We’ve seen this sort of silliness before.

It’s Redevelopment lite. The mountains of play money are gone, but the completely misplaced can-do confidence of City Hall lingers on.

And almost nobody has showed much concern for traffic circulation or the impacts on businesses to the rest of the downtown area. The Voice piece did the usual interviews with government employees masquerading as experts in “economic development,” the folks who couldn’t prove that their efforts even pay for their own cost to the taxpayers. Of course they were touting hard.

Put it back the way it was…

Coincidentally, a recent letter from Wilshire property owner Tony Bushala put the City on notice that the road closure had a negative impact on his business and he wanted the street closure removed. This missive was immediately leaked by Councilman Ahmad Zahra to the Fullerton Observer, where apparently a couple of the zanies broke into high hosannas about what a wonderful thing “WoW” is with its splendid parklets and bike passage. But is it widely regarded as such a civic amenity?

According to downtown sources, many of the businesses there are unhappy with the road closure as they see it benefitting just a few restaurants (and government rent collectors) at the expense of the greater good. So far none of these business operators have coalesced into a united group, but if they do we may hear a loud voice in opposition to parklets, barricades, and tables in the middle of a public roadway.

If there is action by the City Council to continue this program, the sailing may not be as smooth the parklet promoters hope.

80 Replies to “The Walk on Wilshire”

  1. The City GAVE AWAY the 100 block of East Whiting, so this is nothing new, unfortunately. Then there’s the Florentine grab of the sidewalk along Commonwealth.

    The Redevelopment “can-do” confidence always results in the same thing. Unqualified and inept and unaccountable city employees picking winners and losers while giving themselves something to do. And a useless City Council goes along every time.

    Unless Whitaker changes his mind this grab of a public street will stay.

  2. This is another pet monstrosity of Mr. Econ Development (Nobody talked about it until I came along) Zahra.

    It will be fun to watch him dredge up the usual boohoos and barrio abuelitas (green grass, fresh air, trees, etc.) to do their D&P shows.

    1. It’s open. You can go right now. Walk, run, cycle, skip if it suits you. You just cannot drive down the short segment of the WoW, but you are welcome there. Meanwhile cars are fully accommodated, with ample parking on the neighboring streets.

      What’s the concern? How are your rights in jeopardy today?

          1. Yes, everybody owns that street, not just Amad Zero and 4 restaurants and some make-work dopes in City Hall.

            1. Zahra? What? I guess he really is your bogeyman.

              What happened was outdoor dining was a smart measure that got people dining downtown during the pandemic.

              Then it turned out people liked it, and it got extended.

              For a time it was a problem for cyclists because there were barricades there but that was fixed by putting bollards and proper signage.

              Vehicles are accommodated by neighboring streets. The area isn’t crowded so it’s not clear what anyone is whining about.

              The street is absolutely open the the public that paid for it. But the public decides how public property gets used. And we do that collectively which is what happened here.

                1. We have representative government in America. So we did decide. I didn’t claim there was a plebiscite. That’s not how we do these things.

                2. Oh good. Then you accept the DECISIONcouncil majority to shitcan the Trail to Nowhere. “The people” decided that!

                  God what a boob.

              1. I want to drive on it and I own in it. That’s been taken. That’s a fact. Another fact is you have your head up your ass.

                1. Taken? It wasn’t yours. It’s ours. And we decided what to do with it through government

                  There are all kinds of limitations on your personal freedom and they’re perfectly legitimate.

                  Welcome to adulthood. Sorry for the disappointment.

                2. An I am part of us. And I say it reeks of selfishness and government stupidity. Just like you.

      1. It’s called circulation, doof. Any business owner will tell you how important it is. But you don’t know anything about running a business.

        1. Meanwhile I operate a business and have a master’s in business administration. So fuck you and your ignorant as usual assumptions.

          1. A business? What business is that? Got more than one employee, do you? Now your an expert. You should work in economic development for Fullerton!

            1. I didn’t say I am an expert. I’m saying I’m trained to understand how to run a business and my credentials are real and not in question, and so saying I don’t know anything about how to run a business is simply another lying liar telling another lie. That’s it.

  3. They are parklets.
    The businesses pay for the privilege of the new plaza.
    Safe cycling with has been restored with the bollards.
    There is no evidence of any problem with circulation or traffic flow.
    Bushala is indeed a landlord but no one has quantified any damage to any business and it’s hard to imagine any.
    Some have voiced fake public safety concerns but the fire department weighed in and is satisfied with the plan including removable bollards.
    The WoW is one good thing to come out of COVID. Better for diners, better for cyclists.

      1. How on God’s green earth is it better for cyclists? They still stop at Harbor and then when the light has changed they go forward. JUST LIKE THEY DID BEFORE. You are a class by yourself as a useless city bureaucracy stooge.

        1. “How on God’s green earth is it better for cyclists?”

          Not having to dodge cars while while on WoW…

          Cars are the main threat to the safety of responsible cyclists.

      1. It’s also hard to find evidence that doesn’t exist.

        Is DTF crowded and hard to get around?

        Isn’t the anti WoW story that there aren’t enough people downtown and the area is dead? Killed by WoW?

        Well then how are you going to have a circulation problem if people aren’t there?

        Can’t have it both ways. Pick a consistent set of lies, stick to them.

        How about this, if YOU want to contend there is a traffic problem then YOU provide the documentation.

    1. Parklet – the latest make-work effort for the “economic development” crowd. But they weren’t supposed to block the whole street, just use the parking lanes. Of course that would be too simple and not provide enough for bumbling urban interventionists to do. Closing off streets is nothing new, of course. Desperate cities have been pursuing this off and on fadegy since the 1960s. Is Fullerton desperate?

      1. Typically it takes about 10 years for the latest planning fad (fadgedy!) to reach Fullerton. By now the place that geminated the “parklet” has moved on to something else.

  4. “According to downtown sources, many of the businesses there are unhappy with the road closure as they see it benefitting just a few restaurants (and government rent collectors) at the expense of the greater good. So far none of these business operators have coalesced into a united group, but if they do we may hear a loud voice in opposition to parklets, barricades, and tables in the middle of a public roadway.”

    We “may?” Which sources? Which businesses? Are they actually on Wilshire? How many? Are you just full of shit as usual? Why are they complaining now instead of when this was being decided?

    “If there is action by the City Council to continue this program, the sailing may not be as smooth the parklet promoters hope.”

    There’s that word again.

    Monkeys “may” fly out of your butt PB! The town is on tenterhooks to see what color, size and demeanor the monkeys, if any, turn out to be.

  5. I want the street back. This is a taking from anybody who wants to use a public street. It doesn’t belong to Mulberry Street.

  6. More likely it’s not a list of people actually running a business on WoW. Landlords don’t count.

    It’s not about “revealing sources” it’s about convincing anyone that there is any groundswell of opposition to WoW beyond Bushillas. There ain’t.

    1. How on earth would you know any of that?

      This may come as a shock to you but being a landlord IS running a business. But then you boohoos don’t know how to run anything except your mouths.

      Stick that in your parklet.

      1. So what?

        Being a landlord is running a business. It’s just not operating the business actually on WoW. They may do maintenance, collect rents, pay tax, but as to what is actually happening on WoW they’re going to be getting information second hand and so I feel free not to give a fuck what they think as a WoW business operator. Because they’re not.

        1. So what? Keeping tenants happy and in business is the business of a landlord.

          They “may” pay taxes.

          I feel free not to give a fuck about your completely foolish utterings.

  7. Closing off this really small portion of a small street for outdoor dining is the myopic suggestions of loafer city staff and unintelligent projects of a lazy council. Open it. JOHN response in 3, 2, 1.

  8. Hogerbooger has his panties in a twist because he discovered the archenemy of Boohooville, Mr. Tony Bushala sent the City a letter. If getting rid of the circulation blockage was Zahra’s idea he’d be braying about how good it was for bike riders – much safer.

    He has no credibility. Just a mindless troll.

    1. Wrong as usual PB. My argument has nothing to do with Zahra, nor does this issue. It doesn’t even have to do with Bushala except that he picked the wrong side of the issue and opened his trap.

      My position is consistently pro cyclist. There is no “circulation” issue for cyclists currently. There was when the barricades were up and I was for fixing that, then. I’m happy with the fix.

      1. Sorry, chum, you’re just reflexively anti-Bushala just like the Deadhead Kennedys.

        Zahra supports this so you do too. I doubt if you even gave this a thought until Zahra leaked Bushala’s letter to Skaskia Kennedy. Then it was of to the races – the bike races, of course.

        1. No, I did give a thought to it in that I noticed that the barricades had been removed and a permanent solution that accommodated bicycles was in place. I was happy with that.

          But sure it only became a live issue again with Bushala’s boohoo the sun revolves around me and my money letter.

  9. Hogerhuis was a business major? Yet he doesn’t know what “loss of goodwill” means. At least he didn’t say he went to law school and forgot what inverse condemnation is. Don’t worry, Whitacker, the school teacher and not movie producer will be finding out soon once the lawsuit gets served.

    1. I think he claimed to have an MBA from CSUF which of course is world famous for it’s business school.

      But if he took an accounting class he didn’t retain any of it.

      1. “But if he took an accounting class he didn’t retain any of it.”

        Just another anonymous jackass talking out of his ass again.

        You’re not equipped to gauge my level of knowledge.

        1. Let’s face it, you haven’t exactly made your low level of knowledge a matter of speculation.

            1. Well, if you want to be considered credible a good way to start is by being credible. And you aren’t, so sorry.

    2. Goodwill? Like where you buy your clothes from?

      Of course in business school they teach you what goodwill is. It comes up in corporate mergers and acquisition which was covered. It’s a kind of intangible asset. It’s not obvious how it would apply here particularly since it’s not clear any business is for sale. Just a general claim of an impaired asset? How will he quantify it without a sale? And what goodwill? Bushala’s goodwill with his tenants? Bushala’s tenant’s goodwill with his customers? Bushala’s customers with their employees? In court you’d have to be more specific to show goodwill was X but then Y happened and now it’s Z. Good luck with the jury.

      As to “inverse condemnation” no I was not familiar with the term. I AM NOT A LAWYER AND I’M NOT GIVING LEGAL ADVICE. But Mr. Google says it’s a claim of a taking which I certainly did mention as the likely basis of a legal claim.

      Bushala can spend a bunch of money wasting his and Fullerton residents money if he wants. I’d be surprised if he wins.

      He’d have to show that “the government’s taking has failed to promote substantial governmental interests or has deprived the owner of the economic value of their property.”

      Economic activity and public safety seem to me to be substantial governmental interests.

      As to the “or” since the properties are fully accessible by sidewalk and there is plenty of public parking on neighboring streets I don’t see how he proves that either.

      Customers can access businesses on WoW. His tenants can access their own businesses.

      Either way a lawsuit won’t force the city to do anything except go to court, waste resources and possibly, maybe, one day, have to compensate him.

      1. Economic activity (sales tax) pays for big salaries, pensions and early retirement for government employees, so at least you got something right. Finally.

      2. “Goodwill? Like where you buy your clothes from?”

        That’s not a very nice slap against poor people. I thought you liberal whiners were supposed to be known for your empathy.

        But you’re more interested in giving them “nice” government cheese-type things, like homeless shelters and trails to nowhere.

        1. Chill, Guevara. It wasn’t a slap against poor people, it was a joke. The bad news is you didn’t get it. The good news is you’re going to live.

          My interest in the UP right of way is purely about creating and improving paved cycling infrastructure in Fullerton. I think most people find a way to get to a nice park if they want to.

          As to homeless shelters, my interest is not about fragmented responses like building shelters. Necessary but not sufficient. Rather, building permanent housing and reforming existing services to actually get people off the street for everyone’s benefit.

                1. No, insulting the untermenschen you boohoos profess to preserve and protect is as low as you can go.

                  Of course you assumed the commenter was a white man, so maybe you can go lower and insult the brown people who buy their clothes at Goodwill.

                  You really are a twat.

                2. I didn’t assume anything. I don’t have any interest in knowing anything about you. I certainly didn’t insult anyone that didn’t deserve it.

                3. Hey “John” are you getting ready to apologize to the Kennedy females, mere et fille, who have spent who knows how many hours clothes shopping at Goodwill?

                  Bad Hooger. Bad, bad Hooger.

              1. Thought not. And why would you take your life in your hands just to end up under the Highland Avenue underpass.

                Watch out for those awkward 90 degree right turns behind the Elephant Packing House.

                You should be complaining to your Hero Zahra that Phase I is design standard deficient. Oh, and also, it doesn’t go anywhere either.

                1. “Watch out for those awkward 90 degree right turns behind the Elephant Packing House.”

                  My experience driving cars, riding motorcycles and bicycles has certainly included a few 90 degree turns.

                  Actually now that I think about it, almost all turns seem to be 90 degrees.

                  I guess I’m not sure what your point is regarding 90 degree turns.

                  “end up under the Highland Avenue underpass.”

                  I’m an experienced rider… what I do is called “vehicular cycling.” I follow the same rules of the road as a driver, with the limitation that a bicycle is a slow moving vehicle and I need to allow other traffic to flow.

                  I can ride with confidence on most any street. The Highland Avenue underpass is no different. Many roads in Fullerton are so narrow that for safety you have to be bold enough to take the whole left lane, but if I have no alternative route, I do what is necessary for my safety.

                  A class 1 trail mixed into the route is almost always preferred. But I get to my destination one way or another.

                  Zahra an individual is not anything to me… never met him, I’m in a different district. I push back on your negativity against him because I see it as an organized campaign in favor of political efforts that I oppose.

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