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Local church to open lot for Paul Walker memorial crowds

Posted: December 5, 2013 6:06 p.m.
Updated: December 5, 2013 6:06 p.m.

A crowd observes the Paul Walker and Roger Rodas memorial on Hercules St. and Kelly Johnson Pkwy in Valencia on Thursday. The memorial was recently moved closer to the curb. Photo by Charlie Kaijo.

 

With thousands of people pledging to turn out Sunday for a memorial to honor Santa Clarita Valley resident and business owner Roger Rodas and actor Paul Walker, who died in a car crash in Valencia last weekend, a local church has offered up its parking lot to accommodate some of the crowd.

Pastor Bob Hudson of NorthPark Community Church, which is located near the site of Saturday’s crash on Hercules Street near Kelly Johnson Parkway in Valencia, said the church will open its approximately 500-space parkinglot to those who are planning to attend a memorial that is scheduled to begin at noon Sunday.

“This happened in our own backyard and there are a lot of ties between people in our church and both Paul and Roger,” Hudson said Thursday. “We felt like this was happening on a Sunday when we’re already here, already kind of geared to serve people like this and we want to serve.”

Hudson also said the church will have bottled water and coffee available for memorial attendees.

“We’re with them and we want to stand with them in their grief,” Hudson said.

But even those parking spaces may only put a dent in the expected attendance for Sunday’s memorial. More than 5,300 people have indicated they will attend, according to a Facebook group for the event.

Parking is also at a premium in the Rye Canyon industrial area where the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT Rodas and Walker were riding in crashed into a light standard and tree before exploding in flames Saturday afternoon.

The street going past the crash site is designated as a no parking zone, though many people have been parking regardless.

Both the city and the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station are recommending the public avoid the area if at all possible due to the expected crowds.

Traffic will be altered in the area beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday, according to a news release from the city. Kelly Johnson Parkway will become a one-way street west of Constellation Road to Alta Vista Drive. Alta Vista Drive will also become a one-way street.

There will be no westbound traffic on Alta Vista Drive or Constellation Road, according to the city, though local access to businesses will be permitted.

Deputies are also expected to monitor the site to ensure parking laws are being followed.

“Deputies ask that people wishing to visit the area park legally and safely in appropriate and legal public parking areas,” reads a news release from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. “Also, follow all pedestrian traffic laws when walking to the site.”

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