The fact that 91 percent of Hollywood property owners last week voted to renew and expand the business improvement district in their neighborhood is a testament to how far Hollywood has bounced back and how effective the improvement district has been.

A decade or more ago, Hollywood was populated by miscreants, the homeless and shocked tourists who covered their childrens’ eyes. And while Hollywood Boulevard can be edgy still, its transformation is remarkable. Streets are clean and walkable. Armed guards patrol the area. Lots of construction is going on.

A big part of the transformation is due to the improvement district there called the Hollywood Entertainment District. The district pays for armed guards, tree plantings, extra trash pickup and the like. In the new vote by property owners, the district also will start collecting an extra assessment to clean up alleys in Hollywood in an effort to make them pedestrian friendly and even usable for retail or outdoor dining.

This is not cheap. Owners of 529 parcels in the district will assess themselves $3.4 million a year, or more than $6,400 a year per parcel on average, to pay for it.

While it’s good to see property owners take command of their neighborhood – and there are several business improvement districts throughout Los Angeles doing about the same thing – it’s disheartening that they feel compelled to do so. After all, many of the services they’re buying are already provided by the city or other government agencies. In other words, they’re paying taxes to have that work done, but 91 percent believe they must pay extra to have it done right.

In that way, the success of business improvement districts is also a testament to the shortcomings of local governments.