Weekend Round-Up: Happy City Coalition Letter, Ballona Path Expansion, Street Furniture Map
Below are a few news shorts as L.A. heads into the Presidents Day weekend.
Happy City Coalition urges Metro to publicly present new freeway alternatives to communities
The Happy City Coalition formed in opposition to Metro’s 605 and 5 Freeways widening plans, which would demolish hundreds of homes mostly in Downey and Santa Fe Springs. Last month, Metro staff announced that a somewhat vague new widening alternative would go to the Metro board in February – apparently at next week’s board committee meetings.
The letter outlines concerns about Metro’s 605 Freeway Corridor Improvement Project:
Southeast L.A. County neighbors are worried about Metro’s freeway expansion plans that will demolish hundreds of homes to expand the I-5 and I-605 freeway interchange. Homes are not the only issue of concern as there are apartment buildings, condos, and an elementary school and a park that potentially will be cut through and demolished. This proposed freeway expansion doesn’t just affect Downey, but also affects Santa Fe Springs, Norwalk, Pico Rivera, South El Monte, El Monte, and more.
Happy City notes that the new alternative was “developed behind closed doors” and “has not been presented publicly to impacted neighborhoods.” Further, “Neither the public, nor local elected officials have had a chance to ask questions” about Metro’s new alternative.
The Coalition is urging the Metro board to
…make sure that Metro Highway Staff present new plans to the impacted communities – in well-publicized presentations available in English and Spanish, answering questions and listening to public input from the community – before they present new alternatives to the Metro board.
— Happy City Coalition (@CoalitionHappy) February 11, 2021
Streets L.A. releases new street furniture mapping tool
The city of L.A. is currently updating its process for placing bus shelters and bus benches, including revisions to its street furniture contract. The update is led by the city’s Public Works Department, Bureau of Street Services – known as “Streets L.A.” Read more about the process at this L.A. Times editorial and this Investing in Place blog post. Follow developments via Streets L.A.’s webpage and the Council File 20-1536.
This week, Streets L.A. released a new interactive mapping tool that shows locations of benches, shelters, and the city’s draft prioritization of new bus stop furniture. Map layers include NextGen bus stop elimination plans and transit ridership for various bus agencies. Check out the new Streets L.A. mapping tool.
Streets for All campaign to extend the Ballona Creek path
The ~6.6-mile-long Ballona Creek walk/bike path was built many decades ago. It has seen quite a few improvements – including several improved entry points – and some deterioration – including a hard-fought access point closure. But the path has remained the same length for about 50 years.
Now, Streets for All is pushing to extend the path through Culver City and into Los Angeles’s mid-city – as well as improving feeder connections.
Some portions of the project appear fairly straightforward and relatively inexpensive. Others – especially going under the 10 Freeway – may be difficult and costly.
Streets for All is campaigning to add two more miles of path, extending it all the way to Cochran Avenue just south of Venice Boulevard.