Metro Purple Line Proposes Two “Bad” Choices for Wilshire Blvd Closures

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“Two bad choices,” that’s how Metro Purple Line construction options are being characterized to residents along Wilshire Boulevard as construction on the station at La Brea Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard moves into the next phase.

Neighbors from Brookside and Windsor Village gathered last night at the Ebell of Los Angeles to listen to Metro officials provide a detailed presentation on the construction process that will unfold in the next several months requiring the closure of Wilshire Blvd between Orange Drive and Detroit Street. Construction crews will remove the existing street, curb to curb and replace it with a concrete deck for cars to drive over while work is done 70 feet below the street.

Residents and businesses are being asked to choose which closure option they prefer.

Option 1: 7 week full closure of Wilshire from Highland and La Brea. Construction work would take place seven days week, 7 AM to 11 PM at street level; 11 PM to 7 AM underground. All together there would  15 nights of work. In addition, there would be 6 weekend closures of Wilshire Blvd from La Brea to Detroit Street starting 9 PM Friday through 6 AM Monday with construction work continuous throughout the weekend.

Option 2: Approximately 22 weekend closures. Starting at 9 pm on Friday through 6 am Monday, crew would work continuously above and below ground. All together for 66 nights of work.

The project was engineered for the 22 weekend closure options but in an effort to reduce the inconvenience to the nearest affected neighbors, Metro devised the seven week option and are asking the community to provide their preferences. Metro plans to make a decision after their next community meeting on November 12.

Metro’s Michael Cortez, Senior Construction Relations Officer Regional Communications, who’s been conducting meetings with various affected neighborhoods, said that people’s preferences vary depending on their proximity to the construction. So far it seems that people who live closest to the construction prefer the seven-week option. Small businesses located in the construction zone agree.  However, many in the audience last night preferred the 22 week option.

Windsor Village Resident, Joe Hoffman said he was concerned that people rushing to work and school would be more likely to cut through the neighborhoods. Hoffman pointed to Department of Transportation (DOT) numbers that show approximately 36,000 cars traveling east and west bound  along Wilshire and Olympic Boulevard are already at capacity. There are about 10 percent fewer cars on the weekends but Hoffman believes weekend drivers might be less likely to pour onto small neighborhood streets.

Metro officials said they would be working with DOT to develop traffic mitigation plans to try to avoid cut through traffic and urged residents to express their opinions by email to Metro by email at purplelineext@Metro.net with the subject line: Decking Options.

Metro is holding another community meeting with residents of Sycamore Square on Sunday.

CD 4 Council member David Ryu will participating in the next Section 1 Community Meeting Thursday, November 12 at a John Burroughs Middle School with Councilman David Ryu. Once the decision is made and approvals from various city agencies are in place, closures are expected to start in March 2016.

Last week the Buzz reported that Metro had delayed plans to narrow Wilshire to 2 lanes between Cloverdale and Mansfield due to complications with reconfiguring traffic signals. So far, Metro has not yet rescheduled the work.

 
Metro Section 1 Community Meeting
November 12, 2015
John Burroughs Middle School Auditorium
600 S McCadden Place
Los Angeles, CA 90005
5:30 7:30 pm
 
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About Patricia Lombard

Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

One thought on “Metro Purple Line Proposes Two “Bad” Choices for Wilshire Blvd Closures

  1. Why is traffic being diverted south at both Highland and Ls Brea? This will force traffic into Miracle Mile South, Sycamore Square and Brookside, where east-west streets are not through streets, rather than north, towards 6th St., which is a through street. Last night it was suggested that Hancock Park lobbied for this so they did not get the cut through traffic in their neighborhood. I hope that’s not the case.

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