Correction: Supervisor Holly Mitchell supports a feasibility study only that includes community impact on the potential impact of demolition the 90 Freeway. Culver City opts not to sign on as lead agency. See updates below.
Say it ain’t so, but there is a proposal in the works that would demolish the 90 Freeway, that has for the last six decades served to link Marina Del Rey to the rest of Greater Los Angeles.
Stakeholders argue that they would be negatively impacted by the increased traffic congestion. Residents that live nearby in the areas of Ladera Heights, Baldwin Hills, Windsor Hills, Culver City and Inglewood say it would make it impossible to get to the Cedars Sinai Marina Hospital in an emergency.
Proponents argue that a better use for the three-mile route that was originally named as the Slauson Freeway, is housing and a public park.
Dubbed Marina Central Park, the proposal would include the construction of 4,000 new homes located throughout the park along with bikeways, bus rapid transit and a roadway.
The project has already reportedly secured the support of State Assemblymember Isaac Bryan, State Senator Lola Smallwood-Cuevas and the Del Rey Neighborhood Council.
Supervisor Holly Mitchell has strictly supported a feasibility study on the anticipated impact a demolition of the 90 Freeway would have on the community.
Said Mitchell, “The potential implications of the Marina Central Project require a comprehensive feasibility study that takes into account the feedback of residents who live near the Marina Freeway and those that use the freeway. I do not support blindly agreeing to a disruptive change such as closing the freeway without a detailed assessment with full community input. I want to be clear that there are currently no plans to alter the Marina Freeway and I am only in support of a feasibility study.”
Streets for All, the advocacy group behind the proposal, had been in the process of securing a $2 million grant from Culver City for a Marina Central Park feasibility study, which could take up to a year.
In a letter submitted in support of the proposal, Mayor Karen Bass wrote, “Tearing down the Marina Freeway, which sits on 100 acres of right-of-way with 50 acres of concrete and steel, represents an opportunity to address past harms, build housing, and create community space for all Angelenos. As currently envisioned, Marina Central Park would be one of the largest parks in the Los Angeles region. It is my understanding that this project would provide nearly 4,000 units of new housing – including potentially 100% affordable housing – and mixed-use development, which can reduce vehicle miles traveled. It would address community access to much-needed open space with connected paths, jogging trails, a dedicated bike path, a bus rapid transit corridor, and dedicated lanes for limited car use. Lastly, it would help restore access to and re-naturalize Centinela Creek to improve a community asset that can be enjoyed by the community.”
Calling it a “freeway to nowhere”, Bass also referenced that the freeway exacerbated air and noise pollution and impacted water quality through polluted run-off.
If approved, the Marina Central Park could take up to a decade to complete.
Update: Culver City has voted against Streets for All’s request for the city to apply as lead agency for the feasibility study. The group has a deadline of September 28 to attach a government entity to its federal grant application.