A proposal in the works for a feasibility study that would consider the demolition of the 90 Freeway, that has for the last six decades served to link Marina Del Rey to the rest of Greater Los Angeles—is now at the center of a firestorm of controversy.
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 have voiced their anger to local elected officials over the idea, including Mayor Karen Bass, whose office had initially released a letter of support for the feasibility study.
However, in a recent statement, Bass clarified where she stood on the project.
“I want to be very clear – I do not support the removal or demolition of the 90 freeway. I’ve heard loud and clear from communities who would be impacted, and I do not support a study on this initiative. I thank Angelenos for continuing to make their voices heard about this important issue.”
Supervisor Holly Mitchell has also heard from her community and has stated that she is not in favor of demolishing the freeway, which takes up 128 acres of land.
Proponents had argued that a better use for the three-mile route that was originally named as the Slauson Freeway, is affordable 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.
Streets for All, the advocacy group behind the proposal, had been in the process of securing a $2 million grant from Culver City for the feasibility study, which could take up to a year to complete.
That request was turned down, and the group has since partnered with Cal Trans to secure federal dollars.
“This is just a feasibility study,” stated Streets for All founder Michael Schneider. “You always make better decisions based on data. I’ve seen comments that people are against even studying this idea. I just want to say it might be better for all of us if we actually had data and we could say this is a terrible idea, or actually, maybe this idea has merit.”
A decision for how and if the group moves forward—pending federal funding—is expected in five months.