Skip to comments.Santa Monica looks to cap Interstate 10 in new downtown plan
Posted on 01/10/2018 7:15:13 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Local planning politics on Los Angeles’s Westside is in a sad state of affairs. There, a municipally-led push to complete city streets by adding bicycle infrastructure and other pedestrian improvements has been met with fierce opposition from local drivers. Recent efforts in L.As Mar Vista neighborhood, for example, grew so toxic that community members launched a now-stalled recall bid to remove Mike Boninthe local council person who champions the so-called road diets as well as the citys Vision Zero plan those diets supportfrom office.
The embarrassing spectacle has thrown into question the commitment L.A. residents have not only toward prioritizing the Citys plan for eliminating all traffic deaths by 2025, but also their reluctance to take personal responsibility for reducing transportation-related carbon emissions across the region.
Nevertheless, there might be hope yet. That hope comes in the form of a new downtown plan taking root just a few blocks from Mar Vista, in the City of Santa Monica.
The beachside municipality recently approved its new Downtown Community Plan (DCP), a document that looks to convert downtown Santa Monica into a complete community offering dense urban housing, multi-modal transportation options, and a healthy sprinkling of public open and green spaces. The citys planning agency has taken a variety of steps to promote this vision by increasing maximum Floor-Area-Ratios for sites that include housing development in certain zones, eliminating parking minimums for some types of new construction, and pushing to reconfigure downtown streets in the image of universal transport.
Through this new plan, the municipality is working to expand the functionality of its sidewalks and streets by increasing their capacity to support bicycle infrastructure, demarcating specific loading zones for buses and ride sharing services, and recognizing key signature sidewalk areas that will strategically enhance street life. The plan indicates that Santa Monica city officials are keenly aware that the future of the L.A. region will depend just as much on what happens in the spaces between buildings as it will on the buildings themselves.
Critically, the plan also calls for capping the western terminus of Interstate 10 with a new park, a move that would fully transform the southern edge of the city into a civic and commercial node while also providing the city with an opportunity to rework surface streets to better accommodate the new focus on multi-modal transport.
The section of I-10 in question sits in a 20-feet-below-grade channel spanning roughly 7,000 feet across what was once the citys civic core; the stretch of highway is bounded on one side by Santa Monica City Hall and Ken Genser Square and on the other by the James Corner Field Operationsdesigned Tongva Park. Santa Monica Lookout reports that the DCPs Gateway Master Plan elementthe document spelling out just how the highway-adjacent areas are to be redesignedwill go up for consideration by the citys Department of Planning and Community Development sometime this spring. The department recently issued a report that includes support for the freeway cap as part of several long-term changes for the city. The report describes the freeway parks ability to offer a unique opportunity for strengthening connections within the city as a principal reason for its construction.
Aside from proposing a specific, multi-modal plan for reconnecting the citys street grid, the Gateway Master Plan will envision a method for reworking and connecting several key sites surrounding the future park, including an adjacent Sears department store complex, the Santa Monica Civic Center, and nearby Expo Line and Big Blue Bus stations.
Although calls for the freeway cap park in Santa Monica date back to the 1980s, recent years have seen a bevy of proposals for similar installations across the Los Angeles region, including over Interstate 110 in Downtown Los Angeles and over U.S. Route 101 in Hollywood. Another proposal is still in the works to cap another portion of U.S. Route 101 with an overpass that would allow local mountain lions and other fauna to traverse the highway safely.
Though Santa Monicas freeway cap is still in the early stages of approval, the municipality expects to implement the initial phases of the Gateway Master Plan by 2021. An official timeline for the freeway cap park has not been released.
all interstates should be privatized and federal gas tax eliminated
sell the land and improvements with zero regulatory oversight
let the free market do its magic
I read this article and still don't understand what a "freeway cap" is. A dead end?
complete community offering dense urban housing
When they do that with chickens, they call it animal cruelty.
Libertyis the enemy of the progressives.
It sounds wonderful.
Darn those scurvy peasants!
the Citys plan for eliminating all traffic deaths by 2025, but also their reluctance to take personal responsibility for reducing transportation-related carbon emissions across the region.
A rational country would institutionalize people like this. Theyre dangerous to themselves and others.
Living in a ‘Ratopia is H377 off wheelz.
Which is why they want the airport land so ferociously. There are BILLIONS of $$$ to be made from it, at no risk to the developers other than paying off Democrats, because they’ll be using taxpayer-backed loans.
-——toward prioritizing the Citys plan for eliminating all traffic deaths by 2025, -——
I had to read that twice because I was sure I missed something....
I’m all for limiting traffic deaths....but only a madman would think zero deaths that’s possible....
Very poorly written article. It gave me a headache.
“When they do that with chickens, they call it animal cruelty.”
I totally enjoy being a rural, free ranging peep.
The Freeway caps I’ve seen have been really wide bridges over sunken interstates. The one in Dallas has been a huge benefit - to developers.
There are about 10 lanes of expressway under this one
Like it was written for insider readers of The Architects Newspaper only.
IDK, other states have sold roads/turnpikes to Chinese backed companies just like many ports are Mideast country owned. “This land is your land” isn’t at all.
Not really any info in that link.
Used to pass through in 1965 on the way to the Sorrento beach and grill, 45 cent burgers with fries, we cut school for the burgers.
Just past the tunnel on pch, listening to the supremes singing "Love love love don't come easy..."
The left side was empty, just sand and ocean.
This is what you move to LA for. Open spaces, wandering mountain lions, wildlife and natural habitat preservation, go fishing off your front porch, that kind of thing.
Another proposal is still in the works to cap another portion of U.S. Route 101 with an overpass that would allow local mountain lions and other fauna to traverse the highway safely.
Of course the mountain lions and other fauna know to use their new bridge. But begs the question of why you want to encourage mountain lions to be able to access the more urban parts of the city.
Lastly, might this be a moot point given the destruction of 101 in the mudslides.
My parents lived there in the early years of WWII. My oldest brother lived there for a while around the time you mentioned.
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