Metro Delays Decision on Wilshire Closures for Cut-and-Cover Work
Councilmember Ryu Backs Community Groups
Demanding Traffic and Noise Studies
Metro has agreed to do a full study on the traffic impact of their recent proposal to accelerate the completion of the cut-and-cover work on Wilshire Boulevard for the construction of the underground La Brea subway station. Originally, Metro planned to accomplish this task over 22 weekends, but last month they changed course and pushed a proposal to shut down Wilshire Boulevard from La Brea to Highland for seven full weeks to accelerate the portion of the work immediately east of the La Brea intersection to just east of Orange St. The accelerated seven week schedule would be in lieu of 16 weekends. The portion of the cut-and-cover work from Detroit through the actual intersection at La Brea would take place over six weekends regardless of the closure option chosen.
At its November meeting, the MMRA Board of Directors voted unanimously not to support the accelerated seven week closure until such time that Metro could produce a traffic study and traffic mitigation plan. “We cannot fly blind,” said MMRA Vice President Ken Hixon. “We need the facts to make an informed decision. It is crucial that we are able to fully weigh the two options and compare their pros and cons, whether it be noise levels or traffic congestion.”
Mid City West Community Council and Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council have tabled a decision on the closure options pending the delivery of Metro’s traffic and noise studies. La Brea/Hancock Home Owners and Sycamore Square rescinded their earlier support of the seven week closure and will reconsider the two options once their organizations have had an opportunity to review the studies, which are due in January 2016.
On 12 November 2015, Metro and Councilmember David Ryu conducted a community meeting on the closure proposals at John Burroughs Middle School. A video of the meeting has been posted on the MMRA Channel on YouTube [see link below]. At the meeting Metro and construction officials presented a PowerPoint presentation [see link below] that provides details on the two closure options. Councilmember David Ryu spoke at the meeting and emphasized that both he and the community must have all the facts before making a decision. Ryu also challenged Metro to improve their community outreach efforts.
The decking Wilshire is a very complex process – as is understanding the two closure options on the table. We encourage residents to watch the video of the meeting so that you can be better informed.
For additional information:
Larchmont Buzz, 13 Nov 2015: Metro Confirms Delay on Wilshire Boulevard Closure Decision and Clarifies Project Details
Park La Brea News/Beverly Press, 11 Nov 2015: Metro Still Seeking Input on Impending Wilshire Closure
MMRA Newsletter, 14 Oct 2015: Metro Proposes 7 Week Closure of Wilshire for Subway Construction