As we creep into the New Year I would like to take a few minutes and thank some that have helped make 2016 a successful year for the Miracle Mile.
Two special thanks from me. First, to former Councilmember Tom LaBonge for making sure our neighborhood was included on the list of neighborhoods in CD 4 to receive protection from tear downs of single family homes through an Interim Control Ordinance. Then for recognizing how special our neighborhood is by supporting our application to receive permanent protections through a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone designation. We will join our sister neighborhoods Carthay Circle, Carthay Square, South Carthay, Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Miracle Mile North and hopefully Oxford Square to our east because of your help. Next Councilmember David Ryu and his staff for pushing us to the finish line and personally for his grace under fire at our Annual meeting. We will try to make that up to you next year as you help us along with the Chamber of Commerce and Civic Coalition in a move to protect historic buildings on Wilshire Boulevard through HCM status. Then on to making the streetscape and wayfinding Plan started by the Museums a reality.
Of course our thanks to a couple of our community partners WJCC and the Korean Cultural Center who year after year open their doors for us to host meetings and a new friend Candelas on LaBrea.
Most of what gets done in the Miracle Mile would not be possible without the tireless work our board members and neighborhood supporters put in every year. Here are a couple of the hits and one miss we participated in this year.
- When METRO was planning to work on the stations at Fairfax and LaBrea 24 x 7 we organized our “Sleepless in the Miracle Mile” campaign which resulted in approximately 1000 signatures. That caught the attention of the Police Commission which issues work permits for after-hours work and that did not happen. It also alerted METRO that we were an organized community and they needed to communicate with us. To their credit they did and we have had a great relationship with them.
- That was demonstrated when they came to us about closing LaBrea for 7 straight weeks and we convinced them with the help of other partner community groups and Councilman David Ryu to work on weekends instead. Our concern was safety, especially the safety of children as they made their way to and from school.
- The subway construction has caused traffic cut through in the neighborhood and we were able to secure 4 way stop signs at Cloverdale (8th and 9th streets) and Detroit (8th street). We continue to work to get additional 4 way stops on other intersections.
- We successfully worked with the Council office to advocate for no bike lanes on 6th street until at least after the subway construction is completed. The loss of lanes on that street will dump an additional 25% of traffic on local streets according to several reports. After the Subway is completed we will work with the various communities to make sure the best decision is picked.
- Many of you contacted us about the condition of Olympic Boulevard and it was just resurfaced. Thank you street services.
- We advocated for speed humps for Sierra Bonita but that was 99% done by the time we got involved. That is one great organized street and we can’t wait to have a ribbon cutting ceremony.
- One notable failure was the loss of the Meridian Sports Club in the Courtyard building. We tried to get the new Equinox Club to work with seniors (silver sneakers program) and provide some memberships for low income individuals and families but they did not seem to care one way or another what we thought. Several of us did go downtown to speak for those that could not take off work to make the trek downtown to testify.
- We worked with the Courtyard building to get new play equipment installed in the children’s area in the park. We also helped negotiate a deal between the restaurants on Wilshire and the Farmers Market so that they were not in completion and the Farmers Market was able to stay right where it is.
- We hired a contractor to complete a traffic study. We will need to hold a community meeting to pick alternatives based on that study and find financing for some of their suggestions. What happens on one street impacts adjacent streets so lots of compromises will need to be made. This study was paid for by money LACMA agreed to place into a City account after Ogden Drive (between Wilshire and 6th) was vacated. We knew that would cause traffic patterns to shift and they did.
I know I am missing somethings but it is 6:30 in the morning and I need to get ready for a day of meetings on other issues. Drop us a line at infor@MiraclemileLA.com if I forgot something really important and have a great 2017!
– James O’Sullivan, President, Miracle Mile Residential Association