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Hawthorne Takes on DOT's Resistance to Change

By Eric Richardson
Published: Sunday, February 03, 2008, at 08:48PM
Second Street Sidewalk Eric Richardson [Flickr]

As I started reading Christopher Hawthorne's piece on pedestrian unfriendly street changes near LAMCA, I was thinking to myself, "This is just like 2nd street." Two thirds of the way down Hawthorne himself makes the connection.

As part of [LACMA] expansion, designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, the museum proposed extending a drop-off lane along the north edge of Wilshire at Ogden Drive, directly in front of its new plaza and entry pavilion. The request triggered a bureaucratic back-and-forth between LACMA and the city's Department of Transportation. The short version goes like this: The DOT refused to approve the new lane unless the museum also was willing to remove the stoplight and crosswalks at the intersection and extend the median strip running down the center of Wilshire.

... The DOT's decision in this case is not unlike the city's controversial plans to remove a row of trees along 2nd Street downtown, on the southern edge of Thom Mayne's Caltrans building, so it can add an additional traffic lane.

Here in Downtown we have a chance to do something to keep that car-centric decision making from happening. As mentioned Friday, DLANC is hosting a meeting at Vibiana (SE corner of 2nd/Main) on Monday, at 6:30pm. Come tell the city that here in Downtown we value the pedestrian nature of our streets.

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