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Despite Fears, 2nd Street Work Not a Widening

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, July 25, 2008, at 01:35PM
Curb Cut Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Downtown residents who earlier this year fought against widening 2nd street can be excused for seeing torn up concrete next to Caltrans and thinking that exactly that was set to take place. After all, this isn't a city with a spotless track record when it comes to sticking to plan.

On the contrary, the work going on right now is designed to rebuild the curb returns in a more accessible fashion, making life easier on pedestrians.

Plans to widen 2nd next to the Caltrans building first came to the public's eye in 2006, when tree removal notices appeared. The removals and widening were part of the LAPD HQ construction job.

After thinking that an agreement had been reached not to widen, residents were surprised to learn in January of this year that it was still scheduled to take place. A cry went out, a public meeting was organized, and Councilwoman Jan Perry's office ended up promising there would be no widening.

When the sidewalk along that stretch saw construction work commence on July 12th, several residents wrote in asking if Perry's promise had been broken and the widening was going through. A notice put out by the project that called the work "Phase 2 of the 2nd Street Widening Improvements" didn't help.

No need to fear, though. In an inter-departmental memo issued on February 27th, City Engineer Gary Lee Moore acknowledged the work now taking place:

This memo is to confirm that DOT has agreed to waive the widening on the north side of 2nd Street between Main and Los Angeles Streets. The scope will be deleted from the Police Administration Building project. As requested, the curb returns at the corners of 2nd St./Los Angeles St. and 2nd St./Main St. will be modified by BOE to comply with accessibility standards.

Also worth noting: though travel eastbound on the north side of 2nd can appear to be closed at Los Angeles, there's a detour path just hidden from view in from the corner.

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