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Peds or Cars? No Certain Plan for Chick Hearn Court Closures

By Eric Richardson
Published: Monday, November 30, 2009, at 10:16PM
Chick Hearn Bollards Eric Richardson [Flickr]

New bollards on Chick Hearn Court are activated to block the street off for a private event on Monday, November 23.

Hardware needed to easily close off L.A. Live's Chick Hearn Court has gotten its first live action in recent weeks, but that doesn't mean that the street will regularly be given over to pedestrians.

While the City Council earlier this year gave AEG the power to close the street nightly and on weekends, the company recently hedged on how often it plans to use that permission.

While Staples Center's Star Plaza and L.A. Live's Nokia Plaza are designed to flow onto each other, there is no direct crosswalk between the two. Pedestrians are required to cross at either Figueroa or Georgia streets.

Two sets of bollards, one at Figueroa and one at Georgia, can be activated to close off the street to traffic. The move activates altered signal plans and signage on 11th street and on Figueroa.

The Memorandum of Understanding between AEG and the city's Department of Transportation says that "It is anticipated that the high level of activity at [L.A. Live], and subsequent pedestrian volumes, will precipitate the need to close the street every weekend and most if not all weekday evenings." It assumes that the street will in fact be closed, and requires AEG to notify the City of nights where a closure is not desired.

Recently, though, Staples Center General Manager Lee Zeidman told blogdowntown that he expects closures to be reserved for special occasions.

Cost is one factor. The closure requires one LADOT staff person to be on site, along with two AEG event staffers. Access to L.A. Live's parking structures is another. Chick Hearn provides easy access to the complex's West Garage.

Our suggestion? The red stripes at the top of the bollards are the perfect start needed to turn the barriers into Christmas accessories. Stick on some candy cane tops and turn the street into a pedestrian winter wonderland this holiday season.

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