Why LACMA spent $900,000 on Measure R
Our traffic guru, Times transportation writer and Bottleneck Blogger Steve Hymon, reports on why LACMA spent serious cash on Measure R (something about having the subway at its front door):
I spoke this afternoon to Melody Kanschat, president of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The museum has kicked in $900,000 to the Measure R campaign, making it the largest single donor to the effort to raise the sales tax in the county and build more mass transit, including the beginning of the subway-to-the-sea.
"The reason we're supporting this is obvious," she said. "We think the cultural infrastructure in L.A. really can't realize its full potential without an investment in transportation infrastructure."
In other words, the subway to the sea would stop at Wilshire and Fairfax, just outside the museum.
Kanschat says that when LACMA does surveys to try to find out why people don't visit, the top three reasons all have to do with getting there: Prospective visitors say they live too far, there's too much traffic and the museum is inconvenient to freeways and mass transit.
I asked whether the museum had been approached by anyone to donate to the campaign. Kanschat said that she had closely been watching the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's continuing study of possible subway routes and had been lobbying for a Wilshire alignment. "It seems a no-brainer to us to have a subway serve the city's main business boulevard," she said.
Photo: Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times