Proposal would park a park on top of downtown L.A. freeway
The freeway is jammed, traffic is crawling and motorists are steamed. On top of all that, they want a 100-acre park.
That describes the plan to roof-over a half-mile stretch of the Hollywood Freeway in downtown Los Angeles and turn it into a gentle greenbelt.
The idea of a $700-million "cap" covering the freeway between Hope and Alameda streets in the Civic Center area is the latest in a series of proposals to convert airspace above local freeways into public parkland.
Civic leaders in Hollywood and Santa Monica have initiated similar freeway-cover campaigns for sections of highway there. A covering for the 101 Freeway in Ventura has also been discussed.
The proposed downtown freeway cap is being called "Park 101" by advocates -- some of whom have envisioned such a project for more than 10 years.
But it was a 2008 brainstorming session by two dozen college-age summer interns working for a design and planning firm that jump-started the downtown park proposal.
Working in a borrowed design studio at the state Department of Transportation's downtown headquarters, the interns pumped out the basic concept for the 100-acre park development in just two weeks.
Since then, the freeway redevelopment idea has been showcased in a booklet and in informal presentations at Caltrans and at City Hall before the Planning Commission.
Backers hope to give the concept another push by staging a community meeting and open house Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Caltrans headquarters at 100 S. Main St.Read the full story here.
-- Bob Pool
Photo: Traffic along the 101 Freeway under the Hill Street bridge. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times