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Lakers parade will complicate Monday morning commute

June 18, 2010 |  2:21 pm

La-me-lakers-parade-map   A parade celebrating the Lakers’ NBA championship will begin Monday at 11 a.m., starting at Staples Center on Figueroa Street and traveling south toward USC.

Street closures will begin Sunday evening around midnight, forcing Monday morning commuters to find alternative means of getting into downtown Los Angeles. The 110 Freeway near USC was so jammed with fans a year ago that some passengers hopped out of cars to head to the championship celebration on foot.

The team has promised to reimburse the city for the additional police and transportation workers needed to staff the parade, as well as for the installation of barricades along the route. The estimated cost for those city services is more than $1.5 million, said David Beltran, a spokesman for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

“The Lakers will be funding the cost of the parade 100%,” said team spokesman John Black.

Unlike last year, there will be no rally at the Coliseum, which filled up so quickly that police had to turn people away before the event started.

The best bet for fans will be to line up along the 2-mile-long parade route on Figueroa Street between 11th Street, near Staples Center, and Jefferson Boulevard near USC.

Hundreds of thousands of fans are expected to attend.

During the parade, the players will stand atop a flat-bed float, instead of waving to fans from buses, as was the case last year, Black said. Spero Dedes, the Lakers radio play-by-play announcer, will interview players aboard the float, with the talks broadcast to fans by loudspeakers.

A number of open-air buses and other vehicles carrying the Laker Girls, coaches and staff will follow.

Lakers2009Fans should avoid driving to the parade, officials said, recommending that they take the Metro Blue Line light rail, exiting at Pico or Grand stations or exiting at 7th Street/Metro Center station on the Red and Purple subway lines.

The parade is expected to last about an hour, but Black said that “they don’t always go as scripted.”

The following streets are expected to be closed: Figueroa Street between Olympic Boulevard to the north and Jefferson Boulevard on the south, Chick Hearn Court between Figueroa and Cherry streets, Cherry Street between Olympic and Pico boulevards, Flower Street between Washington and Jefferson boulevards, and Jefferson Boulevard between Figueroa and Hoover streets, and all intersections along the parade route.

To sign-up for up-to-the-minute parade information, text LAWINS to 888777, a service of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.

-- Rong-Gong Lin II

Photo: A bird's-eye view of the 2009 Lakers victory parade. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

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