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Downtown L.A. stadium would bring light and traffic, study finds

April 5, 2012 |  7:24 am

Tim Leiweke

A new football stadium in downtown Los Angeles would bring more light, noise and traffic to the area, according to the first detailed report on the environmental impacts of the proposed project. But many of those nuisances could be minimized by mitigation measures that include improvements to freeways and public transit, the analysis found.

The release of the 10,000-page draft environmental impact report, which was posted on the city’s Planning Department website late Wednesday, sets off a 45-day public comment period that is likely to generate fierce debate. The stadium project, which includes a plan to tear down and rebuild a portion of the Convention Center, has the support of the business and labor communities. But some who live near the project site have protested it, saying it will bring more light pollution and traffic to a neighborhood that is already one of the densest parts of the city.

Anschutz Entertainment Group, the developer behind the proposed 73,000-seat stadium, has sought to allay those concerns with a series of mitigation measures to ease traffic and encourage mass transit. The proposals outlined in the report include $11 million in freeway improvements and other traffic management measures, as well as $10 million for improvements at a light-rail station and hundreds of thousands of dollars in investments in a city car-share program.

According to the report, an estimated 10,800 patrons would take mass transit during a football game on the weekend. Some 2,530 would walk or bike, and 58,680 would drive, it found.

It also addresses the bright signage and lighting proposed for the stadium, which some worry may distract drivers on the nearby 10 and 110 freeways. The stadium and convention center would feature “dynamic signage," according to the report, including dozens of large electronic digital billboards.

But the electronic signs facing freeways would not have flashing images, the report said. Images would be static for eight seconds and then refresh to another one.

According to the report, the stadium’s signage would fit with the neighborhood’s “evolving sense of place.” Neighboring Staples Center and L.A. Live, two other AEG developments, also feature bright lights and big ads.


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Photo: Tim Leiweke, president of Anschutz Entertainment Group. Credit: Hector Amezcua / Associated Press