In a sign that Los Angeles is becoming a more environmentally sensitive city, a new 44-acre park, to be built atop the Hollywood Freeway, may be started in 2012. The project, assuming funds are available, may cost $1 billion dollars and bring recreational space to a densely populated and park sparse region of the city.
The LA Times has an article explaining the details. What follows are my opinions:
The building of the Hollywood Freeway in the early 1950’s, sliced right through the residential and commercial heart of the district. It cut off the Franklin Avenue area from the business district along Hollywood Boulevard. It brought noise, pollution, traffic and congestion to one of the most formerly lovely sections of the city. It hastened the decline of Hollywood, by making the automobile the prime focus of city planning and ignoring pedestrians, public transportation and the pulmonary health of our citizens.
By bringing the freeway underground, Los Angeles will follow the example of other American cities like Boston, whose Big Dig is an attempt to connect the North End back to the rest of Boston and improve the traffic patterns of not only cars, but people on foot.
The Hollywood Freeway should never have been built so ruthlessly. A concrete knife plunged into the heart of a great city will now have some remedial arterial surgery to repair the damage.