Since opening in mid-July, the Sixth Street Viaduct has (as anyone could have anticipated) become a magnet for throngs of tourists and native Angelenos alike, all of whom are interested in seeing if the $588-million L.A. River bridge measures up to the hype.
While the quality of the viaduct's bike lanes has been met with almost ubiquitously negative reviews by mobility advocates, the bridge has nevertheless provided a new public space for residents of both the Arts District and Boyle Heights who have been starved for open space (and apparently, places to get a haircut). Likewise, a $40-million project will break ground later this year, bringing 12 acres of new park space below the viaduct.
At the same time, the opening of Downtown's first bridge in decades has also attracted street takeovers, fireworks, and vandalism, as evidenced by the donuts which now scar the surface of the bridge, and images of pedestrians climbing the signature arches which line the structure.
Those takeovers, which have captured national media attention, resulted in numerous overnight shutdowns of the viaduct over the brand-new viaduct. Additionally, they have prompted a motion from 14th District Councilmember Kevin De Leon, which aims to address some of the issues encountered over the past month. His response, according to a news release, directs city departments to do the following:
- The Bureau of Engineering to report on the resources and timeline to install cameras, fencing, signage, and traffic control mitigations to increase public safety.
- LAPD and the Department of Transportation to report on the resources required to keep traffic on the bridge safely flowing.
- Recreation & Parks and LAPD along with the Bureau of Sanitation to report back on a long-term plan for security, staffing, and maintenance for the new Sixth Street Viaduct PARC, which will include both the parks and arts plaza to be built on the Boyle Heights and Arts Districts sides).
- Chief Administrative Officer to report back on the resources needed to close the bridge periodically to vehicular traffic for pedestrian and bicycle access only.
- The City Attorney’s Office to prepare an ordinance that prohibits climbing over the bridge fencing, getting on the arches, defacing the bridge, street takeovers, drag racing and dangerous driving or stopping on the bridge or inhibiting traffic.
The motion has been directed to the Council's Public Works Committee for further consideration.
- Sixth Street Viaduct (Urbanize LA)