Could the chaos that has plagued the 6th Street Viaduct’s first few weeks signal an opportunity to reimagine its intended uses?
Two weeks after its much-anticipated public opening, L.A.’s 6th Street Viaduct is closed. As Andy Kalmowitz reports in Jalopnik, the closure is “largely due to a near constant stream of illegal activity from drivers taking over the brand-new, $588 million bridge in downtown L.A.”
After a series of temporary closures, the city is installing speed bumps in order to discourage street racers and other reckless drivers. “Along with the new speed bumps, the city is installing a center median divider as well as fencing to discourage people from scaling the archways, which is just one more baffling thing people have been doing on the bridge.”
Even before its reconstruction, the 6th Street bridge was a famous backdrop. “The original bridge the Viaduct replaces was an iconic LA landmark, seen in movies like Grease and Terminator 2: Judgement Day. The new bridge wasted no time making a name for itself, clearly.”
The Los Angeles Times editorial board, meanwhile, recently advocated for closing the bridge to cars altogether.
The board argues that the bridge could become a West Coast version of New York City’s High Line, literally and figuratively elevating people over cars. “Despite less than ideal conditions (the speeding cars and the flimsy “protected” bicycle lanes), the 6th Street Viaduct has become a spot for family strolls, bike rides, scenic views, even quinceañera photos and a podcast recording. This is no mere roadway connecting Boyle Heights and downtown. It’s an opportunity to rethink L.A. transportation infrastructure and public space.”
Indiana Once Again Considering Ban on Dedicated Transit Lanes
The proposed legislation would impact the construction of planned IndyGo Blue Line, the third phase of the city’s bus rapid transit system.
LA Freeway Ramp ‘Quietly Canceled’
A 2018 lawsuit forced Metro and Caltrans to do full environmental reviews of the project, leading to its cancellation.
LA’s ‘Spongy’ Infrastructure Captured Almost 9 Billion Gallons of Water
The city is turning away from stormwater management practices that shuttle water to the ocean, building infrastructure that collects and directs it underground instead.
Micromobility Operators Call for Better Links to Transit
For shared mobility to succeed, systems must tap into the connectivity and funding potential offered by closer collaboration with public transit.
Retaining Transit Workers Is About More Than Wages
An analysis of California transit employees found a high rate of burnout among operators who face unpredictable work schedules, high housing costs, and occasional violence.
California's Stormwater Potential
A new study reveals that if California could collect and treat more stormwater in cities, it could provide enough water to supply a quarter of the state’s urban population.
Tufts University Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
City of Grand Forks, North Dakota
City of Birmingham, Alabama
City of Laramie, Wyoming
Colorado Department of Local Affairs
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.