Despite a plea from councilmember elect Traci Park, who will begin representing Council District 11 starting December 12, the Los Angeles City Council voted to approve $5.1 million to fund various transportation projects in the district that were requested by Councilmember Mike Bonin last week.
In a motion submitted to the council on November 22, Bonin asked the council to approve spending a little more than $5.1 million on four projects before leaving office on December 12.
One project, which has a price tag of $2.5 million, is intended to widen one of the busiest roads in the District, Lincoln Boulevard, to accommodate buses and make room for a light rail train.
The project includes widening of Lincoln Blvd between Jefferson Blvd and Culver Blvd, replacing the existing Lincoln Blvd Bridge over Ballona Creek, replacing the existing Culver Bridge over Lincoln Blvd, and reconstructing the existing Culver Blvd/Lincoln Blvd interchange.
In a letter sent to the council before the vote, Park stated in the spirit of collegiality and mutual respect to “delay action” on the approval of the funds.
Park noted that aside from the large price tag, in at least one of the projects, the Lincoln Boulevard Multi-Modal Bridge Improvement project, “there has been zero community engagement around this proposal and given the significant community and environmental impacts of this proposed project, this item should be delayed until the appropriate outreach and CLA/CAO analysis can be completed.”
Park noted that she neither supports nor opposes any aspect of the motion on the merits. But she asked her colleagues to give her time to analyze the proposals and seek community input on their merits.
“Given that these items were just introduced on November 22, 2022, which is less than 3-weeks before the current councilmember leaves office, it is hard to see any of these proposals as anything more than a “last minute rush job” with a massive price tag attached to them,” Park said. “For all of these reasons, I am respectfully asking to defer any action on agenda item 57 until after I take office on December 12. I thank you in advance for your consideration and am available to answer any questions that you might have regarding these issues.”
The council approved the projects with an 11-0-4 vote. The four votes were absent council members. The motion is headed to the Mayor’s desk for a signature.
(Editor’s note: This story appeared in the Westside Current November 30 and is reprinted with permission.)