FROM Jay Handal
The Ups and Downs of Urban Planning Next month the new Los Angeles City Council will vote on the much reduced Millennium Towers in Hollywood, those skyscrapers planned to dwarf the Capitol Records Building. One has been cut from 55 stories to 39, the other from 45 to 35. Neighborhood groups in West LA are hoping to get the current city council to approve what they call a similar "victory." Massive reductions have been negotiated in the Casden West LA project at the congested corner of Pico and Sepulveda Boulevards. Retail space of 160,000 square feet is down to 15,000. There will be fewer homes in the mixed-use project, and there won't be any supermarket or a new Target after all. Looking north on Sepulveda Boulevard with the Metro station in the foreground Proposed Casden West LA, looking from the Expo Rail Sepulveda station
Commuters Versus Community In Fight Over Olympic Pico Plan Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky was first to propose that Olympic and Pico Boulevards on LA's west side should be one way in different directions. When that didn't fly, Mayor Villaraigosa had another idea: keep them two-way, but have each one favor a different direction during rush hour.
Villaraigosa Proposes Modified One-Way Plan For Pico And Olympic To relieve gridlock on LA’s West Side, County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky proposed limiting Olympic and Pico Boulevards to one-way traffic in opposite directions. That went nowhere, but now Mayor Villaraigosa has proposed a compromise he calls the “new, smart way to reduce traffic congestion.” He would eliminate parking on both streets during rush hour right away. Next year, traffic lights would be re-timed to speed traffic westbound on Olympic and east on Pico. Step three might be re-striping the lanes to provide more eastbound lanes on Pico and vice versa on Olympic.
The Westide's Perpetual Traffic Jam Massive development has created job centers in Santa Monica, Century City and Westwood. The price for commuters is some of the worst traffic congestion in all of Los Angeles. City Councilman Jack Weiss asked the Department of Transportation for its master plan and found out there was none. The Transportation Department, LA Metro and Caltrans now have agreed to work one up. In the meantime, the City Council has approved $6 million worth of projects to speed up the traffic.
Which Way Olympic? Which Way Pico? During the 1984 Olympics, Figueroa and Flower streets in downtown LA were temporarily switched to one-way thoroughfares in two different directions. Traffic flow was much improved and predicted local problems did not materialize, so the arrangement was made permanent. Now the Los Angeles City Council is studying a proposal to make Olympic and Pico Boulevards one way with Olympic going east from Santa Monica to downtown and Pico in the other direction. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky is pushing the plan .
The US gets deeper into Middle East wars. What's the endgame? President Trump welcomed Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to the White House today… just one of the changes in America's approach to the Middle East since Barack Obama left office. We hear about that and the escalation of warfare as well as civilian casualties.
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."