Is the dream of a new Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles about to become a reality? You might want to snap some pictures now, because, in 5 years it might be unrecognizable. A new plan was unveiled today by Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. It’s a plan that, if successful, will change the face of Downtown and put a shine on one of the city’s greatest jewels.
There is one big red flag, after the jump!
Just a few of the exciting ideas proposed as part of Bringing Back Broadway’s 10-year plan:
- Historic lighting design
- Broadway history walk
- Plans for using under-utilized upper floors for new uses (possibly residential)
- Revival of a Downtown streetcar that would connect Broadway to L.A. Live and Grand Avenue
It looks like Huizar is headed in the right direction. His goal is to restore Broadway to its former glory and make it an attraction in its own right. Both safety and cleanliness are addressed, as well as attention to historic detail in signage and street lighting.
The one aspect of the Bringing Back Broadway plan that hits a nerve is parking. It is well known to residents and visitors that parking can be scarce Downtown. One of their “Keys to Success” was the following statement:
Parking for Broadway should be plentiful and easily accessible.
Part of the plan is to better utilize the parking structure at Pershing Square for Broadway patrons. But there is also a brief mention of a “new parking facility to serve Broadway.” Where will this “new parking facility” be constructed? Do we really want to encourage more people to drive cars into the heart of the city? Shouldn’t we be doing more to encourage ridership of existing Metro Rail lines? The Red, Blue, Purple, and future Expo lines all stop at 7th Street/Metro Center Station, which is 4 BLOCKS AWAY from Broadway. This 4-block strip on 7th is already in the crosshairs of a plan to establish a new Restaurant Row. There has also been a renewed push for a Downtown Connector that would enable a direct trip from the Gold Line.
5 rail lines into Downtown L.A., a revived streetcar line, and the Bringing Back Broadway plan is talking about building a new parking garage? That sounds a little irresponsible. I would much rather they concentrate on the Downtown Connector, encourage the use of taxis and pedicabs, and – God forbid – tell people to start walking.
Still, I’ll cut Jose some slack. Despite some of the negativity about the project with regards to even more evil gentrification, I think this is a good start.
Then again, we have heard this story before, haven’t we?
As always, Angelenic brings their A-game when it comes to DTLA. They report that efforts are underway to renovate the Cameo, Arcade, and Roxie theaters, and that the Orpheum will play host to Oliver! later this year.
It is almost as if L.A. is trying to be a real city… again.
Bringing Back Broadway – Official Site