Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Metro To Put Off Wilshire Closure Decision Until January

Metro officials tell GWNC members they will delay their decision on the Wilshire Closure Options, GWNC Outreach Chair Fred Mariscal with Community Recognition Award Recipient Bob Vaughn-Wheeler
Metro officials tell GWNC members they will delay their decision on the Wilshire closure options; GWNC Outreach Chair Fred Mariscal with Citizen Recognition Award Recipient Bob Vaughn-Wheeler

In an apparent nod to demand from homeowners’ groups and CD Council member David Ryu, Metro officials told the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council (GWNC) last night, at the council’s November board meeting, that it will conduct a traffic study to evaluate the impact of a recently-proposed 7-week full closure of a section of Wilshire Blvd, as a possible alternative to the planned 16-weekend closure previously proposed and evaluated in the approved environmental impact report (EIR) for the Purple Line subway extension.  The traffic study will, in turn, delay a decision between the two construction options – which was originally scheduled for later this month – until January.

Kasey Shuda, Construction Relations Manager for the Metro Purple Line Extension, said Metro will examine all the potential traffic effects of the new closure option, in coordination with the City Department of Transportation.  They will present an estimated 200 page report sometime in January. At that time, if the 7-week full closure option seems viable and acceptable, Metro would proceed to secure permits with the required city agencies, and the installation of surface-level street decking would commence in March.

Shuda invited members of the community to the attend the meeting Metro is conducting with Council Member David Ryu tonight – Thursday at 5:30 pm at John Burroughs Middle School at Wilshire and Las Palmas – for more information.

Several weeks ago, Metro asked homeowner groups to vote on which closure option they preferred, saying Metro would provide a traffic study on the 7-week option only if there was support for it. After several groups balked at being forced to select an option without a full traffic study, Council Member Ryu sided with the neighborhoods and announced he would not weigh in until more traffic information was provided to the neighborhoods.

At the GWNC meeting, La Brea-Hancock Homeowners Association President Barbara Savage said her neighborhood conducted an emergency meeting and rescinded its earlier vote of support for the 7-week closure option. She also read a letter from Hancock Park Homeowner’s Association President Cindy Chvatal-Keane, expressing that group’s refusal to vote for an option without more information on traffic impacts.  GWNC Board member Eric Oliver read a similar letter from Sycamore Square HOA President Ann Eggleston. Both La Brea-Hancock and Sycamore Square are at ground zero of the closure area, bordering opposite sides of the affected area of Wilshire Blvd.

GWNC Elections

In other actions last night, the GWNC began planning its upcoming elections, which are set for May 1, 2016. The board approved the appointment of Colette Amin and Owen Smith as co-chairs of the election committee, and Greg Wittmann as a committee member.  All stakeholders are encouraged to consider running for the council. Candidate registration begins January 17, 2016 and closes March 2, 2016. The Barking Lot on Larchmont Blvd is the proposed location for the election.

Later, Patrick MacKellan was installed as the new “Other Non-Profit” representative on the GWNC board. MacKellan serves on the “Taste of Larchmont” committee of Hope-Net, where he formerly served as a board member. MacKellan is also a member of Saint Brendan Church and chair of the Los Angeles Athletic Club’s Men’s Glee Club.

Fred Mariscal, chair of the GWNC Outreach Committee, presented the committee’s Citizen Recognition Award to Bob Vaughan-Wheeler, an accomplished yoga teacher, for his contributions to the community and for heeding the call of the Outreach Committee for a community event. Vaughn-Wheeler was instrumental in organizing the GWNC-sponsored free yoga program at Robert Burns Park on Van Ness Avenue.  Vaughn-Wheeler invited everyone to attend the free program, which operates 7 days a week at 10 am.



In announcements at the end of the evening, a GWNC stakeholder reported that on Thursday, November 12 and Friday, November 13 at 7:30 pm, the Opera Workshop at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) will present a special limited engagement of the enchanting musical The Secret Garden at the legendary Wilshire Ebell Theatre, 4401 West 8th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90005. With a cast and crew made up of LACHSA’s talented Opera, Dance, Music and Theatre students, thes timeless Tony Award-winning show is based on the 1911 novel of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett (with music and lyrics by Marsha Norman and music by Lucy Simon). Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 818-438-4911.




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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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