Summarized by Kent Larsen
LDS Church opposes current Boulevard Plan (Santa Monica Boulevard to Get a Two-for-One Make-Over Deal)
Los Angeles Times 28Jul99 C6
By Jeffrey L. Rabin: Times Staff Writer
The LDS Church is the most powerful remaining critic of a $68
million plan to rework and beautify a 2 1/2 mile stretch of Santa
Monica Boulevard on the west side of Los Angeles. Concerned about
access to the its Los Angeles Temple, the Church would like the plans
changed to add a traffic light and new entrance to the Temple, which
towers over the boulevard.
The proposed changes to the boulevard would merge Santa Monica
Boulevard with its companion, Little Santa Monica Boulevard, creating
a heavily landscaped roadway that can handle up to 20% more traffic.
The plan calls for bike lanes, broad sidewalks, and, most
importantly, fewer intersections to back-up traffic. A dirt median in
the roadway that was a railroad right-of-way will also be eliminated,
taking out many of the billboards that distract motorists and create
a bewildering visual maze. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky says
that the plans will create a "beautiful gateway to West Los Angeles
rather than the dysfunctional and ugly street it is today."
And because the planners for the Metropolitan Transportation
Authority have listened to the concerns of residents, neighborhood
groups, businesses and property owners, there is little opposition
left to the plan. The LDS Church is considered the most powerful
critic, and it has hired a major law firm and City Hall lobbyist to
represent its interests in the matter.