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So Much for City Planning

April 07, 1985

I read James Rainey's article, "Grand Jury Criticizes Summa Plans, Fears Marina 'Traffic Jam,' " (Times, March 24) with some interest.

On a Los Angeles city map, there are four east-west main arteries that run directly into the Marina area: Venice, Washington, Culver (once called Del Rey) and Jefferson boulevards, the most southerly.

Three of these, Venice, Culver and Washington, meet in the heart of Culver City and fan out to the west, with Culver the most directly pointed to the marina area.

Culver City was where the old Pacific Electric light-rail line branched--one continuing down Venice and the other going westward to the Del Rey area--before it was Marina del Rey.

Venice Boulevard was ultimately to use the old right-of-way of the Pacific Electric Division to allow for a much-needed widened surface street.

That would seem like a viable, sensible thing to do with Culver Boulevard, westward from Culver City, and indeed Culver City is doing exactly that at this time.

But Los Angeles, with no little help from (City Councilwoman) Pat Russell, is doing something more unique. The 60-foot center portion of Culver Boulevard has been acquired by "property developers."

The center section of this divided road is to have a mixture of housing, storage sheds, billboards--and eventually, surely, 7-Eleven stores.

So much for long-term city planning. When someone can improve their personal fortune, the short-term gain seems to win out quite frequently. Not so surprising, I guess.

At least it will be a first, unless you know of any other city with a row of houses down the middle of the road.


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