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Put a lid on the idea for a park

June 24, 2008

Re "Where's our Central Park?" Opinion, June 20

What a fascinating think-piece: Create a Big Trench Park over downtown's congested 101. EDAW's Vaughan Davies appears to be adept at using other people's money at a time when the feds, the state and even Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's town are in deep fiscal disarray.

How will he pay for this West Coast version of Boston's Big Dig? Why, he'll raid the state's transportation bonds; Davies brilliantly suggests using a billion or so to put a nice green lid over the already paved freeway. And, appropriately, he proposes putting this right next to the district's extravagant new high school. Brilliant thinking!

By the way, what does EDAW stand for -- Economic Disaster And Waste?

Len Frank

Los Angeles

Davies does not even mention downtown's Pershing Square, which is a testament to irrelevance in a park. Pershing Square has been designed to prevent the homeless from sleeping and congregating, to prevent the public from having large open-air meetings and to be so unattractive that it is empty -- used only for lunches and concerts for nearby tenants, and for ice skating. It is an eyesore in what should be the heart of the city.

Why does Davies think that a new park over the 101 would actually be a "great, open-air city gathering place"? In fact, it would be a semi-private facility for county employees and residents of the Grand Avenue project.

The great public parks he mentions provide "breathing room" not because they have trees and grass but because they are large enough to be places where anything can happen. This will never be true of the proposed 100-acre park. It's too small, and the neighbors will resent and resist any unpredictable activities.

Danila Oder

Los Angeles

Davies' brilliant and innovative concept for a park over the "trench" in downtown L.A. is so smart and needed that it will get exactly the kind of attention from the city that one would expect: None.

Mark Donnelly

Sherman Oaks

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