YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Changing name of Marina Freeway to 'Ballona Freeway' is proposed

September 03, 2013|By Martha Groves
  • A 1994 view of the Marina Freeway.
A 1994 view of the Marina Freeway.

Los Angeles Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents much of the Westside, proposed Tuesday that the Marina Freeway be given a new name: the Ballona Freeway.

"Ballona Creek is an important natural resource in the Los Angeles urban environment," Bonin said in his resolution. "Renaming [the freeway] ... would allow people to connect the natural beauty around them with the name 'Ballona.'"

A mere 1.5 miles or so long, the Marina Freeway is the shortest in L.A. County. It was envisioned as the Slauson Freeway, running through southern L.A. County and northern Orange County. For various reasons, however, long stretches of the freeway were canceled, with the result that much of the roadway -- also known as California 90 -- is mere highway.

The freeway portions of California 90 consist of two unjoined segments: the Marina Freeway and Expressway on the Westside and, nearly 50 miles east, the 2.3-mile Richard M. Nixon Parkway in Yorba Linda, the late president's birthplace.

The short leg near the marina was briefly named the Richard M. Nixon Freeway. After the Watergate scandal forced Nixon's resignation, it was renamed the Marina Freeway.

Bonin said the renaming would focus attention on the area's natural habitat rather than the manmade marina itself.

The state of California for years has been planning to restore the remaining Ballona Wetlands, just south of Marina del Rey and west of Lincoln Boulevard, but has faced opposition and competing ideas from wetlands activists.

Rex Frankel, one activist, said the freeway was an "artificial thing" and that naming it for a natural feature might seem strange. But he added that, if Bonin thought it a good idea, it would be fine by him.

He said he was much more focused on seeing the wetlands "restored in a natural way that doesn't wreck it and rip it to shreds."

A spokesman for Bonin’s office said the idea to rename the freeway was initially made by Patt Morrison, a Times columnist, in a 2008 op-ed piece.


Rim fire in and around Yosemite is 75% contained

Rick Caruso gets permit to moor mega-yacht in Newport Beach

Man arrested in fatal Hollywood stabbing over Labor Day weekend

Twitter: @MarthaGroves

Los Angeles Times Articles