How LA Leaders Plan to Stop Bad Behavior – NBC Los Angeles

on Jul28
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Just weeks after the 6th Street Bridge near Boyle Heights and downtown Los Angeles reopened, ending years of construction in the $588 million revamp project, the new viaduct is already the site of a number of illegal activities.

Those activities range from bridge climbers and street takeovers to graffiti that’s taken crews hours to remove.

Danielle Darley has lived in a neighborhood nearby for 10 years, and hears the commotion on the new bridge every night.

“You just hear like, tires screeching and engines revving,” she said.

As street takeovers continue, city leaders like councilman Kevin De Leon are looking for ways to solve the problem.

“These are conversations that are taking place,” he told NBC4 on Wednesday. “Nothing is etched in stone.”

Leaders are in talks about speed bumps, a center median, higher fencing along the sides to dissuade climbers, and possible weekend closures that would leave it open only to pedestrians and cyclists.

The largest bridge project in the history of LA is also getting even more funding for maintenance, as of the City Council’s public works committee meeting. That group approved $706,000 for cleaning up and maintaining the new structure.

Skid marks from street takeovers and graffiti that takes crews an average of 21.5 hours a day to clean off are already present on the bridge. The $706K in funding would last about a year and give the city time to install those other possible measures.

The additional funding was approved after street takeovers left the bridge covered in skid marks. Graffitti removal crews have already spent hours cleaning up at the bridge. Video aired during Today in LA on July 28, 2022.

“I’m not quite sure we can change behaviors, as opposed to providing necessary sanctions of individuals to say ‘Hey, this bridge doesn’t belong to you or me, this bridge belongs to the people of Los Angeles,'” De Leon said.

Last weekend, police made nearly 60 citations on the bridge, and impounded six vehicles.

“We’re taking enforcement action against them,” Chief Michel Moore of the Los Angeles Police Department said in a briefing to the police commission on Tuesday. “I just ask that the court system take this as seriously as we are.”

Moore added that he is pushing for new cameras on the bridge.

“We think that the cameras and other types of open surveillance there could help us identify when we have a problem emerging,” he said.

Moore cited the effectiveness of cameras at the Hollywood sign on the southern slope of Mount Lee. The area behind the landmark also has several signs that make the cameras’ presence clear to visitors.

The bridge is LA’s shiny new object, and it’s bringing out the best and worst kinds of behavior.

“I think it’s just people getting overexcited,” Darley said. She’s just hoping for a few quieter nights ahead.

Until then, overnight closures like the one seen Tuesday night and several other evenings before that will be taken day-by-day.

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