Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hollywood Cap Park

Hollywood Freeway
Originally uploaded by CD-13.
With rising real estate prices and an increasingly dense population, we have arrived at a place in Los Angeles where it is actually cheaper to look at putting a cap over the Hollywood Freeway to build a park than buying land in the middle of Hollywood. The idea of creating a cap park over the 101 freeway has germinated in the minds of CD13 residents for years, and we began the process of making this dream a reality as the city entered into an agreement with the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce that will allow for a feasibility study of the Hollywood Cap Park, a 24 acre park covering the 101 between Bronson and Santa Monica with a wide swath of green space. (To get a sense of how a park could fit on top of the freeway, it helps to visualize where the freeway sits below grade. If you enter the coordinates "Bronson & Hollywood" in Google Earth, select a steep viewing angle and pull back to Santa Monica, you can see how green band could run through Hollywood over the freeway.)

A veritable Hollywood Central Park, the cap park will bring together communities that have long been separated by the snaking concrete of the 101 and will create open, recreational space in one of the park poorest areas in the nation. As Los Angeles has evolved, so has the 101 freeway, which began by connecting suburbs to the metropolitan area of Los Angeles and has since transformed into an-all-too-familiar scene of cars stuck in traffic, an image that is equated with life in Los Angeles. As we forge ahead into this century, the Hollywood cap park will become a symbol of the new Los Angeles, much as the gridlocked traffic was a symbol of the old - one in which communities come together to enjoy the natural environment that exists in the middle of our metropolis.