10 Reasons to Oppose the Marina Freeway Extension

Opponents rise up at Marina Freeway Extension meeting, Jan. 10

It was billed as a L.A. County Dept. of Public Works meeting to explain their plan for an extension of the Marina Freeway (they called it the Marina Expressway - perhaps the plan was hatched back east) to Admiralty Way. When I heard about it, I had a sickening feeling of deja-vu. We'd been through this at least twice in the past 20-30 years. The first attempt to extend the freeway through the middle of Venice was defeated as was a second attempt which would have dumped the traffic onto Venice Blvd.

When I arrived at the meeting last night, there were five or six people from the county and their consultants who had nice maps and charts and gave a slick slide show presentation to the 50-odd people in the room.

The County's speakers offered four alternatives. Three consisted of different ways to reach Admiralty Way (a round-about; going through the Budget Rent-A-Car lot; or going up Bali Way) plus a "No-build" option. When that option was mentioned, it received sustained applause.

At the end of the last presentation, the speaker said "now we will break-up so you can go to the back of the room to look at the maps and you can fill out a form giving up your ideas."

Several of us spoke up to assert our right to speak about the extension. The person at the podium said no, we couldn't do that. That just encouraged more of us to insist that we be heard. The county people went into a huddle and then said that since so many people want to comment, they would allow it. We lined up and spoke one by one at the podium, with the mic.

As it turned out, nearly all 20 or so speakers spoke strongly against the extension. Only one speaker said that maybe one of the alternatives given by the county would be ok, but he was leaning to no build.

This won't be the end of this bad idea if history is any guide. We'll have to organize ourselves for more meetings and protests if we are to keep Venice from being further inundated by traffic.

Jim Smith
Venice P&F