LOS ANGELES - A new study is looking into converting one Los Angeles County freeway into a park with low-cost housing. And the plan already has the backing of some LA officials, like Mayor Karen Bass.
"It's the shortest freeway in LA County, it's the least-trafficked freeway in LA County," said Michael Schneider with Streets for All, which is responsible for the initiative. "We have a housing crisis. We don't have enough places for people to live. We don't have enough parks. And so it's a study at this point to see, could we use the space a little bit better?"
The plan proposes converting the three-mile stretch into one of the biggest parks in LA County, with nearly 4,000 units of low-cost housing, retail spaces, rapid bus and bike paths, and access to the Centinela Creek, the Ballona Creek trail, and the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve.
In August 2023, LA Mayor Karen Bass wrote a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, requesting $2 million for a feasibility study for the proposal.
"Tearing down the Marina Freeway, which sits on 100 acres of right-of-way with 50 acres of concrete and steel, represents an opportunity to address past harms, build housing, and create community space for all Angelenos," she wrote. The full letter can be found here.
And the proposal would not completely eliminate car lanes along the three-mile stretch, just fewer than what currently occupy the space now.
The people FOX 11 spoke to about the proposal were divided. Many people expressed skepticism about the plan.
One person called it a "terrible" idea. Another said, "there's already a lot of traffic going up Lincoln (Boulevard). That is going to make it worse."
Others though, said the project would fill a need.
"I think we need affordable housing for low income people, one person said. "We have a huge problem in LA."
At this point, the project is far from a reality. The group is still gathering funds for a feasibility study, which would look at things like traffic, pollution and more. Then, the project would look for input from residents before it's approved.
More on the project can be found at marinacentralpark.com.