Letters to the Editor: Closing the 6th Street bridge to cars would give L.A. its High Line. Do it

Pedestrians and cyclists on the 6th Street bridge.
Pedestrians and cyclists enjoy the portion of the 6th Street Viaduct in Los Angeles set aside for non-vehicle traffic on Wednesday.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: A first impression is that it would be crazy to close a nearly $600-million bridge to the vehicle traffic it was initially built to serve. But on reflection, there is much to recommend in the Times Editorial Board’s position regarding giving over the 6th Street bridge primarily to pedestrians and cyclists.

Converting the bridge for pedestrian and bicycle use only would be consonant with the development in many cities of a “horizontal park.” Examples include New York City’s High Line or Paris’ aqueduct.

For years, drivers in Los Angeles managed to live without a byway over the L.A. River connecting 6th Street and Whittier Boulevard. This proved that the bridge, while convenient, is not a necessity.


So yes, close the bridge to vehicular traffic and turn it into a community-building amenity.

George Schnepf, Marina del Rey


To the editor: The trouble over the 6th Street bridge shows how our politicians have failed to take basic actions to prevent activities such as street racing.

This year, the European Union finally required automakers to implement 20-year-old technology that makes it harder for drivers to exceed the speed limit.

Additionally, California could permit the use of monitoring systems by insurance companies on which to base a driver’s premiums.

Jim Winterroth, Torrance



To the editor: I get the spirit of what the editorial board is saying here, and I’d like more vehicle-free spaces as much as anyone.

But wasn’t this bridge paid for at least partially with dedicated “transportation” dollars granted from taxpayer funding? If so, wouldn’t it be impossible, or in some way wrong, to alter the access to the bridge?

Lynn Balsamo, Santa Monica


To the editor: Since part of the purpose of the 6th Street bridge is to allow people access to downtown Los Angeles, we should consider allowing only public transportation traffic across the bridge.

Special shuttle buses could be used for short trips. Non-vehicle access would still be allowed.

Of course there needs to be a way to keep the bridge closed to other traffic. We can’t allow the kind of takeover mentality we see in intersections all over the city, something that also needs to be addressed.

Dean Blau, Lake Balboa


To the editor: The 6th Street bridge is beautiful and the best thing that has happened to the people of the area in a while. Let the people enjoy it.

James Morse, Bakersfield