Letters to the Editor: Marina Freeway isn’t a joke — it’s a useful L.A. road and shouldn’t become a park

A merger from one freeway onto another framed by a branches
The Marina Freeway, left, which ends abruptly at Slauson Avenue, was never fully completed.
(Bob Carey / For The Times)

To the editor: Marina Central Park is a housing project wrapped in green space. The conversion of the Marina Freeway is not a movement to create parkland. It’s an effort by developers to grab more space to build.

The mention of affordable housing is disingenuous. If the current multifamily housing construction activity is any indication, only city-owned property is being used for truly affordable housing. Every other project is providing just a small percentage of units for lower income households.

Too many earlier projects along Jefferson Boulevard and in Marina del Rey rely on the Marina Freeway, and those vested interests would vie with the new ones to ensure the viability of the existing housing and its value to residents. Politicians’ campaign coffers might shrink in such a battle, and that’s unacceptable (to the politicians, at least). Centinela Creek, a dead-end flood channel, might also need to be reworked to avoid the potential for flooding.


More parks in L.A. are sure to be welcome, but they shouldn’t depend — in a city that the state predicts will decline in population over the next decade — on adding housing as well.

Peter Altschuler, Santa Monica


To the editor: The Marina Freeway should remain. Many people use it and it functions as intended. It keeps cars from clogging up the surface streets leading to the beach areas and it does not back up or delay like many other freeways. The utility, maintenance costs and security of a park all are concerns.

Albert Maddox, Los Angeles



To the editor: Glaringly absent from the article highlighting the notion of abandoning the Marina 90 Freeway is an acknowledgment of development that occurred since the freeway was built and its reliance on the route.

When the 90 Freeway was born, the Marina itself was primarily a slow-growing spread of two-story apartments for boaters, sparse businesses and mostly small car dealerships on Lincoln Boulevard. That has all long since changed.

Complete redevelopment of the Marina since the ‘90s exponentially compounded the number of area homes, albeit ones that are mostly unaffordable for folks today. Playa Vista wasn’t even a dream when the 90 was built and now it houses thousands of residents.

Love it or hate it, these people use the 90 Freeway as a 405 Freeway link. Trying to take that away would be political suicide for any lawmaker naive enough to try. The Streets for All organization should ash can their pipe dream and get behind the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Ballona Wetlands restoration if they want to do something meaningful about open space and environmental justice in the area.

David W. Kay, Playa Vista