Thu, Nov

Park$, Puppie$, and Pipe Dream$…We’re NOT Converting the 90 Freeway Into a Park


ALPERN AT LARGE - Let’s make a park! Let’s cut traffic! Let’s make affordable housing!

Well, it’s again Gaslighting 101, although for the record I absolutely LOVE parks (especially pocket parks, dog parks, and pedestrian-focused parks. 

I loved how Angelenos followed former Police Chief Bernard Parks’ lead and passed Measure L to keep public libraries open with guaranteed budgetary funding (even though the police unions wanted that money to be ‘theirs”).

The 90 freeway (Marina Freeway) might be as good a location as any to convert to a park.

So would a Great Park to replace the Santa Monica Airport in 2028.

It costs lots of money to create and staff a park, and for the record I would absolutely LOVE to pass a Measure P to guarantee funding for creation and staffing and maintenance of public parks.

We need to create public space and parks to justify the bulls--t that developers like to pass onto the Urban Planners as “open space”.

No developer claims of “open space” that’s actually balconies for new units, no private squares limited to those living in new developments, etc. 

…but instead wonderful public parks, big and small, and especially dog parks, for everyone to cherish and enjoy.

But for those who proclaim that demolishing the 90 Freeway (Marina Freeway from Marina Del Rey to the Culver City Mall) is viable, let’s consider the realities of potentially harming the Ballona Wetlands, the disruption of local traffic…

…and the awful BIG LIE of converting that land into “more affordable housing” when we KNOW that it’s going to end up more luxury-focused then being announced. 

Grassroots? “Streets For All?” 

Well, maybe these “grassroots folks ARE like the Friends4Expo Transit I loved to be part of, and which resulted in the Expo Line and an explosion of new rail rapid transit in L.A. County, and who was entirely volunteer…but I have my suspicions.

I am still bullish about a santa Monica Great Park, at the risk of sounding like a NIMBY (“put it over there!”), but I very much DO want more parks.

I do NOT, however, want more gaslighting bulls--t thrown our way when our need for open space and parks is as great as it has ever been.


(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father. He was active for 20 years on the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) as a Board Member focused on Planning and Transportation, and helped lead the grassroots efforts of the Expo Line as well as connecting LAX to MetroRail. His latest project is his fictional online book entitled The Unforgotten Tales of Middle-Earth, and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)