Ven-Mar Neighborhood Association

Oct 2004 Lincoln Center Project

Posted in: Ven-Mar
Kevin Keller,
Urban Planning Deputy
Office of Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski
200 Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Lincoln Center proposal.

First, let me say that I like the idea of the arcade at the front of the building at street level, a nice Venetian touch and sheltering pedestrians from the afternoon sun.

I have the following suggestions.

Provide an underpass for cars entering from Lincoln Blvd, allowing safe and uninterrupted pedestrian traffic at street level between the north and south parts of the building perhaps by means of bridges, the first of which could be arched, reminiscent of the bridges of Venice and allowing traffic below it to clear as it goes on its way to the lower level of the underpass.
Incorporate a mini post office in the structure.

My home is on the neighborhood map shown on the front page of the DRAFT PLAN handed out at the meeting on October 2. I have two major concerns regarding the effect of the project on our neighborhood: firstly, the additional traffic on Lincoln Blvd and on our neighborhood streets including mine, and, secondly, the size of the structure and of others that would follow it. Let me elaborate.

It doesn?’t make sense to me, to knowingly increase traffic density in a neighborhood already beset by serious traffic problems, which have been studied for many years (seven?) by the Lincoln Corridor Task Force and for which no solution has been found or even postulated. (Some dreamers favor light rail, but where is the track to go?) As new housing becomes available from projects already under construction in Marina del Rey and Playa Vista, can there be any doubt that more commuter vehicles will use our roads and neighborhood streets, even allowing for beneficial touches such as ?“rapid?” busses?

Providing shopping near where the consumers live reduces shopping trips. In our case the new housing is south of Venice Blvd., in Marina del Rey and Playa Vista, and those are the locations which should have adequate shopping for the residents. The present number and types of stores in the ?“Lincoln Center?” area is satisfactory from the point of view of the present consumer-residents. More than doubling or tripling the commercial activity in this area would involve attracting large numbers of consumers from outside of our neighborhood with a consequent substantial increase in traffic.

The physical size of the proposed project reminds me of the ?“Wilshire Corridor?” where the high-rises on both sides of the street have commercial activity on the lower floors and apartments or offices on the upper floors. Planning exemptions granted to Lincoln Center would inevitably set a precedent for future projects. If I were the owner of a property on Lincoln Blvd, a 66 ft tall Lincoln Center would encourage me to look for ways of matching that development. When I ask myself: ?“Is Venice ready for this??”, the answer is ?“No?”.

I would encourage the developer to maximize the potential of the site within the limits of existing City regulations. When we have solved our very serious traffic and transportation problems, we can take another look at a negotiated Lincoln Center proposal, but not before.

By Alex Utas
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