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Neighborhood Council Asks Universal to Reconsider ‘Horrendous’ Pedestrian Bridge

There was supposed to be a tunnel.

The l unanimously asked to reconsider a large pedestrian bridge planned over Lankershim Boulevard and go back to their previous plans for an underground tunnel.

“It is a horrendous bridge,” said Lisa Sarkin, vice president of the council as plans were being passed around for the bridge proposal.

Transportation committee chairman Ben Di Benedetto, who brought the motion to the council, said, “The bridge they’re planning is God-awful.”

The biggest concern is about how the bridge that would link the Metro Rail Red Line to Universal Studios would overshadow the historic —the site of the beginnings of California. The museum is in the parking lot of the Metro station, and the outline of the original buildings is mapped along the street to show the historic location.

 “They have painted over some of the borders of the former place on the street and it would completely overshadow the Campo,” said Barry Johnson, who is on the council’s Transportation committee.

Johnson said the MTA offered a plan in February of 2002 to build a subterranean tunnel from the station underneath the road and to the hill that heads up to Universal Studios and CityWalk. About five feet of tunnel was completed when work stopped.

Johnson pointed to the underground tunnels leading to buses underneath Highland Avenue at the Hollywood Bowl as examples of what was originally planned for Universal.

The motion asked that the discussions be reopened to allow for community input and that they better consider the impact on the historic Campo de Cahuenga. They are asked to look back at the previously-agreed-upon plan.

“I would like to know how they got this bridge idea approved and no one knew about it,” Di Benedetto said. “We do not want to kill this idea or this project, but they need to respect the Campo and get community input. They bypassed us again.”

David Ogilvy August 16, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Looks like Universal didn't pony up with the pizza for Ms. Sarkin once again.
Richard Niederberg August 16, 2012 at 03:03 PM
The underground passageway was announced in the original documents and drawings as to how the Metro Station exiting was designed to guide the crowds going from the Metro Station to Universal City tour/amphitheatre/etc. The bridge design is totally inconsistant with the 'look' of the Metro Station, detracts from, and actually will cast an unattractive shadow on, Campo de Cahuenga. The Metro Station end of the tunnel is already in place at the correct location, but is covered by easily-removeable material, awaiting the tunnel to be completed. No supplemental stairs on the Metro Station side will need to be built to place the tunnel in service.
Irene Gibson August 16, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Any other thought than 'tunnel' is to ignore! Stick to your WORD!!
robert August 16, 2012 at 04:25 PM
I agree, they should build a underground tunnel because the bridge is a unnecessary eye soar. That bridge would be hideous.
larry August 16, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Finish the tunnel....And now we have to consider how the Los angeles River bike path going just north of Universal along the river is to navigate across Lankershim Blvd.... as that plan has just been aproved and awaiting a decision.. Another bridge?
Arnold Darrow August 16, 2012 at 04:57 PM
I hasten to remind proponents of an underground tunnel that one of the biggest problems with them is crime. Underground tunnels are notorious for attracting robbers and rapists. Also, homeless people are attracted to them because of the shelter it provides. A pedestrian bridge is a far SAFER alternative.
Irene Gibson August 16, 2012 at 05:11 PM
The tunnel should be heavily trafficked, considering. Thus, less attractive for crime, which likes secluded places. If crime seems possible, LE would be involved in guarding on being 'on their toes'. As far as bikes are concerned, best to follow the roads, as usual. NO BRIDGE necessary for them!
Frank Mihelcic August 16, 2012 at 05:19 PM
If NBC Universal thinks a convoluted bridge way instead of a direct tunnel access to the Metro station is the solution to the pedestrian traffic issue I'm very concerned about what their specific design plans are for solving the traffic issue in their 20 yr. Evolution Plan. This is not a good start to community realations for NBC Universal.
Skraeling August 16, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Why this choice? Why not just enforce jay walking and traffic regs that are already are in place? When do people begin to be responsible for their lives? This bridge is foolish and the tunnel is worse, as it will be another shelter for night time addicts and used. like all others, even the Music Center, as urinals. Sorry, folks, this is just another issue limiting our choices and making work for the public service unions.
Marie Fairman August 17, 2012 at 01:24 AM
The Bridge if designed a bit better is the best alternative. I would love to know how many of you walk across on a daily basis at that intersection? Anyone who's chiming in here? It is an extremely wide street and is very dangerous to cross. I have to do it once or twice a week coming from and to the Metro Station. Don't dismiss this as an inconvenience or new jobs for "Union" workers. This is a good alternative that will increase the speed of traffic flow and provide a "SAFE" alternative to crossing the street. I know for a fact that I have seen many near misses by rushing cars of pedestrians many who can't move with great alacrity while crossing to get the bus stop across the street. Despite all that it deeply troubles me that NBCU did not discuss this with the community. The tunnel would not be a terrible alternative because that is a very busy station day and night. I know because I've use it at all hours.
David Rivers August 17, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Why are some of you blaming NBCU for this? This is being done by Metro. This bridge makes more sense at this intersection because you're allowing car traffic to keep flowing, since the crosswalk at street level will be removed. Also, if you build a tunnel, then that will likely not remove the crosswalk, so you'll still have the same traffic issues you see today.
larry August 17, 2012 at 04:34 AM
MTA built the red line terminal for Universal because Universal helped pay for the Red Line to stop in front of their Studios. Let Universal finish the tunnel as it is ready to complete and it is for them. And there has been lots of money spent on the tunnel, so lets just finish what we started and spent millions on already. I am shocked that the Universal project never mentioned their responsibility in this matter.
larry August 17, 2012 at 04:39 AM
I agree that the tunnel would be the best choice for the reasons Richard stated
Rita Benowitz August 17, 2012 at 06:27 AM
I have to agree with the above view-redesign bridge to be more aesthetic if necessary. Tunnels could create safety issues.
Cary Adams August 17, 2012 at 03:20 PM
The property over the Universal Station will eventually be developed. The bridge will only clutter the intersection and hide the Campo. Given those crossing are very nearly completely transiting from the station up-the-hill to Universal, the most direct route is the best - a tunnel ONLY.
Marie Brown August 17, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Any bridge in this area would be an atrocious eyesore, and the construction of it would be a nightmare. I feel the area should be left the way it is; there is no need for any "improvement".
larry August 17, 2012 at 03:57 PM
A tunnel has been agreed upon at the Chandler station over to the Orange line , so just complete the tunnel at the Universal station that has already been started. I just wonder how people crossing the street just to get to their cars and not going to the red line station are going to be affected.
larry August 17, 2012 at 05:21 PM
The fact that the bridge has already been designed and city approved, I doubt very much what the public has to say will change the outcome that has been decided before anyone who may disapprove can do much to change the outcome. Want to bet?
larry August 17, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Gee I hope it can be decorated as well as the No Ho Sign.......OMG
Irene Gibson August 17, 2012 at 05:43 PM
The voice of 'the public' does count, Larry. NEVER give in!!!!
Iron Lady August 17, 2012 at 07:01 PM
I agree with you Marie. Only pedestrians who cross this intersection on a regular basis can actually have a valid opinion on this matter. I use the Universal station and cross this intersection almost everyday. It doesn't matter what time of day, this intersection is always packed with rushing pedestrians and speeding cars. I'm just afraid that the tunnel might become a homeless shelter or worse a drug-dealing spot.
larry August 17, 2012 at 07:58 PM
A tunnel is being built already at the red line chandler station and safety concerns are unfounded since it will be heavily used ....
Skraeling August 17, 2012 at 08:14 PM
It is make work, plain and simple. I have never had problems crossing the street except for the idiots who run lights and the jay walkers who defy them. This is a 'solution" in search of a problem and the problem is people who refuse to take responsibility or follow simple regs they should have learned in pre school. And, I use the Red Line a lot so stop with the victimhood...it is makework...same old thing across LA...
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maria muse October 09, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Agreed!
larry October 09, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Now that Universal has agreed on continuing the bike path past the North of their property along the river I do believe a small bike bridge at Lankershim and Cahuanga would be a very acceptable way of crossing that complicated intersection once the path goes in. Larry Hoffman Bicycle Advisory Board (BAC) 4th District Tom La Bonge

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