Sixth Street Viaduct – which traverses the concrete-lined Los Angeles River to connect the city to the historic Eastside – quickly became a hotbed for street racing, graffiti and illegal takeovers that sent hundreds of spectators to drivers performing dangerous stunts in their vehicles. Attracts to watch.
Social media stunts have also become rampant – in one case, a man sat in a barber’s chair in the middle of the streets to get a haircut. And accidents are on the rise, including a three-car collision where a driver, who was part of a road takeover, fled the scene, leaving behind his white Dodge Challenger. He later turned himself in.
The Los Angeles Police Department has closed the bridge several times — an exact count was not available Wednesday — and in the latest move, announced Tuesday that it would be closed “until further notice due to illegal activity and public safety concerns.” This hours later before backtracking and reopening.
Officials expect speed bumps, security fences and cameras to be installed on the bridge that is less than three weeks old to reduce the behavior. During this, officers are seizing the vehicles and issuing citations.
“We ask everyone to pause and recognize that this is a figure or place in Los Angeles that we all want to be proud of,” Police Chief Michelle Moore said on Tuesday. “We want to show the world that we are a world-class city, that we can have these kinds of characteristics and that we can care for them, respect them.”
The bridge spans 3,500 feet (1,066.80 m) from the trendy Arts District to Boyle Heights, a traditionally working Latino neighborhood, the largest and most expensive bridge ever built in the city.
known as”ribbon of lightFor its thousands of LED lights and sloping arches—which have already attracted adventurous pedestrians and skateboarders—it transformed the 84-year-old Art Deco bridge. That structure, seen in countless Hollywood Films including “Grease” and “Terminator 2” were demolished in 2016 after a chemical reaction weakened its concrete for decades.
Mayor Eric Garcetti called the new bridge “our generation’s love letter to the city” during its opening weekend.
Garcetti’s press secretary, Harrison Wollman, said in a statement Wednesday: “The mayor considers the celebration of this bridge to be overwhelmingly positive, but has no tolerance for the behavior that prevents Angelenos from enjoying this new milestone.” Is.” “The city is reviewing additional security options and is taking immediate action to ensure that the bridge is safe and accessible to all.”
John Yee, executive director of the pedestrian advocacy nonprofit Los Angeles Walks, said the bridge was not built to optimize pedestrian and cyclist safety. For example, it currently lacks the center median, although discussions are underway to add one.
Yi said the shutdown is an attempt by city leaders to move away from poor infrastructure and restart discussions of street runners and other risk-takers.
“This is the message the city is trying to send to the public: It’s not our fault, it’s their fault,” he said.
But Yee said the bridge’s design was flawed from the start: “If you provide a concrete jungle gym, how will people use it.”