This week started out with a heartfelt and somber press conference in memory of Monique Munoz, the young woman who was killed while driving home from work ,allegedly by a 17-year-old traveling at approximately 120 miles per hour in his Lamborghini.
My staff and I had already been working on a number of mitigation measures to help address the epidemic of speeding and racing in the neighborhood, the district, and throughout the City. We stood at the intersection where Monique lost her life to announce these measures including a protected left turn signal installed there.
I’m working with the Department of Transportation, with the support of leaders in this neighborhood and nearby groups on the westside, to put several measures in place that should be helpful in curtailing speeding:
- The Department will be installing what is known by traffic engineers as “Rest In Red” for traffic signals during off peak hours at several key intersections. This will force drivers speeding ahead of other vehicles to come to a complete stop at an intersection before the signal turns green.
- We will also be installing several electronic speed feedback signs that tell drivers how fast they’re going, which instinctively makes you assess your speed and slow down.
- LADOT has already completed a new re-striping plan for Beverly Glen Blvd. south of Olympic to address speeding on that street.
- We were also able to temporarily secure one of the city’s electronic “slow down” signs that you may have noticed on display at this intersection a few weeks ago.
- We are also working at the State level on legislative changes that will enable us to further reduce street racing and speeding.
I want to thank the community for supporting us and working with us, and I have to thank LADOT for being so gracious and understanding with our need to expedite this signal change and the other solutions coming down the pipeline.
Increasing Public Safety Visibility on Melrose
On Thursday, my staff and I held a coordinated “Joint Mission” with the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, and Los Angeles Street Services Investigators along Melrose as part of an effort to curb criminal activity and parking violations in the area. This helped provide a high visibility of law enforcement, designed to reduce crime and violations in the neighborhood.
The collaboration between the Departments was the first of its kind with support and presence of Street Services Chief Gary Harris, LADOT Deputy Chief Freddie Nuno and LAPD Captain Alfonso Mendoza. We will continue to monitor and secure the area around the Melrose Corridor, bringing high visibility of public safety to deter wrongdoing.
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District
Responding to Judge Carter's Game Plan on Homelessness
Councilmember Koretz often is asked what is being done to address the very visible proliferation of encampments populated by persons experiencing homelessness in Council District 5 and throughout Los Angeles. The City’s efforts have largely been focused on pushing for the completion of the thousands of HHH supportive housing units. These are under construction and in the development pipeline. More immediately, we are responding to the LA Alliance vs. City and County of Los Angeles lawsuit under the supervision of federal judge David Carter.
The LA Alliance case recently has been in the news, with the plaintiffs first offering a proposal for how the case might be settled by finding housing or shelter for 60% of the homeless over the next five years and then filing a motion for a Preliminary Injunction to clear the Skid Row area. Those discussions and court maneuvers are ongoing, but in the meantime, the Councilmember and the City have been working to comply with the directions of Judge Carter to find ways to properly relocate unhoused individuals living within 500 feet of freeways.
The Fifth District has several such freeway locations, including several in Encino and a couple along the 405 freeway in West Los Angeles. District staff have been working with other City staff to find suitable relocation sites, primarily indoor shelter and housing. Due to real estate costs and a shortage of vacant sites, this has been a struggle.
We've been working to house the homeless living in encampments for many months, with varying degrees of success. We recently were able to obtain housing for encampment residents at several locations including at the intersection of San Vicente and Wilshire Blvd. We have one A Bridge Home at the Grand Motel on La Cienega Blvd., south of Pico Blvd.; Mercy Housing for seniors and veterans on Pico Blvd. near Livonia Ave.; and we are in negotiations for a third A Bridge Housing site on Melrose Ave. Two HHH projects are in the pipeline, one on Santa Monica Blvd., and one on La Brea Ave. However, approximately 60 sites our office has identified for Bridge Housing have been rejected by the CAO's office. We are resurrecting them in a Council motion asking for the City to be more flexible about locations. Otherwise CD5 will never be able to meet our shared obligations as required by Judge Carter.
It's in our moral obligation to be part of the solution to the homeless crisis and we are anxious to do so.
News You Can Use
Metro's Crenshaw Northern Extension Project
As part of the first step in the environmental review stage for the Crenshaw Northern Extension, Metro will host three (virtual) scoping meetings to present the following:
- Scoping Meeting Objectives
- Project overview and Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Alternatives
To gain further feedback and input from residents, communities, businesses, cities and stakeholders, scoping meetings will be held on the following days and times:
Thursday, April 29
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87500507019
Meeting ID: 875 0050 7019
Thursday, May 6
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82996680178
Meeting ID: 829 9668 0178
Saturday, May 8
10 AM – Noon
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84880363069
Meeting ID: 848 8036 3069
The 45-day scoping period started on Thursday, April 15th and ends Friday, May 28th.
Check out The Source Blog and video about the Crenshaw Northern Extension here.
The Crenshaw Northern Extension EIR Project will extend the Crenshaw/LAX Line north to the D (Purple) Line and continue to the B (Red) Line at the Hollywood/Highland station, with a potential terminus station at the Hollywood Bowl.
This project will connect communities in the South Bay, LAX area, South Los Angeles, Inglewood and Crenshaw corridor to Mid-City, Central Los Angeles, West Hollywood and Hollywood, and allow for further connections to points north in the San Fernando Valley via the Metro B (Red) Line.
Comments will be accepted between April 15th and May 28th. Comments may be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting metro.net/crenshawnorth or call (213) 418.3093.
Sidewalk Repair Pilot in West Los Angeles
Councilmember Koretz recently allocated $20,000 for a sidewalk repair pilot project around Kelton Ave. and neighboring streets in West LA. Precision Concrete Cutting used patented diamond-cutting technology to shave down troubled sidewalks that would have otherwise been extremely expensive to replace.
As a result of these repairs, they were able to:
• Improve sidewalk accessibility
• Reduce the City’s sidewalk liability risk
• Help us to meet ADA requirements
• Remove existing sidewalk trip & fall hazards with a difference in vertical elevation of 3/8 inch to 2 inches
|My field deputy, Angel Izard, went out with Gary Beneduci, General Manager of Precision Concrete Cutting, to review the great work.|
Emergency Rental Relief Program Now Accepting Applications
The City of Los Angeles, in partnership with the State of California and the federal government, has created the 2021 COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to assist residential tenants who have been unable to pay their rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department (HCIDLA) is charged with the implementation of the ERAP.
From March 30th to April 30th, eligible City of Los Angeles renters may apply for the second round of the City of LA’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program. If you were put on the waiting list last year, you should have been the first to be contacted by HCIDLA about the new round of assistance funds. Click here to learn more about eligibility and the application process.
Here to Serve
My office, like all City of Los Angeles offices, is following recommended protocols such as social distancing and working remotely to slow the spread of the coronavirus. That said, my staff and I are always readily available to help with your questions, concerns, and needs during this difficult period. We can be reached by phone at 213-473-7005, 323-866-1828 (West LA), or 818-971-3088 (Bel Air/ Encino) and through email email@example.com. Since we are experiencing a higher-than-normal volume of calls, feel free to email the staff member you wish to contact directly. The accompanying link contains those e-mail addresses.