It is becoming increasingly evident that Gil Cedillo does indeed possess the quality most necessary for a member of the Los Angeles City Council: and that is an utter lack of imagination. Coupled with demure subservience to his out-of-district campaign contributors and his pandering to the self-proclaimed elites of LA, mostly developers, and you have, to modify another Gilbert’s phrase, “the very model of a modern city councilman.”
His latest stupid politician trick is a real stunner—or it would be, except that we expect this now from this most hopeless of so-called representatives: He is planning to spend over $800,000 to pave over part of Lincoln park so that his beloved motorheads need not sully the soles of their Gucci shoes with soil or grass while slumming at the Plaza de la Raza.
Of course, they’ve already been arrogantly parking on the grass in an effort to avoid actually strolling when they visit the park. So what’s Cedillo’s answer? Pave away, of course! To paraphrase the words of Vietnam War apologists, “We have to destroy the park in order to save it.” This, in the most park-poor of major US cities, in a neighborhood desperate for recreation and nature.
This park is in 90031, a ZIP code where, according to City-Data.com, 13.5% of the households own no car at all, and 33.5% own only one, which is probably being driven to work, not to the park. Families in adjacent ZIP codes own even fewer cars: in nearby East Los Angeles, over 21% of households have no car. True, the roads around Lincoln Park are crowded with other people’s cars—but the incessant traffic is one thing folks go to a park to escape. They need relief, not more traffic in the park itself.
In the age of Über, does parking über alles really make sense?
Especially as there are vast parking lots just across Valley Boulevard from the park. As you can see in the map, there’s even a handy crosswalk leading to a pleasant stroll around a lake, which takes one to the Plaza de a Raza:
In the new sharing economy, it’s not just car and bike sharing that are big: “shared parking” has become a growing trend. Let’s try that here. Those lots are never full. They belong to the DMV, which has made lots available for public parking before, as in San Francisco.
Maybe Cedillo could devote that $800,000 to funding a shuttle for those who can’t, for reasons of physical or psychological debility, walk so far—counting the stroll around the lake, it’s about one city block. That might at least provide a couple of driving jobs for local residents.
What do you think of paving the park? Leave comments below or at Josef’s earlier post on this subject.
Or better yet, email Cedillo and Mayor Garcetti with your thoughts:
Chief of Staff for Gil Cedillo
Mayor Eric Garcetti