Miracle Mile Residential Association Newsletter • March 2014

Miracle Mile
Residential Association

Newsletter • March 2014 • Los Angeles, California                                                                                                    

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Petition Drive to Stop Nighttime Subway Construction Going Strong
Miracle Mile Bike News
To Be a Neighborhood or Not to Be • A Message from James O'Sullivan
Miracle Mile Real Estate • February 2014 Sales

(...below the fold...)


Petition Drive to Stop Nighttime Subway Construction Going Strong

Hundreds of Miracle Mile Residents Join the Fight
to Stop Nighttime Subway Construction

Last month the Miracle Mile Residential Association [MMRA] launched a petition drive to stop nighttime, Sunday and holiday construction for the Purple Line Subway Extension – which is scheduled to begin major work in August. In January 2014 the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority [Metro] applied to the Los Angeles Police Commission to be exempted from municipal noise ordinances for subway construction in the Miracle Mile.
MMRA members and volunteers from the community have been distributing petitions every Saturday within the boundaries of the MMRA [see map]. So far about 60 % of the area has been canvassed and the remaining blocks should be completed by March 22. The response has far exceeded expectations and the online petition has proved to be a very effective means of collecting signatures.

The Police Commission has not set a date as to when they will render a decision on Metro’s applications to be exempted from noise ordinances, so the petition drive will be an on-going campaign until further notice. The petition effort has also received significant support from residents in neighborhoods adjacent to the Miracle Mile, who will be equally impacted by nighttime, Sunday and holiday construction. The MMRA has received a number of requests to expand the petition campaign beyond our boundaries and this be will taken this under serious consideration once the canvassing of the MMRA area is complete.


The petition campaign has attracted media attention and MMRA President James O’Sullivan and Vice President Ken Hixon have been interviewed by the Los Angeles Times for a story they are preparing about the impact of subway construction on the Miracle Mile. The Times also interviewed the owner of an apartment building located near the Fairfax subway station construction site, as well as a long-time resident on nearby South Orange Grove Avenue.
Metro is battling our efforts to stop around-the-clock construction by accusing the MMRA of being “against the subway.” This allegation could not be further from the truth. The MMRA whole-heartedly supports the extension of the Purple Line. Our issue with the subway expansion is solely about nine years of constant nighttime, Sunday and holiday construction noise and disturbances.

The Miracle Mile is one of the most densely populated urban corridors in the nation; we must stand together to remind Metro that we are a residential community and not a full-time construction zone.


On March 3, 2014 the MMRA sent a letter to the Los Angeles Police Commission clarifying our position. The MMRA believes the burden should be on Metro to demonstrate why the residents of the Miracle Mile are unworthy of the protections of a well-established ordinance that protects all residents of Los Angeles from 24/7 construction activities. We encourage you to read this letter; it makes a concise and strong argument why it is premature for Metro to seek to be exempted from the noise ordinance at this time [click here].
If you would like to help out with the petition campaign please contact us at:
Additional information:

MRA Newsletter – February 2014: MMRA Launches Petition Campaign to Stop Nighttime, Sunday, and Holiday Subway Construction at the Fairfax and La Brea Stations
The Subway Construction page on the MMRA website contains a lot of details and information with maps of the Fairfax and La Brea stations and construction staging sites. It also includes YouTube videos of tunnel boring machines in action.


Welcome to Our New Readers...


One of the side benefits of our current petition campaign is that we have added over 150 new subscribers to this monthly newsletter. We welcome our new readers and suggest that you take a few minutes to explore our newsletter archive and website for more information on subway construction and other major developments on the drawing board for the Miracle Mile – and check out other useful features like the Miracle Mile Restaurant Guide and Pet Resources Guide.]


Miracle Mile Bike News


CicLAvia Returns to the Miracle Mile
Sunday • April 6th

On Sunday, April 6th, CicLAvia repeats its Iconic Wilshire Boulevard route from downtown to the Miracle Mile. The popular car-free event allows people to explore the sights along Wilshire by foot, bike, or any other non-motorized means. This will be the last CicLAvia to visit the Miracle Mile until the completion of major street level construction of the Purple Line Subway extension, which is scheduled to begin work later this year.
Once again Fairfax Avenue will serve as the western terminus of the route from One Wilshire Boulevard in downtown. Wilshire between Curson Avenue and Fairfax will be a pedestrian zone featuring activities sponsored by the cultural institutions along Museum Row. The event runs from 9 AM to 4 PM.

Click on map to enlarge.

Last year’s CicLAvia attracted thousands of cyclists and pedestrians to the area and introduced many to the museums and the historic art deco architecture of the Miracle Mile. Here’s a link to a terrific walking guide of Wilshire Boulevard architecture prepared for last year’s event by Catherine Gudis.
Additional information: Iconic Wilshire Boulevard – 4/6/24 CicLAvia’s Wilshire Takeover Will Be The Last For a Few Years

Councilman LaBonge Delays
Proposed 6th St. Bike Lanes

In January 2014 the Los Angeles Department of Transportation [LADOT] announced Phase 2 of their ongoing efforts to add new bike lanes throughout the city. LADOT will begin traffic and safety assessments on these proposed bike lanes and will then hold public hearings to gather community feedback on the routes.
The city approved the Los Angeles Bicycle Master Plan in 2010. LADOT will evaluate approximately 40 miles of potential new bike lanes each year. The goal is to install 1,600 miles of new bike lanes over the next 30 years.
Two new bike lanes on the Phase 2 list would directly impact the Miracle Mile: San Vicente Boulevard from Venice to Wilshire [2.3 miles] and 6th Street between La Brea and Fairfax Avenues [1 mile]. The San Vicente Boulevard bike lanes would not require the removal of any parking spaces or traffic lanes and have generated little opposition or controversy – but the 6th Street bike lanes are a different story.
Plans for 6th Street involve a “road diet” where one lane of traffic in each direction would be removed and street parking would be eliminated in order to create bike lanes. The Miracle Mile Residential Association [MMRA] has staunchly opposed any plan that would remove traffic lanes or parking on 6th Street and further exacerbate congestion in the area. The MMRA issued a statement in March 2013 detailing our position on 6th Street bike lanes [click here to read].
Councilman Tom LaBonge recently informed the Park La Brea News / Beverly Press that he would not support bike lanes on 6th Street until the Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit project is completed next spring. He then went on to state that he thought it would be better to delay the bike lanes until the “heavy construction” is completed for the Purple Line Extension, which would be many years in the future – well after LaBonge is termed out of office.
“Right now, we have been closing the boulevard [Wilshire Blvd.] for a number of nights and there has to be alternative routes,” LaBonge was quoted in the Park La Brea News/Beverly Press. “I want to look at the whole picture. Right now, I want to make sure it’s safe for everybody.”
Increased congestion generated by the Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit project – which will create bus-only curb lanes during rush hour periods ­– and by a decade of subway construction are principal reasons why the MMRA opposes the 6th Street bike lanes. The MMRA is pleased that Councilman LaBonge agrees that this is not the time to consider a radical restriction of such a key east-west route.
Additional information:
LADOT Bike Blog: LADOT announces Priority 2 list of planned bikeways
Park La Brea News/Beverly Press: Local streets identified as possible bike lane sites


Mid City West Community Council
Makes Recommendation
 for a New
North/South Bike Lane through
the Miracle Mile

 Mid City West Community Council [MCWCC] has submitted recommendations to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation [LADOT] for two new bike lanes. Their proposal selects Rosewood Avenue as an east/west route and Cochran Avenue, Alta Vista Boulevard, and Formosa Avenue as a north/south route [see map below].

Red: Existing bike lanes on Burton Way and Hauser Boulevard
Yellow: Existing and future bike route on 4th Street
Blue: Proposed Rosewood and Cochran/Alta Vista/Formosa bike route

These proposed routes for “Bike Friendly Streets” will be evaluated by LADOT for possible inclusion in Phase 5 bike lane projects scheduled for 2017.
The Miracle Mile Residential Association [MMRA] has not yet taken a position on these recommendations. Although, the MMRA did oppose original plans to use Hauser and Martel as a north/south bike route on the grounds that it would be too dangerous due to the volume of traffic and the narrow bends in Hauser south of Olympic.
The MMRA will wait to see if LADOT endorses MCWCC’s proposal before taking a position on this matter. The input of residents along Cochran Avenue will be an important factor in any decision made by the MMRA.
To read the full Mid City West Bicycle Friendly Street Proposal click here.


To Be a Neighborhood or Not to Be •
A Message from James O'Sullivan


To be a neighborhood or not to be…
..a message from James O’Sullivan, MMRA President
The older I get the more I realize I grew up in a different, more personal time. It wasn’t a perfect world by any account. It could be cruel and mean – as any particular time can be – but there seemed to be a keener sense of place back then. A feeling that you belonged to a particular spot on the map: a city, a town, a neighborhood.
Our parents had come out of a depression, fought a World War, and helped to launch an economic expansion that was the envy of the world. I didn’t know much about all of that growing up, but I sure reaped the rewards of their hard work and strong ethics. We weren’t rich, but my dad was a union man and – rain or shine – he managed to bring home a decent paycheck that supported seven kids. And find the time to pitch in when neighbors needed a hand.
Our neighborhood was a safe place to grow up and we took care of each other as best we could. When you fell on hard times groceries appeared on your doorstep. Shopkeepers extended credit based on your character, not your credit score. A handshake went a long way in those days. It was a time when we were truly our brother’s keeper.
Something happened the other day that made those memories suddenly return. It all started when I sent out an email to my neighbors asking them to sign a petition that I believed would help others in the neighborhood. I asked them to go online and sign the petition we created to oppose nighttime subway construction in the Miracle Mile. We’ve been canvassing street by street, but I was recovering from a bad cold and didn’t have the energy to go knocking on doors with a clipboard in hand. 
I was gratified that many of the neighbors I contacted did go online and sign the petition – but I was disappointed to see that some of them didn’t. I thought we had had made a well-reasoned argument to support our position. I was puzzled by this…until I was approached by one of my neighbors at the grocery store parking lot. He asked me why I was sending out the email message and putting up a sign promoting the petition in my front yard. He made his disapproval very apparent.
I appreciate candor, so we went back and forth – with him telling me that he didn’t think we should be opposing nighttime subway work – and with me trying to make him understand that it isn’t fair for Metro to ask the residents near the construction sites to go without sleep for nine years. I cited the senior citizens living in a 50-unit building across the street from the Ogden construction site.  And my neighbor replied that old people “don’t sleep that much anyway.”
I was caught off-guard by his callousness. He went on to remark that we lived too many blocks away to be bothered by the noise and that not working at night would make the subway project take longer to complete. He insisted on knowing why I opposed nighttime construction when I wouldn’t be personally disturbed by the noise.
I was speechless for a moment and then I heard myself say, “People asked for my help and I am my brother’s keeper”.
Wow. Neither one of us knew what to say after that, so he walked off and I got my shopping cart.
As I roamed the aisles of the grocery store I kept thinking where did that come from? And it hit me like stepping on a garden rake: the memories of my childhood and the neighborhood I belonged to then overwhelmed me. That is where I was taught to be my brother’s keeper. We needed and looked out for each other back then. The continual affirmation of each other’s worth was an unspoken bond between neighbors. It was the rock solid core of the neighborhood I grew up in.
Why should I worry about nighttime subway construction if I don’t hear it? Why should the residents living between 8th Street and Wilshire give a damn about new development along Olympic? Why should the folks living on Detroit care about traffic on Orange Grove?
The answer is obvious – to some of us.

Miracle Mile Real Estate • February 2014 Sales

Miracle Mile Real Estate
February 2014 Sales

1141 South Burnside Ave.
3 bdrm, 2 bath; 2,122 sq. ft.
lot: 7,441 sq. ft.
listing price: $895,000
sale price: $897,000
sale date: 2-19-2014

1022 Hauser Blvd.
3 bdrm, 2 bath; 1,849 sq.ft
lot: 7,251 sq. ft.
listing price: $874,000
sale price: $925,000
sale date: 2-11-2014

1024 South Cochran Ave.
5,676 sq. ft. total
4 units: 2 bdrm, 1 bath

lot: 6,895 sq. ft.
listing price: $1,388,000
sale price: $1,300,000
sale date: 2-21-2014


(...below the fold...)


MMRA Board Meeting
April 3, 2014
@ 7 PM

Board meetings
are held at
the Berch Lounge
Westside Jewish
Community Center

5870 Olympic Blvd.
on the first Thursday
of each month.

All are welcome.

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Miracle Mile
History Quiz

How did this once popular Miracle Mile men's clothing store inspire a Frank Zappa song?

(Click on the image to watch this circa 1978 commercial and click here for the answer.)

The MMRA Channel

Miracle Mile Farmers' Market
Every Wednesday 11 AM ~ 3 PM

Wilshire Courtyard

Miracle Mile
Residential Association

James O’Sullivan, President

Alice S. Cassidy, Vice President

Joseph Steins, Treasurer

Ken Hixon, Vice President/
Director of Communication
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Copyright © 2014 Miracle Mile Residential Association.  All rights reserved.

Miracle Mile Residential Association
P.O. Box 361295
Los Angles, CA 90036-9495


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