Frequently Asked Questions

What types of amenities and landscaping would be included in the design?

With 3.2 miles of length, San Vicente Park will channel through many distinct communities.  A robust community engagement process would help determine what types of functions each neighborhood may wish to see constructed.  Options would include recreational components, passive park use, athletic facilities, community buildings, public vendor spaces such as cafes or stores, or specific vegetation selection areas.  All of these types of uses would be built with experts to ensure a balanced ecosystem and natural biodiversity encouragement where possible.

Can this construction be paired with the proposed Metro Crenshaw Northern Extension?

Potentially, Metro can utilize a method of construction called “cut and cover” where it is advantageous for portions of the new underground line.  This method is substantially less expensive than the other method for underground tunnels, which is machine boring.  Since the ground surface would be removed for “cut and cover,” it could be replaced with park space for similar overall costs.

When can San Vicente Park be completed?

There are many variables which will influence the schedule for the vision.  Many of the variables include: political will, community support, traffic studies, design processes, metro coordination, environmental impact reports, and stakeholder outreach.  As a public space proposed at grade, the construction itself is relatively simple in nature and would take approximately 2-5 years, dependent on how the project is phased.

How much might San Vicente Park cost?

SVP is proposed to be entirely at existing grade, reducing engineering and grading costs.  Construction may also be paired with Metro line expansion, in which replacement of ground surfaces could create park space at no cost difference than if it were a roadway.  While eventual costs will vary depending on programming activities, inflation, and infrastructure coordination, comparisons to park projects in Los Angeles in 2023 would estimate costs of around $200 million for 30 acres of improvements.  A recent comparison would be the Sixth Street Park, Arts, and River Connectivity Project, which is estimated at $82 million for 12 acres.

What about emergency services response time? 

In its current configuration, San Vicente Boulevard provides a direct route to Cedars Sinai Medical Center for many area residents.  The Park conversion proposes a minimum of one lane in each direction to be maintained for vehicular access.  During the design of the Park, engineers will have to determine if there would be any changes to response times, what is an acceptable change in response time, and if the vehicular access could be designed to preserve or improve current emergency response times.

What about bus service interruptions?

The only operating bus within the vision area is at the top edge, from West Hollywood southward to W 3rd Street at the Beverly Center.  Metro’s 30/330 bus line service in the vision area was discontinued on June 27, 2021.  The 30/330 line continues to operate between downtown and the Pico Rimpau Transit Center (adjacent to Lowes/Midtown Crossing) where the San Vicente Park vision has its eastern terminus.   Link to Metro’s 2021 Schedule Changes

What about the zoning code in relation to the park space?

The proposed park lies almost entirely within the City of Los Angeles Wilshire Community Plan, except for the western side of the boulevard between Wilshire and La Cienega which lies within the City of Beverly Hills.  Current Los Angeles zoning code would require new buildings adjacent to the park to have specific stepbacks, typically called “transitional height” requirements.  The Wilshire Community Plan is specified to be updated by City Planning in sequence with other plans as part of the new code

LA is a car city, what about the traffic?

Optimistically, the San Vicente Park will encourage ridership and density to develop along the Metro Crenshaw Northern Extension.  As a vision, there is the reality that vehicular travel times would be impacted by the park conversion.  Such changes to travel times within Central LA would have to be studied to determine the impact on traffic. Ultimately, it is up to community stakeholders and elected officials how to balance potential traffic conditions with public amenities.  Angelenos will have to face the question: Are the community benefits worth extra minutes in traffic?  There is also the possibility that resolving the 6-way intersections by closing San Vicente Boulevard can lead to more efficient crossing at those locations, easing traffic aligned with the general city grid. 

But seriously, San Vicente Boulevard is a great short cut!

Yes, many stakeholders appreciate the convenience of a diagonally oriented street which typically has less traffic than routes that would replace it.  Angelenos will have to consider if having a vehicular short cut is necessary for a city, or if public space would be better if it were allocated for recreation and amenities.

What about cross streets?

The vision for San Vicente Park does not propose to change any of the existing crossings of San Vicente Boulevard.  Where the existing medians prevent cross traffic, park space will be expanded.  Where existing cross streets traverse the medians, such cross streets would remain.  There may be instances where communities advocate for further closures or additional crossings based upon outreach.

What are some other benefits of San Vicente Park?

Though much of the other community benefits can only be speculative, there are other examples of urban road infrastructure being converted to public space for comparison.  The closure of Broadway in New York’s Times Square, for example, resulted in many other types of benefits.  The creation of public space resulted in a safer environment for everyone, with a 40% reduction in pedestrian injuries and a 15% reduction in vehicular accidents.  In addition the pollution levels in the immediate area dropped precipitously, with a 63% reduction in Nitrogen Oxide and a 41% reduction in Nitrogen Dioxide, two pollutants closely associated with traffic.

What are the benefits for people who bike, scoot, or walk?

As a proposal, it is imagined that the 3.2 miles of park integrate 3.2 miles of a pedestrian path and a dedicated lane for alternative mobilities.  Such paths would be interrupted by the existing cross streets, and at-grade crossings would be designed for safely accommodating the various transportation means.

This is already a fairly wealthy area.  Won’t a park lead to further gentrification?

Though every citizen deserves access to green open space – including the residents of Central Los Angeles – there is a history of urban parks causing gentrification, including the famous High Line in New York City.  Communities, designers, and planners have learned much from these instances.  Some of the research and strategies to maintain local communities is presented here: New Strategies for Preventing Green Gentrification

Would such a large park provide a backdrop for unhoused populations?

Certainly, the humanitarian crisis affecting the unhoused population is beyond the scope of this proposed park, and the City and County of Los Angeles are hard at work developing both short and long term solutions.  Community stakeholders should be able to take comfort that Parks are listed as one of the spaces determined by City Council per code section 41.18 as designated areas that prohibit camping, and would allow for removal of unhoused populations.