Broadway in DTLA Could Become 1st L.A. Street to Ban Cars

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Broadway in downtown Los Angeles could become the first street in the city to ban cars under a new motion introduced Wednesday by Councilman José Huizar.

The councilman hopes to create a car-free zone on Broadway for pedestrians to walk or cycle through and explore the street, bringing vibrancy and more business to the historic Broadway Theatre District.

The motion directs local transportation agencies to work together to assess the feasibility of creating a car-free section of Broadway between 1st and 12th streets, taking parking and resident access into account.

“Broadway was once one of the nation’s cultural centers,” the councilman said in a written statement. “Creating pedestrian-friendly zones where people are out of the car and walking along the street will enhance businesses and contribute to the further revitalization of the area.”

Cross streets in the area would still be open for emergency vehicles and public transit, according to the motion.

Work on the project should also not disrupt the historic theaters along the corridor, Huizar said in a news release.

Through his “Bringing Back Broadway” initiative, Huizar has been working on reviving the bustling street by pushing to get its theaters back in business or having them repurposed for retail use, attracting new businesses to the street laden with decades-old buildings with intricate facades.

Because the initiative had already previously limited vehicle traffic on the street, Broadway is the “ideal street to go car-free,” the councilman said in his motion.

Huizar said banning cars on Broadway would be “boldly reclaiming this public space from vehicles and taking significant step toward reducing carbon emissions.”

The Broadway Theatre District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in the ’70s and was described as “the ultimate example of the explosive growth of Los Angeles and Southern California.”

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