CC Council Votes to Close Sidewalk to Pedestrians, Adding Space to Homeless Encampment Under 405

The Culver City Council this week voted to remove 15 parking spaces under a freeway overpass to allow a homeless encampment to grow in that area.

By a 4-1 vote, the Council approved a plan to build a sidewalk extension along the north side of Washington Boulevard under the 405 freeway “to increase pedestrian access.”

The dissenting vote was cast by Vice Mayor Albert Vera.

At Monday night’s meeting, the councilmembers shared their different views on the proposed plan, which would impact Washington Boulevard at the 405 Freeway. Some questioned the need to spend city funds to cater to a half dozen homeless people. But other maintained that pedestrian safety was the key factor in their decisions.

City officials said the extension plan could ease concerns that the tents from the encampment would make it tougher for pedestrians to walk along the sidewalk.

But critics of the proposal, including Protect Culver City, said the plan would cost the city about $100,000 and force pedestrians to walk in the nearby parking lanes.

“Shutting the sidewalk will leave it as the domain of permanent transient camp,’’ said PCC in its website.

City officials said the plan was introduced due to the pandemic and regional housing shortages causing the encampment to grow under the freeway overpass in that area.

The Council action comes as several communities across Los Angeles County saw encampment sites being cleared out over the past two years.


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