INGLEWOOD – Inglewood Mayor James Butts would love for the world to believe that everything is “hunky dory” in the city, which is a far stretch of the truth. Residents have been progressively removed from voicing their concerns about the most troubling issue in the city which is the traffic congestion generated from SoFi Stadium. The reality of this issue can no longer be ignored as the city prepares to host the Super Bowl in less than two months from today.
This is no shock to the Los Angeles Rams who had firsthand issues with the traffic dating back to last summer when USA Today asked him about it when an event held at SoFi started an hour late.
“Yes, it was. It was a major issue,” he said. “Guys that left at 2:45 did not get here until a little past 5, so that was the reason we bumped it back. Feel terrible but I am appreciative of our guys. Man, it’s good to be back in person but not good to have this damn traffic. But yes, that was a major, major issue and that was the reason we had to bump everything back an hour and why I trimmed off the last 30 minutes of practice.”Sean McVay
The city was slick when it amended the Hollywood Park Specific Plan (HPSP) to add a stadium alternative to the plans. The amendment didn’t trigger the commission of an updated environmental impact plan that showed how the city planned on dealing with the traffic from an 80,000 seat football stadium being dropped in the middle of the city.
“We’re pretty smart here in [Inglewood] City Hall”Mayor Butts
The city implemented a poorly constructed Citywide Permit Parking Program that doesn’t include all Inglewood residents, and is barely, if at all, enforced.
This author drove around the neighborhoods adjacent to SoFi Stadium and found that many streets still don’t have the proper signage installed despite the HPSP calling for the developer to pay for these costs.
The city’s own parking commission admitted they had no input on the programs creations, and it took months of submitting public records requests before meeting agendas and minutes were made available to the public on the city’s website.
Outraged residents showed up to a meeting held in the middle of a special election, where the city sought to increase certain taxes to pay for an automated people mover, which the voters rejected.
Mayor Butts was interviewed by the Los Angeles Business Journal where he was forced to concede the city only raised a third of the construction costs, through grants, and there is no start date to begin building despite him describing the project as “shovel ready”.
Butts and Co. have always maintained the city could “handle” the traffic and likened it to the glory days of the both the Forum and Hollywood Park Racetrack being open.
What’s most peculiar about all of this is the people behind the petition to bring the stadium here are lifelong residents.
Melvin Robert is a resident in District 1, and its his childhood home the mayor bought from Melvin’s sister, Christine Robert, when their mother passed away. The family owned a liquor store at Van Ness and 89th so they are very versed on the Inglewood landscape.
Christine is a consultant for Metro. She understands traffic congestion, and how to create/market/brand “community groups” to champion the need for public transportation to “alleviate” congestion.
At some point the city hired Robert’s company, The Robert Group, to come up with a traffic study and she was unable to do so. Instead, residents were horrified when the local cemetery was used for overflow event parking.
Inglewood residents can firmly say the stadium has wreaked havoc on our daily lives, and as the events get bigger (FIFA World Cup, Olympics) so will the crowds and demand for parking.
The city is preparing multiple events during Super Bowl week including a three day concert series at Crozier Middle School / City Hall South Lawn, a Taste of Inglewood, and whatever else is planned for either the Forum and/or SoFi Stadium and questions continue to come up if the city can handle it.
An anonymous employee told journalists at USC that the city wasn’t ready for this. Barbara Ohno and Wanda Brown told you the city couldn’t handle this, and unfortunately, residents are now questioning the alleged “genius” in City Hall that got us here.
Oh and not to mention, the countless murders occurring within blocks of the stadium, the same neighborhoods the author is describing being randomly dropped off in to walk to the stadium. Traffic is the least of residents worries during Super Bowl, it’s our safety.
TWO murders occurred while events were taking place at SoFi and the Forum. Inglewood is now up to 18 unsolved murders, while close to two dozen police officers have left in the last 18 months. How much event training went out the door with them?
Mayor Butts doesn’t want you to know about City Hall’s poor execution of how they’re handling this traffic, and now you have respected journalists saying “I’ve tried it the city’s way THREE TIMES” and this is my experience using alternatives (ridesharing and the shuttle) that the city promotes.
We now hear a perspective from the end user of the city’s “genius”.
Read the Forbes article by clicking here.