LOS ANGELES – Seeking to clamp down on certain activities on the Sixth Street Bridge, the Los Angeles City Council Friday requested the city attorney prepare an ordinance prohibiting people from conducting street takeovers, defacing the bridge and accessing areas outside its fencing.
The council voted 10-0 on the item. The ordinance, which would have an urgency clause, would also prohibit “drag racing, dangerous driving practices, the stopping of motorized vehicles and participating in any activity that blocks the viaduct’s vehicular travel lanes without a permit.”
The council also sought reports from various city departments on long- term strategies to maintain the safety of the bridge, including installing cameras and anti-climbing devices. The bridge could be closed periodically to cars to allow for pedestrian and bicycle access only, with the council requesting the City Administrative Officer to report on resources needed for temporary closures.
The bridge opened July 10 to much fanfare, which was soon overshadowed by those who came to perform street takeovers, spinouts and other activities blocking traffic, which resulted in several closures.
A representative from the City Attorney’s Office told the city’s Public Works Committee last week that the state’s vehicle code could preempt the city from enacting specific ordinances related to illegal activities such as spinouts.
The City Administrative Officer was also asked to report within 120 days on the funding necessary to support graffiti removal and other maintenance efforts on the bridge for the rest of the fiscal year.
The committee recommended last month that the council approve $706,000 toward maintaining the bridge. But the council sent the item to the Budget and Finance Committee rather than take a vote on authorizing the funding.
Last week, Capt. German Hurtado, commander of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Central Bureau, told the Public Works Committee that “things are calming down” on the bridge. Police have scaled down from an initial group of officers working overtime Thursdays through Sundays from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Hurtado said visitors from outside city limits are mostly responsible for the incidents on the bridge.