Culver City Plans to Widen Sidewalk to Make Room for Homeless Encampment – Los Angeles

Southern California’s homeless encampments are becoming a major problem. While some communities are working to remove them, Culver City plans to use money to temporarily widen the sidewalk in order to accommodate an encampment.

The homeless encampment on Washington Boulevard beneath the 405 Freeway may be small in comparison to others around LA County, but it has become one of Culver City’s most controversial issues.

There are very few tents. Some people fear getting too close so they leave the area and walk into the street.

Because their children don’t feel safe, some refuse to pass by Culver City High School.

Mario, a resident who asked that we use only his first name, says navigating around the tents is a problem, but he’s not happy with the solution the city council came up with..

Instead of forcing the homeless people to move, like some other cities have done, the council voted 4 to 1 to spend up to $200,000 to widen the sidewalk so people don’t have to walk in the street.

There is concern that more people will be attracted to the homeless camp by the increased space.

“Why should we be during $200,000 to build a build out and tell people – the unhoused – hey you can email on the street – it’s OK,”Jeff Cooper stated.

Cooper is a former mayor of Culver City. Cooper thinks that the plan is a wasteful of taxpayer dollars.

“Why not give them the money and have them get some kind of housing instead of wasting money?” he said.

The plan would eliminate 15 parking spaces on Washington Boulevard, which neighbors say would drive cars onto residential streets where there’s already not enough parking.

But Culver City’s mayor defends the plan, saying it’s cheaper than a lawsuit. If someone sues Culver City for violating the American Disabilities Act, because of the fact that the tents block handicap access, it could cost millions.

“This is just an interim step to make sure as we work to find solutions to homelessness. We also make sure our residents have safe passage on all of our thoroughfares and sidewalks,”Mayor Daniel Lee stated.

CalTrans must sign off on the widening and maintenance of the sidewalk, which is below the 405 Freeway. The walkway will be approved and will be expanded by the middle of July. Housing will then be available in October when the two motels will be converted under the state funded Project Room Key.

But, of course, there’s no guarantee the people living in the tents will accept the offer.

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