A group of nonprofits have proposed eliminating a key freeway that would affect many of the people who drive to the Marina Del Rey Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.
Nonprofit groups Streets for All and SWA Group recently proposed turning the 90 Freeway into a public park with long bike paths. Then in August, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass asked Transportation Secretary Pete Buttgieg for a $2 million federal grant to fund a feasibility study on the project.
The proposal would present a problem for many of the people who drive to the Marina Del Rey Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, because the 90 freeway is usually the last leg of the trip whether you’re coming from the north, south, or east. For those unfamiliar with the area, the 90 ends about three blocks away from the WCAB. It’s also often the fastest leg of the trip, as the 90 is usually much quicker than its neighboring freeways, which are often clogged up with traffic jams.
Thankfully, the WCAB is still doing mostly telephonic hearings, but expedited hearings, trials, and settlement walk-throughs are still primarily in-person appearances a majority of the time. So for those types of appearances, parties find themselves with no choice but to travel to the Marina Del Rey WCAB.
It’s not just attorneys, judges, hearing representatives, and courthouse staff who go to the WCAB. Your humble blogger has had cases at the Marina Del Rey WCAB with applicants who lived in Palmdale and Bakersfield, and both drove to the WCAB on multiple occasions.
WHY? IT’S TOO FAST, THAT’S WHY
The proposal raises the question – why remove a perfectly-good freeway that presumably cost millions to build and maintain? Well, as Mayor Bass put in her letter to Buttgieg, “The daily traffic volumes prove than an eight-lane freeway is not needed for this corridor.”
To put it another way, supporters of this project believe that the 90 Freeway is unnecessary because it isn’t clogged up with traffic jams. Therefore, it shouldn’t exist, according to the project’s backers.
If that line of reasoning raised your blood pressure by a few points, don’t worry, you are not alone.
Your humble blogger has mentioned this project to other attorneys who go to the Marina Del Rey WCAB, and they have not been thrilled about the project. Some of the comments that have been relayed to me are, “I don’t know how you would get to the board without the 90” and “that’s the only good part of the drive to the Marina Del Rey.”
SUPPORT, OPPOSITION, AND ALTERNATIVES
The project has gained support from the Marina Del Rey Neighborhood Council, the nonprofits, and Mayor Bass. However, some local residents have voiced opposition on local television stations and even started a Change.org petition to stop the project.
Fortunately, there are other options to get to the WCAB, but those have problems too. For instance, when your humble blogger tried to take my three-year-old and six-year-old on two train trips last weekend, one was delayed for 2.5 hours due to a car being hit by a train about 50 miles away, and another was delayed by an hour due to “equipment delays.” I’m not sure how a judge would feel about an attorney or a witness being an hour or more late for trial due to “equipment delays.”
We at Bradford and Barthel try to be full of helpful solutions, so perhaps it’s time to look into getting a human-powered helicopter. Its large size could make parking quite an issue, but at least it’s good exercise!
For more information about the project, go to these links:
Got a question about workers’ compensation defense issues or pending legislation? Feel free to contact John P. Kamin. Mr. Kamin is a workers’ compensation defense attorney and partner at Bradford & Barthel’s Woodland Hills location, where he monitors the recent legislative affairs as the firm’s Director of the Editorial Board. Mr. Kamin previously worked as a journalist for WorkCompCentral, where he reported on work-related injuries in all 50 states. Please feel free to contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (818) 654-0411.
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