1. What is the Park 101 project?
Park 101 is a visionary urban park that would be built in Downtown Los Angeles by “capping” a portion of the 101 Freeway. The proposed park will stretch a half-mile long, from N. Alameda Street (on the east) to N. Grand Avenue (on the west). It will provide an iconic public space in Downtown that will directly link key areas of the community, which currently are largely disconnected. Park 101 will improve the quality of life in the area by offering a large public space potentially with free programming to the public. It will enable better access for pedestrians and bicyclists in the heart and cultural hub of the City. It will also create key connections in the community by enhancing transit linkages, and providing direct access to central destinations and local businesses.
2. Where is the project located?
Currently, Park 101 is proposed to be designed in two phases. Phase 1 would extend over the 101 Freeway from Los Angeles Street (on the east) to N. Broadway (on the west). Phase 2 would extend the park further west to N. Grand Avenue and potentially further east past Alameda Street to Hewitt Street.
3. What was done in the previous planning phases?
Phase 1 of the planning examined the feasibility of a Park 101 District and provided a recommendation on design principles. These principles were set forth in a Feasibility Study released in August 2010. Phase 2 analyzed the impacts of changes to traffic, based on recommendations proposed in the Feasibility Study. The results of Phase 2 are provided in the Traffic Scoping Report, released in June 2012. Park 101 is now in Phase 3, which will evaluate funding strategies, analyze the potential for development, and provide the next steps to move the project from the conceptual phase to the environmental review and design phases. Outreach events have been conducted throughout all phases to obtain feedback and recommendations for the park from community stakeholders.
4. Why put a park over a freeway?
In a city that’s becoming more and more dense, finding areas to build parks and create public spaces has become increasingly difficult due to the limited land available. Several cities have used the area above freeways to provide communities with more open space, local and regional connectivity, and pedestrian access. Park 101 aims to achieve the same goals by bridging the space over the 101 Freeway to knit together historic communities that were separated by the construction of the 101 Freeway. It will provide much-needed open space in an increasingly dense downtown, provide better pedestrian and bicycle linkages among Little Tokyo, Civic Center, Chinatown, El Pueblo Historic Monument and Union Station, the region’s largest transit hub.
5. What are the benefits of the project?
Park 101 will enhance the Downtown community by connecting fragmented districts, especially at a time when the area is experiencing exciting new growth and development. The benefits include enhancing connections between key communities north of the 101 Freeway, such as Chinatown, Union Station, and El Pueblo to the rest of Downtown Los Angeles that’s south of the 101 Freeway, including Little Tokyo, the Financial District, City Hall, and key museums, theatres, and music venues on Grand Avenue. These connections would improve transit accessibility, livability, and walkability, vastly improving the health and livelihood of the community.
Park 101 would provide the urban landscape of Downtown Los Angeles with an open green space that will provide recreational resources, potentially free programming, and activities to families, residents, businesses, employees, and tourists alike. It may also provide growth opportunities and jobs for the local economy by creating new land available for development, as well as enhance the value of surrounding properties.
6. What amenities and/or programming will Park 101 feature?
The design and programming of the park has not yet been finalized. Project advocates encourage community members to provide ideas and suggestions about programming, activities, and uses that should be featured in the park. Ideas that have been considered to date include playgrounds, a stage for live performances, areas for food trucks, walking trails, and more. Suggestions can be submitted on the Contact page.
7. How will the project be funded?
Park 101 will be funded through a combination of federal, state, and local grants, private resources, philanthropic funds, and other financing mechanisms available for similar large infrastructure projects. These options are being evaluated in further details in Phase 3 of Park 101’s planning process.
8. When will the project be completed?
The park is still in the conceptual planning phase. Currently, the project team is conducting a study and developing a report which will include refining the project description, reviewing cost estimates, exploring potential funding strategies, and evaluating the potential for development in and around the park. The park may be completed in stages, depending on the availability of funding. The final report, produced as part of this feasibility analysis, will provide an estimate of when the project may be completed.
9. Who’s involved in the project?
The project is a joint effort between the City of Los Angeles, Department of City Planning (DCP), and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). The project team is working in close coordination with Friends of Park 101, long-time supporters of the Park 101 effort, elected officials (including Council Districts 1 & 14), businesses, local organizations, and additional key stakeholders in the area.
10. Will the park impact traffic or change freeway access?
The access points to and from the 101 Freeway will be evaluated in the overall park design, including options to close ramps in order to free-up more space for park activities and other uses. However, currently there are no immediate plans to modify the on and off ramps.
11. Will there be opportunities for development?
One of the tasks included in this feasibility analysis is to study the potential to develop property adjacent to the proposed park as one strategy for funding. The final report will summarize opportunity sites, as well as explore potential uses on these properties.
12. What other cities have built cap parks?
There are several cap parks in the nation, including:
There are also other cap parks in the works in the region, including ones in Hollywood, CA and Glendale, CA.
13. How can I provide suggestions, comments, or concerns about the project?
We welcome all suggestions for Park 101! Please submit your comments on the Contact page.
14. How can I support the park?
Stay connected with us! Watch the website for updates, like our Facebook page, and join us at upcoming events. We will announce all community outreach events on the project website as well as through e-blasts to all of our stakeholders who have signed up for updates.