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A Walk In The Park On The 101 Freeway? City Council Says 'Yes'

LOS ANGELES ( — The Los Angeles City Council Friday voted in favor of a proposal to partner with a nonprofit group for an unusual plan to cover a portion of the Hollywood (101) Freeway with a neighborhood park.

City Council members voted 14-0 to approve the motion introduced by Councilman Jose Huizar (PDF) on July 30 to seek funding from private, federal and state grants for the Downtown Park 101 Freeway cap park project, which would connect the Civic Center with Olvera Street, Chinatown and Union Station.

"There is a growing need to establish green space and pedestrian connections in Downtown Los Angeles," Huizar wrote. "The development of Grand Park was a major step in creating vibrant open space in the Civic Center but more open space and pedestrian linkages are needed."

The Friends of PARK 101 District, a non-profit organization comprised of local business and community leaders, has been tapped by the city to assist with "coalition building, identifying and accessing funds for the design, planning and development" for the project.

A similar proposal for a Hollywood Central Park was also revived in 2006 by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and was mentioned by Mayor Eric Garcetti during the recent mayoral campaign as a potential "dream" project he would like to pursue as mayor.

The idea of covering a freeway with park space is not entirely new: Dallas recently completed a freeway park. In addition, the cities of Santa Monica, Glendale, and Ventura are proposing similar measures.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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