6th street Viaduct is shut by LAPD for second night in a row

The 6th Street Viaduct, a victim of its own fascination, has been closed by Los Angeles Police Department for the second straight night.

Two weeks after opening, the famous bridge was closed on Saturday after daredevils scaled its arches and traffic cut back for miles.

The bridge has become a hotspot for road takeovers and cruisers. Police told KNBC that officers closed the bridge on Saturday after spotting social media posts about a proposed takeover.

“It’s easier to shut it down before it happens,” LAPD Capt said. Elaine Morales the news channel. “Killing street races. We have seen many victims, young people and adults, and we don’t want that to happen here on the bridge.”

The closure followed an accident on the bridge Friday night that prompted the LAPD to close the more than half-mile span.

The bridge, which cost more than half a billion dollars, connects the historic Eastside with the Arts District. When it opened, officials immediately hailed it as the city’s next icon.

Days later, drag racers, skaters, and cruisers claimed it as their own space, causing long traffic jams, setting off fireworks, and causing mayhem. Pictures on social media showed cars with burnouts, people scaling the arches at terrifying heights and even one person getting a haircut as cars drove by.

“I’m upset that you can’t enjoy something beautiful, especially on a hot day, on a hot night,” Tony Cervantes, a local resident, told KCAL on Saturday night. “You go down the street and closed this.”

The LAPD has stepped up patrol along the bridge, where commuters often hang their phones out of windows to capture stunning city views.

Skid marks are already staining the roadway of the bridge. While some locals shrug it off, others worry the media attention could tarnish Boyle Heights’ public image.

Eric Avila, an urban historian at UCLA, said there must be a way to discourage dangerous activities while still allowing activities like lowriding. Lowrider cruising, he said, is part of the Eastside’s identity, with a history inextricably linked to Whittier Boulevard, where the bridge meets.

“What’s wrong with… driving slowly on the bridge to present cars the way people do in Elysian Park on Sundays?” he said.

LAPD Central Division officers tweeted that there would be “maximum enforcement” over the weekend and that vehicles parked on the bridge would be cited or towed away. Anyone present at a bridge takeover will be quoted, they said.

Meanwhile, city and transportation officials are considering installing cameras, higher fences and a transit strip on the bridge to minimize future problems.

Cindy Carcamo, a Times contributor, contributed to this report.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-07-24/6th-street-viaduct-shut-for-second-night-in-a-row 6th street Viaduct is shut by LAPD for second night in a row

Alley Einstein

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