The topic of the discussion is the Re-Opening the National Cemetery for Bicycle Traffic
History: Previous to 9/11 the National Cemetery was a preferred bicycle route between Brentwood and Westwood and helped cyclists to avoid the worst intersection in LA, the bottleneck where Wilshire and I-405 meet. Back then, the support of Senator Cranston ensured bicycle access through the VA cemetery. In the aftermath of 9/11 this route has been closed with reference to National Security. More recently, the Veterans Administration has spoken about the pastoral nature of the grounds. The current ban of cycling is articulated as part of a more general ban of recreational activity, failing to draw a distinction between cycling for recreation and cycling for transportation
Re-opening the cemetery for bicycle traffic would add a significant attraction for current car drivers to use the bike. It will reduce car traffic congestion in this area, which will improve air quality and reduce travel times. It is in accordance with a number of established policies and priorities, both locally and nationally. In short, the decision to close the cemetery has deprived UCLA of a Safe Route to College and lead to increased environmental impacts. Alternative routes (Ohio, Montana) discourage cyclists because of length and terrain. The widening of the I-405 currently underway will further limit the ability for cyclists to use the Wilshire corridor.
The aim of the meeting is to discuss judicial and political avenues to lift this closure.