November 5: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

1963:  The Beverly Hills City Council adopts a statement of policy regarding a Beverly Hills Freeway.

Rendering of proposed Beverly Hills Freeway (Click to enlarge)

The policy states that “such project must not take any single family residences in Beverly Hills nor remove, destroy or reduce any of its parks, nor interfere with its churches or schools.”

It expresses that “such freeway must be depressed at least twenty feet below the surface throughout Beverly Hills.  These restrictions laid the foundation for the April, 1964 Report On Geometric Design: Proposed Beverly Hills Freeway For Beverly Hills City Council.

Proposed routes for Beverly Hills Freeway (Click to enlarge)



1964:  The Southern California Rapid Transit District is created by the state as the successor to the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority.

The LAMTA’s seven-member board appointed by the Governor is replaced by an eleven member board of local officials that includes the five County Supervisors, two members appointed by the City of Los Angeles and four from the City Selection Committee.

The new SCRTD could also raise taxes by ballot measure, acquire property via eminent domain and participate in joint development, key powers the LAMTA didn’t have.

1968:  Voters reject the Southern California Rapid Transit District‘s ballot initiative for a half cent sales tax to support the construction of a new mass rapid transit system.

The proposed five-corridor plan connecting Reseda, El Monte, Long Beach, LAX and Santa Monica fails by a few percentage points.

A massive public outreach effort leading up to the vote includes numerous community meetings, direct mail, and even “Transit Maids” on buses.

The campaign even includes the production and distribution of a film titled “Public Transportation: Who Needs It?”

The educational and comedic film stars actor Paul Lynde and Los Angeles newscaster Ralph Story, and is distributed to libraries, schools and community groups in advance of the election.

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