A month to the day that the Sixth Street Bridge opened to much fanfare but also those who came to perform street takeovers, spinouts and other activities blocking traffic, “things are calming down,” police said Wednesday.
Capt. German Hurtado, commander of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Central Bureau, told the city’s public works committee that police have scaled down from an initial group of officers working overtime Thursdays through Sundays from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
There still have been some attempts at impeding traffic on the bridge, which connects Boyle Heights with the downtown Arts District. On Sunday, undercover officers thwarted an attempt by a group of 300 truckers to stop on the bridge and have a “car show,” according to Hurtado. The officers went into the group, which posted about its intentions on Instagram, and stopped them from entering.
Hurtado said visitors from outside city limits are mostly responsible for the incidents on the bridge, which has been closed several times since it opened July 10 due to what police called “illegal activity.”
On Wednesday, the committee sought reports from various city departments on long-term strategies to maintain the safety of the bridge, including installing cameras and anti-climbing devices. It also requested the city attorney to draft an ordinance with an urgency clause to prohibit people from “accessing areas outside of the bridge fencing, defacing the viaduct, street takeovers, drag racing, dangerous driving practices, the stopping of motorized vehicles, and participating in any activity that blocks the viaduct’s vehicular travel lanes with a permit.”
The bridge could also be closed periodically to cars to allow for pedestrian and bicycle access only, according to the motion.
A representative from the City Attorney’s Office told the committee that the state’s vehicle code could pre-empt the city from enacting specific ordinances related to illegal activities such as spinouts.
The committee recommended two weeks ago that the council approve $706,000 toward maintaining the bridge. But the council sent the item to the Budget and Finance Committee last week rather than take a vote on authorizing the funding.