Football, traffic jams and a Blade Runner cityscape made for blood sport this week among readers.
They were responding to our story ("Blade Runner Stadium," by David Futch, Sept. 9) detailing how the city had failed to consider the full costs of megadeveloper Philip Anschutz's planned NFL stadium. We also revealed that the proposal allows Anschutz's AEG to create a Blade Runner-like vista of electronic billboards.
"Once again a wealthy developer plans to fatten his wallet at everyone else's expense," a reader identified as Watchdog writes. "Building the Farmers Field football stadium may not cost Angelenos a dime, as AEG claims, but taxpayers sure are going to be on the hook for resurfacing downtown streets and revamping intersections to accommodate AEG and the 75,000 people who show up for a game."
Watchdog also takes aim at provisions approved by the state Legislature that prevent citizens from challenging the proposal in Superior Court. Instead, legal challenges under state environmental laws would have to bypass the lower court and go directly to the state Court of Appeals — where bringing lawsuits is far more expensive.
"Californians fought hard to guarantee there would be an environment left over once the developers were finished raping the land," Watchdog writes. "AEG wants the state to exempt it from 'frivolous' lawsuits challenging the stadium's impact on the environment. There used to be honor among thieves, but not these thieves that include not just AEG but the entire L.A. City Council for failing to do their job — due diligence as per the cost of road upgrades before the council swooned and signed off on the memorandum of understanding giving AEG carte blanche to do and build whatever it wants."
AEG President Tim Leiweke has tried to calm fears about traffic congestion by arguing that the 10 and 110 freeways, which intersect near the stadium site, are mostly empty on Sundays, when most NFL football games are played. AEG also says many fans will take mass transit to the game.
A reader named Robert says, "Vehicle traffic downtown is terrible all the time, and sporting events have little to do with it. But the article approaches the traffic issue from the antiquated perspective of cars are the alpha/omega of mobility. This is a fallacy.
"If you insist on driving downtown rather than taking transit, then you deserve to be stuck in the mess you help create. The stadium is an opportunity, of sorts, to retrain Angelenos on methods of getting around.
"Big cities like L.A. host big cultural events of all varieties; hosting these events means there are impacts to the way we experience the city. It is so much more logical to put your largest event venues in central locations where the transit services are most densely located and where virgin land does not need to be sacrificed."
Reader Rick Abrams has a different view. "As far back as 1915, Los Angeles recognized that subways and other fixed-rail mass transit do not function in large circular cities. People will not walk more than 1/2 mile to subways. Thus, subway stations have to be about one mile apart. If you can do the geometry, you will see why subways will never solve L.A.'s transportation problems and subways will not bring fans to Anschutz's stadium.
"The alternative is the bus system. That is not workable. Anyone who thinks that Angelenos will give up driving to a football game and use slow, dirty, crowded buses has not used due diligence in assessing transportation in L.A. The income level that can afford to attend will not use buses, unless they charter them."
Reader Steve Sann loves the idea of a Blade Runner scape. "Look at Tokyo," he writes. "Who doesn't love Tokyo? I've seen only positive effects from the development of L.A. Live. It brings a lot of people back to the city, and people who come to the city spend money on businesses."
Reader Morty Shallman says our cover headline "stumbled upon the perfect name" for the new stadium. Blade Runner Stadium would give "a nod to L.A.'s film heritage, while at the same time acknowledging our precarious present and dystopian future."
Finally, sniff sniff, a couple of readers made it personal. "Leave it to L.A. Weekly to stand in the way of progress," says a reader identified as Truly. "Come on, people. This town needs football. We've needed it for 20 years. If AEG is going to be the one who finally gives this city what it deserves, then I'm on their team."
And Font b writes: "When they build that new stadium, let's see how fast L.A. Weekly gets to Farmers Field with a DeWalt impact drill bolting in multiple news racks all around that place attempting to benefit from all that 'traffic.' "
(Note to Font b: WTF are you smoking? Our impact drill is a Bosch.)
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The "Blade Runner Stadium" article on Sept. 9 erroneously described USC Professor James Moore as a director at Rand Corp. Moore spent the 2010-11 academic year at Rand as a visiting scholar.
The "Stephen Yagman vs. Chemerinsky" article on Sept. 1 erroneously reported that LAPD paid a settlement to slain North Hollywood shootout gunman Emil Matasareanu's family.