Groundbreaking Notes

Yesterday, we noted that the groundbreaking for UCLA’s Grand Hotel would be on September 10.  We have also noted that after blocking off the Ackerman bus turnaround and parking structure #6 on July 8, nothing much seems to have happened in the way of actual work on the site.

Lest you think no one has been inconvenienced by the no-work blocking off, comes this from the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus on its off-hour service:

New transit hub: Ackerman Terminal is closed for construction so BBB will use a new transit hub located on Charles E. Young Dr. and Manning Ave. Weekdays from 8pm to 7am and all day on weekends: Buses heading towards campus will detour onto Charles E. Young Dr. You can disembark at the stop on Westwood Plaza (outside of the Jules Stein Eye Center) or on Charles E. Young Dr. (in front of P2).For riders leaving  campus: please note that BBB is no longer able to serve the stop on southbound Westwood Blvd. at the Medical Center. You can catch a bus from Charles E. Young Dr. (in front of P2) or at any BBB stop on Hilgard Ave., Le Conte Ave, or on southbound Westwood Blvd. at Weyburn Ave. Rapid 12 weekdays: If you are heading towards campus, buses will follow the same detour and serve all stops noted above. For riders leaving campus: please note that BBB is no longer able to serve the stop on southbound Westwood Blvd. at the Medical Center. You can catch a bus from Charles E. Young Dr. (in front of P2) or on southbound Westwood Blvd. at Weyburn Ave. 

Source: http://www.smmirror.com/articles/News/Big-Blue-Bus-To-Implement-Service-Changes-Starting-Sunday-August-25/38209

And there appears to be a back story to the fact that the Santa Monica bus was earlier diverted from off-hour service that used to go to the bus terminal behind the Faculty Club.  Those who follow the Grand Hotel affair will know that the original plan was to demolish the Faculty Club to make way for the hotel.  That plan would have made the bus terminal behind the Faculty Club difficult to access.  However, one (just one!) neighbor had been complaining about noise from the buses.  Normally a single complainer would not trigger a wholesale transit shift by the university.  But it was certainly convenient to use the complaint to begin shifting buses elsewhere when it was thought that the Faculty Club would be the site of the Grand Hotel.  So the shift decision was made (and then – thanks to widespread campus protests – the site was shifted away from the Faculty Club anyway).

The fact is that the entire project has been one of bad decisions that pile up one after another.  But no one can reverse the ultimate decision and so the bulldozers are coming September 10.  I happened to note this quote from the latest Mitchell’s Musings column: 

“Academics reading this musing will undoubtedly be able to cite many examples in which university administrators are unable to reverse direction on misguided policies, absent tremendous negative fallout.”  

I wonder what Mitchell was thinking of?  Source: http://www.employmentpolicy.org/topic/403/blog/mitchell%E2%80%99s-musings-8-19-13-never-having-say-you%E2%80%99re-sorry  [Click on the pdf option.]

Anyway, since the groundbreaking is scheduled and the bulldozers are coming, I am indebted to Jim Chalfant of UC-Davis for this modest proposal for the event:

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