Proposed restricted pedestrian access for back gates

The back gates of LMU on Loyola Blvd. is a popular and convenient entrance for students, faculty and visitors. L.A. City Councilman and Westchester residents requested that it have restricted access. 

LMU received a letter from L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin last fall that requested the University restrict pedestrian access to the gated entrance on Loyola Boulevard.

According to Associate Vice President of Administration Services Mike Wong, LMU has “agreed to evaluate the request and look at some physical designs as well as the effect on the LMU community.” The request is currently being reviewed by a team led by Wong and including representatives from Facilities Management, the Department of Public Safety and Community Relations. Feedback on the request will be solicited from students, faculty and staff “over the next several weeks,” Wong said.

An important aspect of the request that Bonin stressed in an email to the Loyolan is that it does not call for the closure of the gate. “I have not asked LMU to consider closing the gate or eliminating pedestrian access to the gate; I have asked them to consider restricting it,” he said. “It is a significant difference. I have specifically requested they implement a key card system so employees and students who live nearby would have the opportunity to access the gate as pedestrians. That has been a consistent, repeated and integral part of my request to the University.”

According to Nate Kaplan, L.A. City Council’s deputy district director for Westchester and Playa del Rey, the request was born out of discussions during Neighborhood Advisory Committee meetings. The committee, which was formed as part of LMU’s 20-year Master Plan, consists of representatives from the University, the local neighborhood council, Bonin’s office and other community members.

“When the University reinstated parking fees last January … we had a lot of people show up to our meetings very angry about the fact that there was no longer any parking in the neighborhood,” Kaplan said, adding that “they were drawing a correlation between the parking fees being instituted and faculty and students parking in the neighborhood.”

The idea of restricting pedestrian access to the back gate to only those who live within walking distance of the University was developed as what Kaplan called “a sort of out-of-the-box idea.”

Kaplan did note that an alternative strategy of a permit system was being considered, noting that “permit parking is on the table … but we haven’t heard of anybody interested in doing that in the area or initiating the process even to get permit parking.”

According to Bonin’s email, “The University has created a parking crisis in the neighborhood. To mitigate that problem, the University is singularly focused on a permit parking system that many neighbors find burdensome and insufficient. I am trying very hard to help the University develop alternatives to the parking crisis that do not burden neighborhood residents further.”

Ultimately, both Kaplan and Bonin stressed the commitment of their office to working with LMU to develop a solution to the parking issue. Kaplan also said that, if the plan of restricting access to the back gates is accepted by LMU, the Council office would be happy to help with the design and logistics of the plan.

While this option is being explored, the Council office is still open to exploring other solutions.

“I welcome any and all constructive suggestions – and hope the university will begin to present them accurately and consider them in good faith,” he said.

Zaneta Pereira was born in Pune, India and lived in Fiji, Oman, Kuwait, the U.A.E. and Kenya before coming to LA to attend LMU. A Senior Psychology major, Zaneta counts climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro among her greatest accomplishments.

(2) comments


How does "restricting access" to pedestrians into LMU alleviate the parking problem? And why isn't L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin's letter posted so we can have the opportunity to figure it out?

Like a fellow LMU alumnus who commented Jan. 22, I also am a local resident and have alumni privileges. But unlike him, I have profound respect for the property rights of Americans, include the local elderly who have owned their homes since "master plans" for LMU came into existence decades after 1911. Many elderly have used LMU grounds to walk because they enjoy the safety of nearby security, as compared with the absence of such safety off-campus (there were 23 local robberies last month - I'm going to guess the elderly would be prime targets).

And I wish everyone knew what every other university and every law school teaches its students: that every individual right we enjoy as Americans spring from the existence and respect for property rights.

Forcing pedestrians to go so far out of their way -- more than a mile if the destination is the gym -- plus seek or show a permit each time does what to alleviate parking congestion? I view it as university "bullying of" or "experimenting with" off-campus LMU students and local residents, many of whom are LMU alumni who contribute to LMU in donations and participation in campus events.

This makes no sense.


My name is Richard Conroy, LMU class of 2009. I wanted to give some feedback regarding the current issue some local residents are having with parking/pedestrian access at the Loyola gate. I am also a local Westchester resident presently. I live on McConnell Ave, roughly 2 blocks from the Loyola Blvd. entrance of LMU. I love LMU, I love loving in Westchester and the local community surrounding this great school. However, I must disagree with this proposal to limit pedestrain access for both self-serving, as well as idealogical reasons.

First, as an alumni who lives 2 blocks from this entrance, one thing I really enjoy is being able to use the gym and workout facilities at the Burns recreation center since I receive a membership at a very nice price as an alumni, along with the fact that, as I have said before, it is literally two blocks from my house. My normal workout routine, consists of a warm up run to Burns, passing through the Loyola gate.

Clearly, this is a logical thing to do since I live 2 blocks from campus.

However, the main gate is not 2 blocks from my house. If the proposal was to be enacted, I would be forced to run (or drive) all the way to the Lincoln blvd gate, talk to public safety, get a pass, and then park on campus. This creates a silly situation for me personally when the current situation I am in now is meant to be extremely convenient.

I understand parking is an issue in and around the Westchester neighborhood and the residents are concerned about their space being infringed upon as LMU looks to expand.

However, I feel they are honestly acting like children.

I remember vividly the "Stop LMU expansion" yard signs as an undegrad in the area. I know they don't enjoy the fact that a major university has been established in the area since 1911. But I sincerely doubt that any of them have been Westchester residents since 1911. They knew as smart, home-owning citizens, that they were moving NEXT TO A SCHOOL. It did not just show up out of nowhere out of the blue one day. They knew what they were getting themselves into in advance. So to turn around and complain about it is utterly ridiculous.

Now, as students, faculty, staff, and (alumni?) we still need to respect their property and privacy. As I previously mentioned, I am a local resident as well, I would not enjoy students being loud, vomiting, playing music at odd hours of the night near my house. However, I don't see how any of those issues fall into this situation.

I also know that there are numerous places where students can still access the campus grounds other than these gates in the Westchester area, this would simply shift the problem, rather than solving it.

The residents knew very well in advance what this situation would be and now constantly complain about it, and in some cases, places banners or signs disparaging this great university about an issue that really isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of life. To quote the 14th amendment, is anyone in this situation being denied "life,liberty, or property" due to this issue?

Yes I just referenced the 14th amendment in an issue about campus parking. That is how absurd this issue is.

It's a farce, Westchester residents need to get over it.

Thank you for giving me the forum to share my opinion as an alumni and a local resident. I hope an exception can be made to people in my situation to still use this gate in order to have convienent access facilities that I pay money for and still pay money for via student loans.


Richard Conroy
LMU '09

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