hat L. Ron Hubbard Way is one of the most beautiful streets in Los Angeles is a fact regularly remarked upon by Los Angeles residents, visitors and tourists alike. It also represents the kind of project City officials now hope to see repeated, city-wide, through a “Streetscape Task Force.”
The street had its gala grand opening in April 1997, where more than 7,000 Los Angeles residents joined representatives from the City and the California Governor’s office to celebrate the completion of the new landmark.
Extensive streetscape improvements, organized and executed in cooperation with the City, included repaving the street itself with more than 150,000 bricks — the first brick street open to regular traffic constructed in Los Angeles since the 1930s. Local residents rolled up their sleeves to participate in what was truly a neighborhood effort.
Thus L. Ron Hubbard Way, home to the Church of Scientology of Los Angeles and other Church organizations and facilities, is also a very real testament to what can be accomplished when so many citizens and employees of a City join together in a shoulder-to-shoulder effort. For the “new” street only became a reality through the “above and beyond” contributions of hundreds of people — Scientologists, neighbors, City officials and employees, local businesses and scores of others — determined to create a landmark street in record time.
It was in this vein that the City of Los Angeles Public Works Commission, which oversaw and contributed significantly to the success of the venture, resolved that the L. Ron Hubbard Way project should be documented — so that it can be repeated. That is, the Commission’s governing board saw the project’s success as something they wanted to see in communities across Los Angeles, with City officials and employees working side-by-side with communities to bring about not just minor improvements but major ones — and with speed.
“We want to form a ‘Streetscape Task Force,’” said Public Works Commissioner Tod Burnett. “It would bring together other City departments, Public Works and community people to put together a program on how we can better work together on similar streetscape projects throughout the City.”
To that end, the Board held a public hearing at City Hall on January 20, 1998, to hear from those City workers, contractors and community activists who made L. Ron Hubbard Way a reality. Documentation was assembled by the City so anyone could see how the project was executed and then propose and implement a similar undertaking of
Two City employees appointed to the Streetscape Task Force noted that the final result they envisioned would be like a “manual” or a “cookbook” which would “take them through the whole process, step by step.”
The Public Works Commission also specially commended and recognized those whose contributions were both exceptional and essential to the project’s completion. Foremost amongst these were the Church of Scientology of Los Angeles and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Hailing L. Ron Hubbard Way as “one of our City’s most beautiful streets,” and “a landmark for the entire City to enjoy,” a resolution praised the Church as having “greatly contributed to and enhanced our City through its outreach and community services programs and projects.”
The Board further noted that “the work on this street and its beauty was inspired by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, whose humanitarian works are contributing greatly to helping eradicate illiteracy, drug abuse and criminality.”
Official resolutions were then presented, commending the Church and Mr. Hubbard. City Council President John Ferraro and City Councilman Richard Alatorre helped make the presentations; Ms. Karen Hollander of the Church of Scientology International and John Travolta accepted the awards.
In doing so, Travolta spoke up to commend the Public Works Commission for their work, which was vital to completing L. Ron Hubbard Way in record time — a project he was himself “thrilled” to take part in. “It makes me proud that we have people in City government like you who will roll up their sleeves and work side-by-side with its citizens to improve the community,” he said.