Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Endeavour's Parade - Viewing Locations
To all of you who have been fretting over whether or not you'll be able to see Endeavour from L.A. sidewalks and streets this weekend, take heart! I scouted out the route today and talked to dozens of business owners. Not a single one told me that shuttle watchers are not welcome. In fact, most of them were thrilled at the prospect of the extra business with a distinct "Bring it on!" attitude. There was no talk of anyone closing for the Parade.
I focused on businesses and venues that either provide sit-down food & beverage services or have parking lots or other outdoors spaces. I made sure that shuttle watchers would be welcome there.
The information below is NOT official information from Los Angeles city officials (much official advice in recent days has been versions of "stay away"). I compiled this information today while making my way along Endeavour's route. I hope this info will help you make plans for the Parade.
Be sure to pay attention to street closings (details below). I have heard that the police will close off streets/sidewalks 1 mile ahead and behind the shuttle. However the street closing signs today didn't mention anything about a "rolling" closure. The viewing locations below are all venues that get you off the streets and sidewalks - if indeed city officials decide to forbid shuttle viewing from sidewalks along the route.
Update - October 11, 5:40 p.m.
Sidewalks may be opened up along the route, as determined by the LAPD on a block-by-block basis. No details.
If you plan on driving to the Parade, my advice is to arrive a couple hours prior to official street closing times, park off the Parade route a few blocks away and walk to your destination. That way, your car won't be stuck inside the closure zones.
I have included a few hotel listings along the route for those who want to stay along the route overnight.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please email me at ctaake23 at gmail.com or contact me on twitter (@ct_la).
Here is a detailed map of the route and major stops along the way.
** FRIDAY OCTOBER 12 **
LEG 1 - EAST: Manchester & Sepulveda to Manchester & Crenshaw Drive
Manchester Blvd. will be closed from 12-5 pm along the shuttle route, according to signs displayed today.
Manchester & Sepulveda - Shuttle starts to head East at 1:15 p.m.
Manchester & Airport
Holiday Inn Express (rooftop viewing available)
7-11 parking lot
Manchester & Belford
Yum Yum Donuts
Manchester & Bellana
Jack in the Box
Mini-mall parking lot anchored by a Subway
Manchester & Hindry
7-11 parking lot
Manchester & Olive
Manchester & La Cienega
Randy's Donuts (look for the huge iconic donut with a shuttle in the donut hole)
Update - October 11, 2:55 p.m.
Randy's donuts will be closed on Friday. They leased their parking lot to Toyota and the Tundra shuttle transporter will be stored there. This is right at the 405 Freeway overpass.
** END ROUTE FOR OCTOBER 12 ** - Endeavour will reach the 405 Freeway overpass at Manchester & La Cienega around 4 p.m. Here she will be transferred to another carrier to cross the overpass around 10 p.m. Note: CHP will close freeway ramps in the area around this time.
** SATURDAY OCTOBER 13 **
Endeavour will continue along Manchester Blvd, entering the city of Inglewood around 8 a.m.
Manchester & Ash
Roscoe's Chicken & adjacent mini mall parking lot
Manchester & Cedar
Bravo's Char Burgers
Manchester & Inglewood
7-11 parking lot
One Manchester Ave - Inglewood City Hall
This is an official viewing area and there are some grassy areas set back from the sidewalk. There are no other off-sidewalk viewing opportunities through downtown Inglewood.
Manchester & Locust
Manchester & Hillcrest
Von's parking lot (including Starbucks and a bistro cafe).
This is a good one if you don't want to wait at a restaurant or fast food place. This is also the only segment along the route where Endeavour will be going downhill. There are grassy areas inside the parking lot to wait. I made sure the manager is fine with shuttle spotters in the parking lot. There is a fence around the lot, but it doesn't obstruct one's view, unless you have professional photo/film equipment.
Manchester & Prairie / Inglewood Forum
9 a.m. - Celebration at the Inglewood Forum. This venue accommodates 14,000 people. I couldn't get any info on how close visitors can get to the shuttle there.
Manchester & Briarwood
Inglewood Cemetery - for those who want to get into the Halloween spirit. You will not be able to get close to the sidewalk here due to walls that block the view but the cemetery is large and has gentle hills from which Manchester Blvd. is clearly visible.
LEG 2 - NORTH: Crenshaw Drive & Crenshaw Blvd to Martin Luther King Blvd.
From here on out, viewing opportunities diminish quite a bit. The neighborhoods are mostly residential, with houses frequently bordering the sidewalk without lawns or spacious businesses.
I did not see any signs about closure times along Crenshaw Blvd., but expect it to be closed, partially or in its entirety, from early morning to at least mid-afternoon on Saturday.
Crenshaw & Florence
McDonald's and adajacent mini-mall
Crenshaw & 60th Street
Crenshaw & Slauson
Crenshaw & 48th Street
Crenshaw & Vernon
Crenshaw & Martin Luther King Blvd / Baldwin Hills Mall
Walmart / Macy's parking lot
Louisiana Fried Chicken, numerous additional restaurants
This is the location of the Baldwin Hills Mall, where there will be a celebration hosted by Debbie Allen at 2 p.m. The venue can accommodate 3,000 people. So if you want to go to this one, arrive early.
LEG 3 - EAST: Martin Luther King Blvd. to CA Science Center
A sign on MLK Blvd today read: Closed 8 pm / 10-12 to 8 pm / 10-13
The initial stretch of MLK Blvd is comprised of residential areas with very few viewing opportunities.
MLK & Olmstead
Audubon Middle School. There are large playgrounds and sports areas right on MLK Blvd. Downside: You'd be behind a chain link fence.
MLK & King Blvd.
7-11 mini mall (it looks like a tight fit there; city workers were taking down street lights today)
MLK & Arlington
A sign at Arlington said today that this stretch of road will be closed on 10/13 from 4 pm to 10 pm. I take this to mean that the shuttle will probably arrive at CA Science Center closer to 8 pm than 4 pm.
MLK & Western
Ralph's parking lot
MLK & Normandie
MLK & Walton
McDonald's with adjacent mini mall parking lot
MLK & Bill Richardson Lane
END OF ROUTE.
This is a good location to see the shuttle at the end of her journey. Endeavour will turn left here and head over to the CA Science Center, which will also host a celebration. See my previous two Endeavour Parade blog entries for details on this celebration.
Update - October 11, 2012 12:40 pm
CBS just reported that Endeavour is slated to arrive at the CA Science Center at 8:30 p.m. Previously reported arrival times were 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.