A Feasible New Bike Path Coming to the Lower Arroyo Seco

February 19, 2010 § 4 Comments

Map of proposed quarter-mile Arroyo Seco Bike Path from Avenue 26 to San Fernando Road - click image for 9-page pdf containing more detailed version of this image. Image from L.A. County.

The county of Los Angeles held a public meeting yesterday to review a new plan for the Arroyo Seco Bike Path. The county has funding from Metro to build a bikeway along the Arroyo… but past proposals  have met with resistance.

Last night there was broad consensus for moving forward with a relatively short (1280-feet, about 1/4-mile ) uncontroversial portion of the bikeway – extending from Avenue 26 to San Fernando Road. One thousand feet of that right of way is Caltrans (the state Department of Transportation) land, located below the ramps connecting the 5 and 110 Freeways. The remaining 280 feet currently belong to the city of Los Angeles. The project would include an asphalt bike path, and a decomposed granite (DG) walkway.

The quarter-mile project is estimated to cost about $610,000, which is just less than the county’s remaining funding of about $750,000. The estimate is preliminary - for just the bike and walk path, with no landscaping or lighting. Agency staff stressed that it could actually cost more if there are any issues with toxics in the soil – which is something they haven’t analyzed yet.

The project as designed would only connect to the south side of Avenue 26. A number of attendees suggested that the bikeway extend under Avenue 26, so it could be accessed from either side of the street. There is already a sufficiently large passageway below the southeast part of the bridge, so an undercrossing is not expected to need extensive bridge abutment work.

Caltrans is applying for Transportation Enhancement (TEA) funding that could landscape the site. Though the outcome of their application will be announced in May, landscape funding is not expected to be programmed and available for construction until 2014. 

Los Angeles City Bureau of Sanitation Yard. North is the bottom of the image. The concrete Arroyo Seco runs diagonally in the middle of the image. The 110 Freeway is in the lower right; the 5 in the lower right. San Fernando Road is in the upper right corner. Image from Bing Maps

The city portion of the proposed path is an existing Bureau of Sanitation yard. The southwest edge of the yard has a ramped transfer station, used for dumping loads of trash from smaller trucks into larger trucks. Apparently this station is no longer in use, and the space can be used for the bike path.

Last night’s meeting was encouraging because it appears that the county, city and state are working together well. Kudos to L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina and L.A. City Councilmember Ed Reyes for navigating this project out of the infeasible category back into the it-just-might-happen-in-a-year-or-two category. 

The county plans to host another meeting in a approximately three months to review final designs.

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