Riverdale Green Street Opened, City Standard Plans Shared

September 30, 2010 § 1 Comment

Council President Garcetti opening the Riverdale Green Street Project. Seated, left to right, are Zaldivar, Daniels, Cardellino, and Moore.

Under yesterday’s midday heat, on a quiet block in Elysian Valley, a small crowd gathered to celebrate the ribbon-cutting of the city of Los Angeles’ newest green street: Riverdale Avenue. The ceremonial opening was presided over by Council President Eric Garcetti, Public Works Commissioner Paula Daniels, Bureau of Sanitation General Manager Enrique Zaldivar, City Engineer Gary Moore, and Project Manager Joan Cardellino of the California Coastal Conservancy, which funded Riverdale’s retrofit.

Luminaries’ speeches took place under a tent at the intersection of Riverdale Avenue and Crystal Street, in front of the gates of Jardín del Río community garden and alongside the city’s very first official “V.S.C.E.” which, of course, stands for “Vegetated Stormwater Curb Extension.”

Commissioner Daniels actually became teary-eyed as she shared her enthusiasm for the innovative project, and her gratitude to city staff, and others, who worked hard to make this project happen. I think Sanitation’s Enrique Zalidivar put it very well when he thanked Commissioner Daniels for her “tenacious and unrelenting championing” of water quality and green street projects. 

City water truck simulating stormwater runoff

These days, no green street opening is complete without the now nearly obligatory ceremonial dousing from a city water truck. Water trickled down Riverdale’s gutters, baptising its parkway swale planted with native vegetation.

Water entering the parkway bioswale - excess runoff flowing around it

Overflow soaked into the ground via new bottomless catch basins designed to filter pollutants before infiltrating water into the earth. All this under the watchful eyes of assembled city staff, Elysian Valley neighbors, and a handful of us creek freaks.

One novel aspect of the project is the city’s releasing Standard Plans. The ceremony included City Engineer Gary Moore signing an oversized copy of the plans. Not only has the city created its own pilot project on the street, but it’s released to the public (hey developers, listen up!) all the designs, so that these sorts of projects will be easy to design, permit and implement in the future – in Los Angeles and elsewhere. 

Page 1 of 11 of the city of Los Angeles' Green Street Standard Plan S-484-0 for a Vegetated Stormwater Curb Extension or VSCE

The city’s Green Street Standard Plans are already available online at the city website. Here’s a listing: 

  • S-480-0  GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR GREEN STREET
  • S-481-0  PARKWAY SWALE IN MAJOR/SECONDARY HIGHWAYS
  • S-482-0  PARKWAY SWALE IN LOCAL/COLLECTOR STREETS
  • S-483-0  PARKWAY SWALE WITH NO STREET PARKING
  • S-484-0  VEGETATED STORMWATER CURB EXTENSION (VSCE)
  • S-485-0  INTERLOCKING PAVERS FOR VEHICULAR ALLEYS
  • S-486-0  INTERLOCKING PAVERS FOR PEDESTRIAN ALLEYS 

It’s a very good project, well worth checking out – especially when it’s raining. Drop by Riverdale Avenue on your way to a walk along the one of the very nicest parts of the river: the Elysian Valley stretch of the Glendale Narrows – accessible at the end of Riverdale Avenue.

See also Creek Freak’s earlier posts on the Riverdale Avenue Green Street  Project, including its background and location map, and construction photos and project renderings.

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