North Atwater Park Creek Construction Nearly Complete

November 15, 2011 § 15 Comments

View, over construction fences, from North Atwater Park. Seating and viewing areas in the foreground. Central green creek area has been hydroseeded. In the distance is the new mostly-permeable-surface parking lot.

I got a chance to look over the fences at the under-construction natural creek park at North Atwater Park. Officially the project is called North Atwater Park Expansion and Creek Restoration. It’s looking like it’s 99%+ complete… though it will be good for the native vegetation to grow and get itself more established during the cool wet season ahead.  « Read the rest of this entry »

Cornfield Arroyo Seco Specific Plan Resurfaces This Saturday

October 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

CASP flier - click to view meeting details at the city website

This Sunday is the city of Los Angeles’ annual community meeting regarding the Cornfield Arroyo Seco Specific Plan (called CASP.) The meeting takes place at 10am on Saturday October 15th 2011 at Goodwill, 342 N. San Fernando Road, LA 90031 (near the Lincoln Cypress Metro Gold Line Station.) Meeting details at the city’s CASP website. « Read the rest of this entry »

Symposium Explores the Complexities of Sediment Management

September 29, 2011 § 7 Comments

1969. A conveyor belt transports sediment away from Big Tujunga Reservoir. (Los Angeles Public Library Images)

Last Tuesday (9/20), the Council for Watershed Health (formerly the Los Angeles & San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council) hosted a creek-freaky event entitled Shifting Soil: Sediment Management Policies in Los Angeles. While I was fortunate enough to be in attendance, it has taken some time to digest all that was discussed and to place in context all of the remarks that were made. The following is my best attempt at a summary including a few thoughts on the topic. For further reading, have a gander at Mademoiselle Gramophone’s in depth coverage (including video and audio snippets) or visit the Council’s event archive for downloadable PDF files of each presentation. A friendly forewarning: this post is a lengthy one… « Read the rest of this entry »

Downey Rec Ctr Albion Demolition Kick-Off This Thursday

September 27, 2011 § 3 Comments

Flier for this Thursday's Kick-Off Event - click for full-sized pdf

L.A. Creek Freak readers may remember the city of Los Angeles’ September 2009 acquisition of the 6-acre Albion Dairy site, adjacent to the L.A. River in Lincoln Heights. LACF ran this initial breaking news, a more detailed announcement, and photos of the site.

This week, at 12:30pm on Thursday September 29th 2011, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Councilmember Ed Reyes are hosting a demolition kick-off event. It’s open to the public – please attend and celebrate progress on the city’s newest river park.

An update on the project follows.  « Read the rest of this entry »

Tuesday night Chautauqua talk

May 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Creekfreaks, I’ll be on the Westside at Temescal Canyon tomorrow night, at the MRCA’s Chautauqua series to talk about sustainability and Los Angeles. You won’t be surprised by the creeky focus.  Come on out!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Temescal Canyon Park, Woodland Hall

7:30 pm.

Trying to Respect Work Toward a Halfway Decent North Spring Street Bridge Project

May 15, 2011 § 11 Comments

Back in 2006, the city of Los Angeles proposed tearing down the 1929 North Spring Street Bridge over the Los Angeles River. The city planned to demolish the locally and nationally recognized historic bridge and construct a brand new bridge. The project included widening North Spring Street  from about 43 feet to about 96 feet. More than double. Really. Spring would have gone from a large neighborhood-scale street to a freeway-scale street.

It was particularly irritating to me that city engineering folks would present this project as needed for bike safety and for river revitalization… though no cycling or river groups were pushing for it, and, in fact, many opposed it. Grrrrr. Cyclists sure don’t need fifty-feet’ worth of widening.  Wider bridges and streets just mean faster-moving cars… making conditions less safe for biking and walking. And if you really wanted to spend ~$50million to make the river healthier and/or to make streets safer for bikes, there are a lot better and more effective ways to spend it. To me, it’s clearly about wider roads for more and more and more cars… in a dense central part of the city where high percentages of people walk, bike and take transit… hence it’s about jamming more non-local car traffic into Lincoln Heights and Chinatown.

Enjoy and defend our historic bridges while you still can. Pictured: Detroit Avenue Bridge over the Rocky River - Cleveland, Ohio - demolished

Due to a lot of pressure, mostly from historic preservation folks, that massively wrong-headed version of the project is now off the table. Whew.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Heavy Rains Reveal Creek Streets

March 22, 2011 § 3 Comments

After Sunday’s daylong rainstorms, the rains ended and the sky still looked plenty cloudy Monday-yesterday, I bundled up and was bicycling into downtown, when I came to this massive puddle across from LaFayette Park. The photo shows the south side of Wilshire Boulevard between Commonwealth Avenue and Hoover Street. I didn’t get a shot of it, but there was a least a couple of feet of water in the park itself. The southwest corner of the park, normally enjoyed by lots of skateboarders, was being enjoyed by a half-dozen ducks.

Yesterday's post-rainstorm pond, Arroyo de la Brea re-emerging on Wilshire Boulevard across from LaFayette Park

Creek Freaks will recall (from Jessica’s earlier article Commerce over creeks at Wilshire + Hoover and other mentions since) that this particular dip in Wilshire Boulevard, and this part of LaFayette Park, were historically Arroyo de la Brea – a creek tributary of Ballona Creek.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Zine Breaks Ground on West Valley River Greenway

March 10, 2011 § 1 Comment

Los Angeles City Counclmember Dennis Zine announcing the West Valley L.A. River Greenway project

This afternoon, before an assembled crowd of about fifty, Los Angeles City Councilmember Dennis Zine presided over a groundbreaking ceremony for a new stretch of Los Angeles River greenway and bikeway. Construction has begun on the 2.2-mile segment of landscaped bike path, extending from the Vanalden Avenue footbridge to the end of Hartland Street, just upstream of the Mason Avenue Bridge.

L.A. Creek Freak reported on this project earlier; for details check here for project background, here for art and design, and here for funding and phasing.

« Read the rest of this entry »

West Valley River Bike Path Groundbreaking Tomorrow

March 9, 2011 § 1 Comment

L.A. River Greenway groundbreaking this Thursday March 10th at 2:30pm - click for larger flier pdf file

Join Los Angeles City Councilmember Dennis Zine for the groundbreaking of the West Valley Los Angeles River Greenway. The ceremony takes place tomorrow – at 2:30pm on Thursday March 10th 2011 on the southern bank of the Los Angeles River just upstream of the Vanalden Avenue Pedestrian Bridge.

L.A. Creek Freek reported on this project earlier – backgrounding it in a 2008 article,  then reporting on construction and funding last year. See those articles for details. Briefly, the multi-phase project includes 2 miles of bike path (from Vanalden Avenue to Corbin Avenue) and river-friendly landscaping and entry-point mini-parks. It’s being done in conjunction with bridge retrofit projects on Vanowen, Winnetka and Tampa.

Come on down and celebrate the groundbreaking tomorrow!

Recent News – 19 January 2011

January 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

> Watch this excellent video One Plastic Beach; it’s about Northern California artists Judith Selby Lang and Richard Lang who create beautiful art out of massive amounts of plastic that was ashore. They make an eloquent critique of plastic pollution in our oceans. Also check out the artists’ website and blog. Thanks filmmakers Eric Slatkin and Tess Thackara. (h/t Jackie Wei)

> Meredith McKenzie has been blogging up a storm over at ArroyoLover. Read her latest posts on:

> Public comments on Universal’s Draft Environmental Impact Report are due by February 4th 2011. I haven’t paid close enough attention to this item (guest blogger invitation!), but, my understanding is that the situation hasn’t changed much since this 2008 L.A. Times article covered studio opposition to the L.A. River bike path. There’s no website for public comments. If you want to get in touch with folks let us know via comments below.

> North East Trees blog reports on construction activity at their Garvanza Park rainwater harvesting project.

> Travelin’ Local reports on three Elysian Valley L.A. River pocket parks (Steelhead, Osos, and Egret) and the De Anza Trail.

Farther afield:

> Circle of Blue reports on a Michigan court decision that’s strengthening river protections – so rare!

> Rain-swolen rivers in Australia: watch scary videos of the Brisbane River and flash flooding in Toowoomba.

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