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!

Ground Broken for North Atwater Creek Restoration

October 28, 2010 § 3 Comments

Department of Recreation and Parks Assistant General Manager Kevin Regan speaking at today's groundbreaking. Seated are, left to right, Public Works Commissioner Steve Nutter, Deputy City Engineer Deborah Weintraub, Councilmember Ed Reyes, Recreation and Parks Commissioner Barry Sanders, Councilmember Tom LaBonge, Council President Eric Garcetti, and Bureau of Sanitation director Enrique Zaldivar.

Another perfect Los Angeles day for another good step forward for Los Angeles River restoration and revitalization. It was a clear crisp cloudless fall sky – the kind of light that shimmers on flowing waters and shaking leaves and gives us a glimpse of just what an extraordinary natural treasure the L.A. basin was… and can again be.

A crowd of over a hundred – mainly Atwater neighbors, creek freaks, and civil servants – assembled for the groundbreaking ceremonies for the North Atwater Park Expansion and Creek Restoration. Hosting and quarterbacking was Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge, in whose district the project is located – though it will serve all Angelenos, especially Council President Eric Garcetti’s constituents, who live adjacent to the site. Rounding out the dignitaries speaking and shovelling were: Councilmember Ed Reyes, Deputy City Engineer Deborah Weintraub, Public Works Commissioner Steve Nutter, Recreation and Parks Assistant General Manager Kevin Regan, Recreation and Parks Commissioner Barry Sanders, and Bureau of Sanitation Director Enrique Zaldivar.

The project will add approximately three acres of riverside nature park to the city’s existing approximately five-acre North Atwater Park, located at the end of Chevy Chase drive. « Read the rest of this entry »

Three Events Tomorrow: Maps, Atwater Creek and Downtown Diversion

October 27, 2010 § 4 Comments

The Downtown Los Angeles Low Flow Diversion project which breaks ground tomorrow - click on image for more detail

Tomorrow – Thursday October 27th 2010 – is looking like a busy day for local creek freaks. There are two groundbreakings and a talk: Downtown Los Angeles Low Flow Diversion, North Atwater Park Expansion and Creek Restoration Project, and Los Angeles in Maps. « Read the rest of this entry »

River Bike Path Groundbreaking in Elysian Valley

June 29, 2009 § 6 Comments

Panorama of Today's Elysian Valley Bikeway Groundbreaking

Panorama of Today's Elysian Valley Bikeway Groundbreaking

This morning was the groundbreaking for the new Los Angeles River Bike Path under construction in Elysian Valley. This is one of the very nicest parts of the Los Angeles River, with plenty of willow trees, birds and fish. The bikeway will be built where plenty of folks already bike and walk unofficially on the existing access road. The road does have uneven surfaces today – dips where rainwater drains, and buckling pavement where the cottonwood tree roots are asserting themselves.

Officially, this is called Los Angeles River Bike Path, Phase 1C. It will extend from Fletcher Drive to Barclay Drive – about 3 miles. L.A. Creek Freak covered the tortured background of the project in an earlier post.

There was a crowd of 40-50 folks at Steelhead Park to celebrate the groundbreaking. Most were city and agency staff, but also present were folks from the neighborhood, the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Commttee, Friends of the L.A. River, the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition, Los Angeles Conservation Corps River Keepers, and even a TV crew from KABC 7.

Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti opened the event, telling his stories of coming to the river as a kid. He said that he hoped that the bikeway would be a step toward putting bicycling on an “even footing” with other modes of transportation. He also looked forward to a future bike/ped bridge which will eventually connect Frogtown with Taylor Yard, and said that he hoped to celebrate the opening of the new bikeway “later this year.” More on the project timeline below.

City Engineer Gary Moore marshals future bike path riders

City Engineer Gary Moore marshals future bike path riders

City Engineer Gary Moore took the podium next, commenting on what a “gorgeous stretch” of river the Glendale Narrows is. Moore credited the Bureau of Engineering’s (BOE) Senior Real Estate Officer Sam Y. Wong for the project’s heavy lifting of securing the 66 individual property easements. Wong took over after the BOE’s venerable Rick Brown retired as the project got underway. The long process of securing complicated right-of-way (including going to court for condemnation of the final hold-out) held this project up nearly 10 years.

The Bureau of Street Service’s Hugh Lee, Department of Transportation’s Mike Uyeno, and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority’s Barbara Romero rounded out the speakers. Romero commented that the MRCA had partnered with the city to incorporate some additional greening and stormwater best management practices.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed Reyes

Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed Reyes

Action shifted to a pile of dirt placed on the path. Gold-painted shovels and children were rounded up for the photo opportunity. Councilmember Ed Reyes, who had been detained in committee meeting, arrived just in time and enthusiastically addressed the crowd. Reyes has been a longtime champion of both river revitalization and alternative transportation. (Interested party note: I used to work as his deputy from 2002-2004, during which time, I tried to get this project moving.)

Construction should be underway this week, with the most significant part of the project being the construction of an underpass below Fletcher Drive. The project is supposed to take six months to complete, though it was suggested that that is slightly optimistic, and could easily take up to eight months. Pardon the dust, and look for a brand new bikeway opening in January or February 2010!

I hung out a bit with LA BAC past chair Alex Baum and present chair Glenn Bailey, spoke with city bikeways staff, then biked over to Atacor for yummy potato tacos with LACBC, FoLAR and Metro folks!

Breaking Ground on the Latest L.A. River Bike Path

Breaking Ground on the Latest L.A. River Bike Path

(See additional coverage of the event at Councilmember Reyes’ Blog)

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