News and Events – 17 February 2010

February 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

UPCOMING EVENTS:

>The L.A. County Bicycle Master Plan Bicycle Advisory Committee meets tonight Thursday February 17th at 7pm at the Board Overflow Room at Metro. The county bike plan, which Creek Freak outlined here, includes bike paths along county-maintained rivers, washes and creeks. There’s also a series of ten county bike plan community meetings running February 22nd through March 25th, held in various locations all over the county. For more info on all these, go to the meeting page on the county’s bike plan website.  

County photo of the vacant under-freeway right-of-way along the Arroyo Seco. View is looking northeast toward Avenue 26, with the Arroyo Seco channel just out of the picture to the left. Avenue 26 is across the middle of the image with the Avenue 26 Bridge in middle left. Freeway ramp connecting southbound 110 to northbound 5 is on the right.

>Los Angeles County is proposing a new scope for the funded Arroyo Seco Bike Path project. The new plan is to build the next phase along the southeast bank of the arroyo from Avenue 26 to San Fernando Road. This scales back a proposed ~1.5-mile bike path (from Avenue 43 to Avenue 26) to an ~0.3-mile bike and walk path, but the less ambitious new scope appears more likely to actually get built. The newly proposed stretch would be located in a right-of-way that is currently mostly empty space (below the interchange of the 5 and the 110 freeways) but also includes a portion of a city of L.A. Bureau of Sanitation yard. The county hosts a project meeting tomorrow Thursday February 18th at 6pm at the Los Angeles River Center. Check out the county’s 9-page background report, with photos and a map and L.A. Creek Freak’s earlier article on the conflicts over the earlier proposed bike path(Thanks Arroyo Seco Foundation for posting the county’s documents on-line.)

>Same night as the Arroyo Seco meeting, the city of Glendale hosts a public input meeting for its Glendale Narrows River Walk project. It’s Thursday February 18th at 7pm at the Pacific Community Center.

>C.I.C.L.E.’s creek freak bike ride is this Saturday February 20th, departing 12:30pm from the River Center. Rain cancels, and some is predicted for early Saturday – check the site that morning around 9am to confirm that the ride is on.

>State Assembly Speaker Karen Bass hosts a Ballona Creek clean-up event on Sunday February 21st at 10am at Overland Avenue.

> The city of Pasadena Bicycle Master Plan is also underway. The current draft  proposes bike paths along the Arroyo Seco (near Jet Propulsion Laboratory) and along Eaton Wash (from Eaton Canyon Nature Center to the 210 Freeway.) Pasadena will hold a public input meeting on their draft plan on Tuesday February 23rd at 6:30pm at City Council Chambers.

RECENT NEWS

>Live “streaming” on the Arroyo Seco, and a dozen other California streams, via USGS (In the Watershed)

More Specifics on the County’s Bike Plan

January 15, 2010 § 3 Comments

Bicyclists enjoying the L.A. River Bike Path - spot the blog's author!

Yesterday, L.A. Creek Freak alerted our reading audience to the first meeting for the County Bicycle Master Plan. That plan will guide county work on bikeways along county-jurisdiction waterways. Today we do a follow-up to clarify the plan’s scope, outreach and timeline. The public is encouraged to keep up with the county plan via its website: www.lacountybikeplan.org (Note that the county plan is a separate process from city bike plans in Los Angeles, Pasadena, BurbankHermosa Beach, and elsewhere.)

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County Bike Plan Considers Paths Along Rivers and Creeks

January 14, 2010 § 3 Comments

Los Angeles River Bike Path - One example of the types of waterway bikeways expected in the county bike plan - photo from L.A. Streetsblog

Tonight is the kick-off meeting of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Advisory Committee (this is county – not to be too confused with the city committee that shares the same name.) The meeting is open to the public. It’s at 6:30pm at the County Hall of Records, 320 West Temple Street, downtown L.A. 90012. Lots of details (agenda, bike parking, transit directions, etc.) on the meeting are already posted at BikingInLA, so I won’t bore you with them here.

Why should creek freaks be interested in L.A. County’s bike plan? Well, I am glad you asked. Other than the overall bike-watershed connection, it’s  because the county plan will include bike paths along rights-of-way controlled by the L.A. County Flood Control District – known in the vernacular as: rivers, creeks, washes, arroyos, streams, sloughs… 

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Hidden Creek Estates

October 16, 2008 § Leave a comment

 

2003 photo of stream in Brown's Canyon watershed

2003 photo of stream in Brown's Cyn watershed.

At last night’s Stream Protection meeting, an elderly gentleman in the audience mentioned a proposed development, Hidden Creek Estates, in Mormon Canyon, which would be annexed by the City to make the development possible. Mormon Canyon drains into Brown’s Canyon, a beautiful perennial stream that is a tributary to the LA River (and apparently source of the LAR Navigable Waters Jurisdication Determination kerfuffle – well the owner of Brown’s Canyon, that is).  Both were hit by the recent Sesnon fire.  

2003 view of the area

2003 view of the area

Hidden Creek Estates proposes 188 homes in a wildlands area, apparently re-grading hillsides of the Santa Susana Mountains to keep the development on higher ground.  It would be nice to see developers maintain the natural character of our mountains and canyons, something called landform grading – here it appears the slopes will be levelled and stabilized, on perfectly even slopes.  You know, the kind you see around landfills and subdivisions everywhere now.  

landfill grading aesthetics at neighboring Porter Ranch

Background: landfill grading aesthetics at neighboring Porter Ranch

But this is a creek blog: fortunately it appears that the streams will not be built over, although one small area of the proposed development map appears to grade over one of the streams, where perhaps a bridge could be used.  Altering the hillslopes does change the sediment supply that maintains the stream’s channel and habitat, however.  The draft EIR proposes Best Management Practices to mitigate runoff, which is great, but we don’t want to cut off sediment altogether either.  But what of the wildlife?  What we are left with is a conversation of how much more of our biodiversity we can cut into.  Remember in Math class, there was this idea that you could infinitely divide something in half, and never reach zero? We are now reaching into the terrain of several 00’s after the decimal.  I sometimes wonder how much land wildlife would allocate to us, if they were the planners and developers and we were at their mercy.  Would they say, as we do, “well, as long as we preserve a representative population, it’s ok to reduce their habitat. I mean, how many of them do we need to maintain biodiversity anyway?”

Click to enlarge. Original image converted to gif (hence black background).

Grousing about Hidden Creek aside, at least it doesn’t take the top off a mountain and dump it in canyons, like we see here in this cut and fill diagram for Mountain Gate, in the Santa Monica Mountains above Bundy Canyon in Brentwood.  You can view the actual draft and final EIRs here, click on Environmental, Final EIR and scroll to Mountain Gate.  While you are at it, scroll on over to the Canyon Hills Final EIR in the Verdugo Hills, which, while preserving one stream, will result in the loss of some of its tributaries, which are noted for their good representation of increasingly rare Southern California riparian (streamside) habitats.  Which brings us back to Math class.  How many times can we divide 1/2?

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