Piggybacking on good news

July 16, 2010 § 16 Comments

"Broadened River" and new development concept for the Piggyback Yards. Source: http://www.piggybackyard.org

"River Strand" concept with new development at the Piggyback Yards. Source: http://www.piggybackyard.org

Even while LA River advocates were busy fighting to protect the river in a controversy over its Clean Water Act status, some of the same defenders were actively pursuing a vision for the river as it can be, balancing flood protection, habitat and development. Yesterday, Friends of the Los Angeles River unfolded this vision, put together by talented urban designers, architects, and landscape architects, at a press conference on the roof of the Sheriff’s Department parking lot – the perfect venue to see the target of all this visioning: the Piggyback Yards along the Los Angeles River.

Two alternatives explore the possibilities for restoring a reach of the Los Angeles River, providing off-channel flood storage, open space, urban connectivity, and infill development. Big props to Lewis MacAdams and FOLAR for conceiving and shepherding the vision, bringing the designers together with rail experts, hydrologists and hydraulic engineers, planners and agency folks – and big props to the design teams of Perkins+Will, Mia Lehrer + Associates, Michael Maltzin Architects, and Chee Salette Architecture Office. And, personal thanks to Mia Lehrer for giving me an opportunity to also be part of the team looking at riparian restoration issues! It’s exciting to see restoration design become integrated with vision planning for Los Angeles.

Check out the vision in detail at this beautiful website by Jackie Kain and her crew on the Piggyback Yards.


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§ 16 Responses to Piggybacking on good news

  • skr says:

    So, to where would those yards relocate? They are very heavily used.

  • Jessica Hall says:

    Check out the piggyback yard website – there’s a discussion of the rails there.

  • skr says:

    Yes, they say they will maintain the rails where they are. I didn’t see any discussion about where they would relocate the yards. Unless you count the underground facility pipe dream. I drive past there everyday, and the amount of cargo that passes through there is staggering. That is going to be very difficult to relocate.

    • Jessica Hall says:

      My understanding (which is limited) is that the yards over time will or could be relocated. The tracks were the bigger issue for the group. Underground facilities exist in other cities, although there’s lots of things that can be done elsewhere that we seem to struggle to wrap our heads around.

  • seems like the piggybackyards.org website doesn’t exist though, is this the main site?


  • pascaljim says:

    Will soccer fields be an incorporated into his plan: They are sorely needed in his area…

  • Are the soccer fields going to be watered with reclaimed water? I concede that it is very important to the community to be able to get out there and play soccer! However, the big lawns kind of break my heart… and plastic lawns are even worse.

    • skr says:

      Well if you look to rio de los angeles, the soccer fields are almost all dirt anyway and they still get used heavily. I’m not sure how much water they re throwing on that. There is the synthetic field there as well. I used to be one of those “why do they put so many sports fields in parks” kind of people, but now that I overlook rio de los angeles, I am amazed at how much use they get. Also, if the water is focused upon the areas that get the use, a microclimate can be created for the people. You then leave all the other areas for natives and no irrigation. Irrigation isn’t terrible if used judiciously.

  • Peter Weinberger says:

    so how does any of this get implemented. I’ve seen great ideas proposed for years, but the timeline, EIRs, public comments and ultimately budgets result in them never coming to fruition.

    • Jessica Hall says:

      Not to be flippant about your question, but: political will. A less idealistic response: sell it to the developers and they’ll make it happen.

  • Good points SKR, and some people who go to play or watch soccer will also notice and appreaciate other elements of wherever they are.

  • JDRCRASHER says:

    Why not build a football stadium here instead? There’s already a ton of green space planned for Downtown (Park 101 Freeway Lid, GAP Civic Center Park, The Cornfield, LA River ITSELF, etc…), and this is one of the last major spaces large enough to build an NFL arena near or in Downtown LA.

    • skr says:

      How about because government funded stadiums are complete boondoggles that piss away tax payer money, LA is broke and can’t afford a stadium, or maybe because using emminent domain in order to construct a stadium from which a private entity will profit is wrong regardless of what the Kelo ruling says.

  • JDRCRASHER says:

    Plus, building a football stadium here would encourage the construction of the Silver Line LRT, and Metrolink goes by here as well.

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