Woodman Avenue, Bicycles and Fish

February 28, 2014 § 3 Comments

Rainfall makes a creek out of the newly completed Woodman Avenue green street medians.

This morning’s rainfall makes a creek out of the newly completed Woodman Avenue green street medians.

I just posted an article at L.A. Streetsblog that wouldn’t be out of place at L.A. Creek Freak.

It’s the first part of a series where I’ll be exploring the connections between streets and creeks. I’ll be highlighting various green street projects, this article shows off the recently opened  Woodman Avenue Multi-Beneficial Stormwater Capture Project – a collaboration of The River Project and the City of Los Angeles.

Progress on West Valley River Bridges and Bike Path

June 1, 2012 § 6 Comments

Steelhead trout medallion on the new Tampa Avenue Bridge over the L.A. River

I got a chance to bike in the West San Fernando Valley last week, and took a few photos of the Los Angeles River bike path project under construction. It’s a construction site right now, but a lot of the hardscape – new bridges and bridge undercrossings – appears more-or-less done.

The 2.2-mile bike path will extend from the Vanalden Avenue footbridge to Hartland Street (immediately upstream/west of Mason Avenue.) The first phase of the bike path (0.8 mile from Vanalden Avenue to Corbin Avenue) had been projected to be open around October 2012. I don’t know the timeline for subsequent phases, but it seems like the upstream construction is already underway, so the extension from Corbin to Winnetka shouldn’t take a whole lot longer.  « Read the rest of this entry »

On a Kayak in a River in a Valley in Los Angeles

September 4, 2011 § 8 Comments

Kayaking the Los Angeles River in the middle of the San Fernando Valley

I got a chance to kayak the L.A. River yesterday. I’ve been kayaking in the river a few times here and there, and most memorably the incredibly wonderful three-day expedition in 2008. Yesterday was the first time I officially, legally, kayaked with a permit!

It was great.

The program is called Paddle the Los Angeles River. Like their Facebook page here. In case readers want to do participate, I have to warn you that all their slots sold out in 10 minutes. It’s a one-season pilot program, and, hopefully, if all goes well, it’ll come back around again. It’s presented by the Los Angeles Conservation Corps, with assists from the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), The River Project, Los Angeles River Expeditions, Friends of the L.A. River, and Urban Semillas. It’s been covered all over tv, print and internet media, so I am not going to give a huge amount of background, but kudos to leadership from George Wolfe and Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed Reyes. (And my apologies for Creek Freak not getting to cover this sooner.)  « Read the rest of this entry »

Another creek faces the pipe – San Fernando Valley edition

March 28, 2011 § 9 Comments

April 4th is the deadline to give comment on a draft EIR that if approved will consign another small creek to permanent pipe-age in the City of LA.

[Updated paragraph] Download  the draft EIR from this City of LA site by clicking Environmental/Draft EIR in the left panel of that page. Then click on the bold-font title of The Village at Westfield Topanga to be taken to a download site.  That bold font fooled me when I first wrote this post, didn’t understand that it was a hyperlink. Thanks to readers for setting me straight! It can also be found at the Central Library, and Woodland Hills, Canoga Park and Platt Branch libraries or purchased on CD-Rom.

The creek – located at Owensmouth and Victory in the San Fernando Valley, has been dubbed Owensmouth Creek by locals. Its history is a little tricky to me, as it doesn’t appear on historical USGS maps.  GIS data from the County of Los Angeles, however, does indicate what looks to be a diversion of drainage from Topanga Canyon Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley, labelled as an open channel.  Navigate LA calls it a city stormdrain, D-17768. But more incontrovertible is photography. Jim Anderson, of the Woodland Hills Warner Center Neighborhood Council, shared with me a photo of the threatened waterway.

Destined for a pipe? Photo: Roger Gerrish, provided courtey Jim Anderson.

Channel?  Bed?  Banks?  Sediment? Water (including seasonal)? Direction of Flow?

Looks like we’ve got a stream that meets the City’s definition. So why again is this small edge of the property being piped and paved, not set aside as a public park, or dare we suggest, part of the Low Impact Development/stormwater mitigation plan?

I’m told it’s needed for part of a Costco members’ service station at the planned Village at Westfield Topanga, folks.

I’ll just leave us all to ponder that for now.

Coverage in the Daily News here.

Send comments by 4/4 to:

Elva Nuño-O’Donnell, City Planner
City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning
6262 Van Nuys Boulevard, Room 351
Los Angeles, California 91401
(818) 374-5070 (fax)

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!

LA Public Works Board approves West Valley Greenway Funding

September 1, 2010 § 1 Comment

'Charles Weeks, Visionary Founder of Winnetka' artwork for Winnetka Avenue Bridge, by Cheri Gaulke, click image for additional Gaulke bridge artwork in last week's article

At this morning’s meeting, the Los Angeles City Board of Public Works  awarded a contract for Phase 1 of Los Angeles River bikeway and greenway construction for the West San Fernando Valley. The initial  phase (of a three-phase project) extends 0.8-miles from Corbin Avenue to Vanalden Avenue. The full 2-mile project will go from just above Mason Avenue all the way to Vanalden  in the communities of Winnetka and Reseda, respectively (map below.) This  landscaped grade-separated bike path will be the first Los Angeles River revitalization project implemented upstream of the Sepulveda Basin. 

Creek Freak reported briefly on this project in 2008, then again last week after I noticed construction on Winnetka. Today’s approval wasn’t controversial or significantly different than what we shared earlier, but it does clarify some of the timeline, scope, etc. What follows is a somewhat dry description of all the construction project phases… oh boy! 

« Read the rest of this entry »

Bridge and Bikeway Construction in West San Fernando Valley

August 26, 2010 § 25 Comments

Illustration of Tampa Avenue Bridge design, including Cheri Gaulke's medallions with steelhead and coyote, image courtesy city of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering

Construction is underway on a couple of Los Angeles River bridge retrofit and widening projects in the west San Fernando Valley. Specifically work is proceeding on the Tampa Avenue Bridge and Winnetka Avenue Bridge in the Valley communities of Reseda and Winnetka, not far from Los Angeles Pierce College. The bridge projects include river- and historic-themed artwork, a portion of the Los Angeles River bike path, and native landscaping.

Bridge, with bikeway and greenway, construction at Winnetka Avenue

Back in Novemer 2008, Creek Freak reported that this project was one of two L.A. River bike path sections that the city was gradually proceeding with. The new path will be two miles on the south bank, from Mason Avenue to VanAlden Avenue, including grade-separated underpasses at Vanowen Street, Winnetka Avenue, Corbin Avenue, and Tampa Avenue. « Read the rest of this entry »

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