New Section of L.A. River Bikeway in the west San Fernando Valley opens

Photo Credit: City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works

Marking another noteworthy achievement for Metro’s Call for Projects Program, transportation officials from the city and county of Los Angeles this morning announced the grand opening of a brand new section of L.A. River Bikeway in the western San Fernando Valley.

Located between Winnetka and Vanowen Streets in the neighborhood of Winnetka, the newly completed half-mile segment of bikeway has an impressive list of amenities, including newly striped dedicated pedestrian/bike path, signage, bridge underpasses, landscaping, drinking fountains, benches, exercise equipment and solar LED lighting.

Metro contributed nearly $5 million, or about 84 percent of the $6.75 million segment cost, through its Call for Projects Program, a biannual capital investment program for projects such as pedestrian and bicycle improvements. Under the Regional Surface Transportation Improvements category, the program funded the widening of Winnetka and Vanowen Streets over the L.A. River as well as underpasses that eliminate the need for pedestrians or cyclists to negotiate busy road crossings with cars.

Construction for the last half-mile bikeway segment began in November 2012.  It officially concludes a two-mile Class I bikeway and shared path that stretches from Vanalden Street to Mason Street.

Metro has been involved in other efforts to create a regionally connected bikeway network on the L.A. River. Metro is now in the process of developing a proposed scope for studying an in-channel bike path design to connect Taylor Yard (i.e. Rio de Los Angeles State Park, which is north of downtown L.A.) with the city of Maywood. Metro will present its Board of Directors with recommendations on the study scope and timeline next month.

31 replies

  1. half mile? lay down like 30 miles and let’s talk. look at the path from duarte to the ocean. that’s what i’m talking about. don’t make half a mile nice… make 30 miles bikable lol

  2. Well, it’s open and it’s not. While there are no fences blocking the path from Vanalden to Owensmouth (yay!), the gate at Winnetka remains locked. The gate in the photo at Vanowen is open, but now the gates at Mason are locked. It’s a great place to walk, run or bike. Let’s let the gates fly open!

  3. The bike path follows the Los Angeles River, which runs diagonally from Northwest to South east, passing under both Vanowen Street AND Mason Avenue. A simple google maps search of “vanowen/mason” will show the path of the bike path at that sign (which is on the bike path going Northwest direction) The sign is correct.

    • Are you saying that the sign in the LADPW photo that says “Vanowen Ave” is correct to describe Vanowen Street?

      • I noticed that too. It’s Vanowen Street not Avenue. It’s like the 101 north… West—–>. Why must LA street signs try to confuse me?

  4. So much for it being ‘Open’, especially with the gates at Mason and Tampa closed and locked. Real smart, especially on grand opening day.

  5. Wonderful! Reminds me of the bike paths I rode on in Eugene, Oregon this summer.

  6. Michelle, Dennis, and Beau: In the City of Los Angeles, in the San Fernando Valley, in the area of that valley that has its street grid aligned with the cardinal points of the compass, roads designated as Avenues are always North-South and Streets are always East-West. In the City of Los Angeles, in the North-East San Fernando Valley, where the street grid is aligned so that roads either parallel the main-line railroad tracks or cross them at 90 degrees, roads designated as Avenues run from the South-East to North-West and Streets run from South-West to North-East. All other designators are used without restriction. Buena Vista Street is in Burbank. One of the pictures above shows a sign that says Vanowen Ave. The sign is wrong.

    • This is true with most areas in the City of Los Angeles, with the notable exception being Downtown, and the major roads that lead into South LA, ( Hoover, Figueroa, Flower, Main, Wall, and San Pedro), where almost every road is named a street. I ran deliveries for over 20 years. This was before there was an Internet, smartphones GPS or or mapping services. I was given an address and a Thomas Guide page and grid. The knowledge that “streets” run E/W and “Avenues nun “N/S was essential in finding my destination on the map. There is no Vanowen Ave in the city. That sign should be replaced.

    • To compare “most Metro rail stations” with the Winnetka, Illinois train station is a little unfair since you are comparing a commuter rail line (Metra Union Pacific) in an affluent suburb of Chicago (Cook County North Shore) with LA’s light and heavy rail stations in urban areas. That would be like saying that the Metrolink station in Irvine is better than most L-platforms in Chicago.

      • Not only have the gates at Vanowen and Winnetka been closed, but there are fences blocking the path West of Corbin. AND security vehicles parked on the path at Winnetka. Curious to see just how open the path really is from Corbin heading west.

  7. The biggest advantage (besides no motor vehicles to contend with) of this path for using a bicycle as transportation is that its non-stop. This helps make bicycling more time competitive with driving for short travel distances. The most frequent complaint I hear from bicyclists about the Orange Line bike path is that you have to hit the pedestrian walk signal push button to get across just about every intersection. That makes bicycling much slower along the Orange Line path compared to riding in the parallel streets where you have traffic signals which automatically change color.

    • Simple solution to fix the issue with pushing the crosswalk buttons along the Orange Line (which by the way are inconveniently placed for cyclist) would be to install the same sensors they have over in Burbank. Of course this is too logical so we’ll all know this will never get done.

  8. “Located between Winnetka and Vanowen Streets in the City of Winnetka”
    Ummm.. since when did Winnetka secede from the City of Los Angeles to become their own incorporated city??

    “It officially concludes a two-mile Class I bikeway and shared path that stretches from Vanalden Street to Mason Street.”
    Ooops!.. Mason is an Avenue. Remember, north-south are Avenues and east-west are Streets.

    • What direction a street goes in the San Fernando Valley has nothing to do whether they are designated Avenues.

      Just some of the streets in the SFV that go north/south and are named Avenues:

      Tujunga Ave
      Vineland Ave
      Whitsett Ave
      Coldwater Canyon Ave
      Fulton Ave
      Woodman Ave
      Hazeltine Ave
      Kester Ave
      Haskell Ave
      Woodley Ave
      Hayvenhurst Ave
      Louise Ave
      White Oak Ave

    • Buena Vista St. goes north and south. Verdugo Ave. goes east and west. What in the actual hell are you talking about?

      • Burbank doesn’t count because the entire thing is slanted. In fact, the Streets and Avenues seem reversed there, because the city layout is not as slanted as it is in downtown Burbank.

        The poster is correct about the general rule, as well as the fact that Mason is an Avenue.