Three Metro community meetings were held earlier this month to introduce three potential alternatives for the L.A. River Path Project, which aims to fill the eight-mile gap in the river path between Elysian Valley and Maywood.
The goal of this project is to close that gap with a safe and accessible path for walking, bicycling and rolling. Once connected, the path will create a continuous 32-mile path between San Fernando Valley and Long Beach. The project has $365 million in funding from Measure M and the hope is to begin construction by 2023 and have the path opened in the 2025-2027 timeframe, just in time for the Summer Olympics and Paralympics in 2028.
As you can see in the above presentation, there has been a lot of community input gathered over the past year that has helped shape the project, the access points, and the types of paths in the draft alignments.
From the community input received, staff evaluated what is technically feasible and how much the project’s budget can provide in the river corridor, which is constrained by railroad tracks, utilities, gas lines and development.
Overall, these draft alternatives identify a “core project,” the lines and access points in green. The lines and access points in light gray are “future opportunities,” meaning the design of the core project won’t preclude implementing any future opportunities that could be made possible down the line if/when additional funding is identified (for instance, please see the three access points north of Albion Park).
Let’s dive into these draft alternatives.
The majority of people polled in previous meetings and surveys preferred a top of bank/cantilever and an elevated path type. Compared to a bottom of channel path type, these options will be reliably open all year since they won’t be threatened by water in the river channel when it rains. While a bottom of channel alignment might better connect users to nature and the river, this option would have less access to amenities, like lighting and shade, and would have to be closed any time rain is forecasted.
In case you were wondering about how a path would go beneath and around utilities and bridges, this would be through an incised path. This path type is incised, or cut, into the side of the river channel. It would be open most of the time (except during heavy rains) and could accommodate lighting and other amenities.
As for access points, the presentation shows how each one was rated by the public. All three alternatives do the following:
•They blend both east and west bank alignments that weave across the river to connect to access points that were most desired by the public.
•They blend the three most desired path types: top of bank/cantilevered, elevated and incised.
•They begin and end on the west bank to connect to existing paths north and south of the project area.
•Due to their high favorability among the public and to enhance connectivity to important points including transit lines, LA State Historic Park, Union Station, Washington Boulevard near the Blue Line station, and the Bandini-Soto Triangle in Vernon.
•In terms of meeting project goals such as equity, safety, and user experience, these alternatives score high.
With community meetings now complete, Metro staff will present the three alternatives to carry into the environmental study as well as a report of all the community input received to date to the Metro Board of Directors in Fall 2019. The scoping meetings kicking off the environmental clearance process are expected to begin after the Board’s decision. You can find more information about the project on the website here [hyperlink metro.net/lariverpath] or get in contact with the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s a recent video that explains the project: