New LA River Path Section Open to Cyclists and PedestriansNovember 23, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Posted in Bike News, LACBC Events | 2 Comments
Tags: bike path, Elysian Valley
On December 4th, 2010 the wait will be over. The section of the Los Angeles River path from Fletcher to Figueroa through the Elysian Valley will finally be officially open to cyclists and pedestrians.
LACBC is planning a ride to the Ribbon cutting celebration. Riders will arrive at the Autry Center at 8:30am and ride to Crystal St at Ripple, where the festivities will begin.
After the ceremony, riders and walkers descend the newly paved path together. At that event, LACBC will donate a brand new SPECIALIZED bike to a lucky resident of Elysian Valley.
Considered the most scenic part of the entire LA River, it was for years a blessing but mostly a curse for cyclists and a safety and logistics nightmare for producers of LACBC’s Annual Los Angeles River Ride. Though it takes one away from the noise and dangers of the motorways, that part of the path featured at least six large (4’X10’) dips that acted as water culverts for run off during heavy rainfall as well as a hundred or more gash-like bumps where tree roots pushed up and attempted to reclaim the land from the asphalt. Over the years, many a cyclist has suffered injuries on that portion of the path.
LACBC has advocated for the repaving of that section of the path for years. In 2006 at the LA River Ride, participants all signed postcards addressed to the mayor, demanding the completion of that part of the path. The City fought hard for the last piece of real estate,
owned by Bimbo Bakery which has a factory in the area, and finally won the entire property and was able to break ground on improvements just about one year ago.
One year is a long time to simply repave approximately 2.5 miles and indeed the path has been paved and ride-able for several months now. During the spring and summer of 2010, cyclists finding no fencing or signs to bar their way, have been speeding under the freshly paved underpass starting at Fletcher, barely glancing at the pocket parks and the family of geese that romp and play in that very spot, in order to get to Figueroa and all other points beyond.
However, because the path was not technically completed, signs had not been in place alerting cyclists to the fact that this particular portion of the path is designated to be shared with pedestrians and in fact the community that lives along this part of the River have been enjoying their proximity to this oasis of nature in the middle of urban L.A. for more than 60 years.
As a result, the residents of Elysian Valley (known as Frogtown to some) have complained of cyclists endangering them, numerous elderly users in the area, their dogs and their children for failure to slow down and yield. Some residents have attempted to advocate against cyclists rights to use this part of the path.
In an effort to alleviate the local pedestrians’ fears and come to an understanding, LACBC has attended community meetings to address concerns and as a show of goodwill, are hopeful that the planned Ride/Walk event on December 4th, as part of the Ribbon Cutting Festivities, will demonstrate how cyclists and pedestrians can both enjoy this beautiful path harmoniously.
LACBC is excited about the finalizing of the section of the LA River path from Fletcher to Figueroa and hope that you will come out on December 4th to celebrate with us.
And remember, be courteous when riding on the path and share it with our fellow pedestrians!
UPDATE: Here’s more information about the LACBC Ride to the Celebration & Dedication Ceremony!