City Poised to Begin Construction of “Arroyo Seco Bikeway/River Confluence Gateway”

Map of proposed quarter-mile Arroyo Seco Bike Path from Avenue 26 to San Fernando Road - click image for 9-page pdf containing more detailed version of this image. Image from L.A. County Thanks, Creek Freak

The confluence of the Los Angeles River and the Arroyo Seco, is one of the most historic places in Los Angeles.  In 1769, Spanish explorers Colonel Gaspar de Portola, Father Juan Crespi and Michael Costanso “discovered” Los Angeles.  It also, in the words of the Arroyo Seco Foundation, “provides the key linkage of the Los Angeles River to vital habitat and wildlife corridor, joining the San Gabriel Mountains to the Santa Monica Mountains.”

There are ongoing efforts to preserve the area surrounding the Confluence, for reasons of historical significance and the ecological value.  Earlier this week those plans received a boost.

As recently as 2009, it seemed unlikely that an extension of the Arroyo Seco Bike Trail would occur anytime in the near future.  But times have changed, thanks in part to the process creating the LA County Bike Plan and political pressure brought by Councilman Ed Reyes and County Supervisor Gloria Molina.  Earlier this week the City Council Transportation Committee quickly and unanimously passed a motion by Councilmen Bill Rosendahl and Reyes allowing the city to begin construction of a quarter mile portion of a bicycle and pedestrian path extending from Avenue 26 to San Fernando Road.  The path provides direct access to the future Confluence Gateway Project from Metro Rail.  The Avenue 26 Metro Gold Line station, known as the “Lincoln/Cypress Station” is within a stone’s throw of the trail entrance.

The Arroyo Seco Foundation explains the route of the path:

The 1280 trail will travel along the south rim of the Arroyo through the area directly beneath the Golden State Freeway.  The path replaces a maintenance yard for the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation. A massive concrete trash transfer structure will be removed to make room for the trail to reach San Fernando Road. From there, bicyclists will be able to connect to the Los Angeles River Bike Trail on the west side of the river. Gates will be installed at each end of the trail.

The land for the new trail is owned by both Caltrans and Los Angeles.  The costs of the project will be borne by Caltrans and the County of Los Angeles. The County will design and administer the construction of the trail and the City, by contract with the Los Angeles Conservation Corps, will maintain the project upon completion.  Activists hope this project will be the beginning of a project to connect the L.A. River Trail with the Arroyo Seco Trail and the beginning of an investment in completing the River Confluence Gateway, a  larger park that would protect that open mouth of the River/Arroyo Confluence, would restore wetlands, and open up more space to the public.

  • roadblock

    YES. One more step in connecting regions of Los Angeles via bike freeways. NEXT STEP. Get Universal City to get the EFF out of the way of connecting the LA River bike path to the valley. We should be able to ride all the way to Balboa park from Downtown and beyond.

  • This has convenient access to … nowhere. It is a nice recreational amenity, but good luck trying to commute on the Arroyo Seco path – when it so much as drizzles, the gates to it are locked and whoever has the keys is slow to open them again. I was made late to work many, many, times because of this. I started just cutting chains and kicking in the fences after a while. After that, I gave up and used Figueroa Street – which is honestly a much better street because everything I need to do I can do there, except that it is designed as a freeway for cars.

    Anyway, “Hooray bike path in a river bed!” and all that.

  • Waltarrrrr

    Great news! I stopped holding my breath for this years ago, surprised to see any movement on the project. It will make a great connection to the newly opened Eylsian Valley River Path.

  • This snippet of path seems to run along the rim of the Arroyo, but for most of the Arroyo path’s length it runs in the riverbed as Josef noted–meaning it can’t be used during rainy weather, when it seriously floods. Also, its entry/exit points are infrequent, cumbersome to use, and difficult to find, especially from the neighborhoods. No doubt the powers-that-be see it as a recreational path, because after you don’t bike commute in the rain, do you? Aren’t bikes really toys?

    Now, if we connected this new bit to a realization of Dennis Crowley’s revival of the California Cycleway, we’d have us some real cycling infrastructure.

    However, better than either would be a road diet on North Figueroa, as Josef has been assiduously promoting. Even the Cycleway wouldn’t serve neighborhoods well; it’s more for through riders. Not a benefit to the communities of Highland Park, Cypress Park, and Lincoln Heights, any more than a car freeway is.

    Not saying we couldn’t have both, of course.

  • Alex

    I’d love to see the PDF, Damien, but for some reason clicking the image just gives me the image again….Can you provide another link?

  • Josef Bray-Ali

    THERE NEEDS TO BE A BIKE LANE ON NORTH FIGUEROA TO CONNECT WITH THIS.

    I thought saying it all caps would help. The local businesses here, the train station here, the condos Ed Reyes brought here – we all need the bike trail to help spur tourism, business, and livability.

    Bike lanes on North Figueroa Street! Please! Now!

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