West LA Advocates Urge Rec. and Parks Commission to Support Re-Opening Bundy Triangle Park

Activists toured the shuttered park with Councilman Rosendahl's staff earlier this year. Photo by Carter Rubin.

For those just joining the discussion, a group of activists in West Los Angeles has been working with the office of Los Angeles Dist. 11 Councilman Bill Rosendahl since April to re-open Bundy Triangle Park. This rare swath of green space in dense West LA sits at the intersection of Bundy Drive, Santa Monica Boulevard and Ohio Avenue.

The inviting spot, however, has been fenced off since the 1990s thanks to a shortsighted move that sought to place a band-aid on the perceived problem of the neighborhood’s homeless residents. Consequently, the thousands of Angelenos that pass by the park every day on transit, bike and foot are bereft of a calm shaded green space.

In a city so glaringly lacking in vibrant public space — and short on funds to create new ones — Bundy Triangle Park remains the lowest of low-hanging fruit. While there is strong support for re-opening the park — from the city of Los Angeles as well as from neighborhood groups — the process has been slow going.

There’s good news, however, on both the political and the design front. First, landscape architecture firm AHBE has generously drawn up five conceptual renderings for what a re-opened Bundy Triangle Park could look like.

Bundy Park Concept 2011-10-06

Second, to jump-start the political process, park advocates went before the city of Los Angeles’ Recreation and Parks Commission to urge that Bundy Triangle Park be included in the city’s plan for 50 new parks in under-served communities.

Below is the testimony from Joel Epstein, a leading Bundy Triangle Park supporter:

I am testifying today to urge you to adopt Bundy Triangle Park at Bundy Drive and Santa Monica Blvd as one of 50 new city parks serving park poor and under-served communities.

Troubled by the sight of the long shuttered West LA park, a group of concerned area residents has been working since April to get Bundy Triangle reopened.  The park was fenced off in the mid 1990s following the death of a homeless man there.  Local business owners concerned about the park being a magnet for the homeless and drug activity paid for the fence.  With its mature shade trees, lawn and benches the park is today a temptation forever out of reach of those who walk past or live nearby.  Census data for the zip code surrounding the park suggest that the area is sixteen percent Latino, twenty percent Asian, just under sixty percent Caucasian with African- and Native- Americans making up the rest of the population.  Many young families, the elderly and area workers will use the park when it is reopened.  Stoner Park is not close by enough to serve these residents.

The reopen Bundy Park group is committed to opening up the park so that the general public may again enjoy it.  One idea is to put a Metro service kiosk in the park that would sell TAP cards and offer the public information on existing transit options and the coming Expo Line.  The park sits at an intersection that is served by a half dozen Metro and Big Blue Bus lines and the nearest Metro Service Center is quite far east at La Brea and Wilshire.  Pocket parks like this next to public transit function well throughout the country and the world.

The park group has met a number of times with Councilman Rosendahl’s office and the Councilman is supportive of our effort if we can identify an active use that will prevent the park from again becoming a magnet for transients.  We have also met with local police about the location.  Developing a plan that maintains the park and addresses the needs of homeless men who “live” on the sidewalk outside of the fence are among the project’s challenges.  Please see the following link for more about the park: http://bit.ly/lxymft.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.  West LA will greatly benefit from the park’s reopening.

As efforts to re-open the park continue to press forward, we’ll be sure to keep Streetsblog readers posted on ways you can get involved. In the mean time, please consider sending an email in support of Bundy Triangle Park to the Recreation and Parks Commission at rap.commissioners@lacity.org or to Councilman Rosendahl’s office at via online form.

 

 

  • Mike

    I’ve often bought a coffee at that coffehouse across the street and drank it in Bundy Triangle Park.  The fence is easy enough to climb, and the vertical posts are wide enough to pass a cup through.

    That being said, I’ve mostly done it just because it is funny.  As actual green space, it is very unpleasant.  The traffic noise and exhaust are very bad.  It would only end up as homeless camp space.  I think opening it in its current form is rather pointless.

    Some people have suggested closing off Ohio Blvd south of the park and making it part of the park.  This might work, because then you could get far enough from Santa Monica Blvd and Bundy Dr that you could actually hear yourself think.

    Without adding that strech of Ohio, I think the park is better off as nice little spot of green to look at as you pass by.

  • Anonymous

    There is no reason for Ohio to remain open from Bundy to Saltar.  In fact, the existance of the open Ohio makes the intersection of Bundy and Santa Monica very difficult to move cars through (Did I just advocate making moving cars easier?  Yikes!  Oh, I remember, the SMBBB 10 has to turn from Bundy to Santa Monica and v.v.).

  • Anonymous

    Ironically, the park used to be exactly as you described. LADOT then came in and cut it in half to put in that piece of Ohio.

  • DanaPointer

    Kiosk idea is a good one, sell drinks etc, no parking, charge a bit of rent and use rent to keep it clean and nice. SoCal could use more free standing little kiosks, like food trucks, but nicer architecture and no wheels, something like this
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kh_gij2AR50/TJPXdfHXFXI/AAAAAAAAASQ/WvwNIkHhNvo/s1600/Grattachecche.JPG

  • Steve Herbert
  • Davistrain

    “Homeless camp space”–is that what we called a “hobo jungle” in the old days?  Another term from the old days is “bum’s rush”, a procedure in which the cops would chase all the “winos and weirdos” to an out-of-the-way location, usually near a railroad yard or a non-scenic river.

  • Opening this again will basically just open it to the homeless people that camp out outside the fences currently. that area does not have a lot of pedestrian traffic and has a bunch of rundown businesses besides starbucks… this is a waste of money.

  • Irwinc

    Any plan that doesn’t involve closing off the trunk section of Ohio and turning it back into park space is flawed. 

  • Shana Shoshana Shay

    Its a tiny park, It should be re opened. Homeless people are everywhere, it doesn’t matter and should not be a deciding factor in this game

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Eyes On The Street: Sunset Triangle Park Plaza Gets New Paint

|
There’s a fresh coat of bright green paint on L.A.’s Sunset Triangle Park plaza! This space had been Griffith Park Boulevard roadway for many years. In early 2012, it was re-purposed to support local businesses, sitting, eating, walking, and bicycling. Just as Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman was reporting that it was looking a bit worse for the […]

City Council Poised to Approve Four More Parklets

|
(Note: Details on all three City Council hearings on the resolution authorizing four parklets to be built can be found at the end of this story.) By Friday, the Los Angeles City Council could give the green light to four “pilot” parklets. Parklets are miniature open space projects where one or more parking spaces are […]