Picture take earlier this afternoon at Exposition and Westwood, looking east at the future Greenway. Pic: Damien Newton
Tomorrow, the Expo Construction Authority Board of Directors will hear a motion by Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz requiring “the CEO and staff to work collaboratively with the City of Los Angeles to ensure that the landscaping of the two projects (the Expo Greenway and the landscaping for the Expo Line) compliment each other…”
The Expo Greenway project would transform the area between Westwood Boulevard and Overland Avenue adjacent to the future bikeway and rail project into a sustainable urban greenway that would provide a corridor of native species, a stretch of open space, and a place where rainwater is sustainably moved back to the ground. Original plans called for a large parking lot in the area now slated for a greenway and botanical garden.
For those following the progress of the Expo Greenway for the past six years, this might seem a ho-hum motion. But for those working on the project, it’s big news. For the first time, Expo staff will be compelled to truly work with the City of Los Angeles on this project. While the two projects are still separate, coordination between the City and Expo hasn’t always been smooth. Advocates for the fully-funded bicycle path and other projects have long-complained that staff seems concerned with building a railroad and nothing else.
Koretz’s motion makes it clear that the Greenway is a part of the greater Expo vision, even if it’s not officially part of the Expo Line.
“Our office wants to make sure there is a seamless transition between the two projects,” says Jay Greenstein, the transportation deputy for Paul Koretz. “One day in the future people will visit these projects when they’re completed. Other than the sound wall, we don’t want them to be able to tell the difference between the Los Angeles project and the Expo Line project.”
Jonathan Weiss, a Cheviot Hills resident and long-time advocate for Expo rail and bicycle projects, is considered by many the driving force behind the Greenway.
“Expo was envisioned as multimodal green corridor promoting sustainability of natural resources; it adapted for the 21st Century a 1930s plan to use parkways to connect recreational open spaces to the beaches. Paul Koretz motion seeks to create the context for that to happen,”writes Weiss, who represents Koretz on the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee.
“We will now have a multi-benefit greenway to provide urban runoff treatment, a simulated stream, green space, native landscaping, a tree-lined vegetative buffer, a bikeway, access to public transit, and educational and recreational opportunities.” Read more…