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Posts from the "L.A. River Bike Path" Category

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Rumble Strips on the L.A. River Walk/Bike Path

The horizontal white lines are LADOT's new bike rumble strips, designed to slow cyclists down so they can share the path with pedestrians. Joe Linton/Streetsblog LA

The horizontal white lines are LADOT’s new bike rumble strips, designed to slow cyclists down so they can better share the path with pedestrians. Joe Linton/Streetsblog LA

The Los Angeles River path through Elysian Valley has new speed bumps.

They’re small strips of thermoplastic perpendicular to the direction of travel. For now, they’re located only where the multi-use river path intersects Riverdale Avenue. They’ve been covered in articles at the LADOT Bike Blog and at L.A. City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell’s blog. The most extensive story is this article at the Eastsider which reports:

A 65-year-old woman suffered a broken arm last week after she was hit by a cyclist on the L.A. River Path on the same day that city transportation officials announced a pilot program to help reduce such collisions on the popular but narrow pathway. Now, an Elysian Valley leader has organized a community meeting to find out if the city can take stronger measures to protect walkers and prevent future collisions.  “My objective is to get greater awareness to the problem at hand and get a true remedy to this,” said David De La Torre of the Elysian Valley Neighborhood Watch.

The Elysian Valley woman was walking northbound on the path on the morning of Thursday, March 27 when she turned left at Gatewood Street and was hit by a cyclist who was riding behind her, De La Torre said. The woman, who said she looked over her shoulder before turning to walk across the path, was thrown to the pavement. The cyclist stopped and called the woman’s family for her help.  The woman was transported to a Glendale hospital, where she was found to have suffered a broken arm.

The Elysian Valley stretch of the L.A. River Walk/Bike Path has been a fairly contentious site for some time. To date, this is only stretch of L.A. River path where residential neighborhoods are immediately adjacent to an improved accessible stretch of relatively natural river. Prior to the path’s official opening in 2010, this area featured an unimproved access road that served as an unofficial shared walking and bicycling path. The access road was bumpy, with several large dips for surface drainage. This uneven surface served as a sort of unintentional traffic calming device, making for relatively-conflict-free sharing between cyclists and pedestrians. Read more…

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The Clock Approaches Midnight for the Riverside-Figueroa Bridge

Plans for the Figueroa Landbridge are on life support as the City Council and Mayor allow a flawed estimate from the Bureau of Engineering to scare them away from not demolishing the current Figueroa-Riverside Bridge.

Plans for the Figueroa Landbridge are on life support as the City Council and Mayor allow a flawed estimate from the Bureau of Engineering to scare them away from not demolishing the current Riverside-Figueroa Bridge.

It was just over two years ago that I first heard that the Riverside-Figueroa Bridge over the L.A. River was doomed for demolition to make way for a newer version that would be built right next door. Despite its historic designation, it is the only mixed concrete and steel truss bridge crossing the L.A. River, I was resigned to seeing it go and just quietly said goodbye. The bridge was built in the 1920′s and rebuilt in the 1930′s, and it seemed it was just time for the bridge to go.

The demolition is planned to occur sometime in the Spring of 2014.

This summer, at the 11th hour, a plan to save and better the bridge emerged. Architects at RAC Design Build showed a preliminary design where a public park and bicycle and pedestrian path would be built around one section of the steel span built by the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers in 1939 after a landslide badly damaged the bridge. The full report prepared for free by RAC Design Build can be found here.

Enthusiasm for the plan, which was named the Figueroa Landbridge, grew until a report by the city’s Bureau of Engineering said the design would cost nearly $5 million more than the $43 million set aside in federal funds for the new bridge project.

The City Council refused to set aside $64,000 for a real feasibility study, even after it was revealed that the estimate was inflated for several reasons, not the least of which was the claim that cranes wouldn’t be able to access the river channel even though cranes were doing just that for the construction of the new bridge.

In an article in this week’s Architect News, RAC Design Build architect Kevin Mulachy and principal Rick Cortez are pushing the plan again as time is running out for the City Council to make a move to save the bridge. A petition at Change.org has attracted 367 signers at the time of publication. But so far the petition has made enough noise to attract support from city leaders. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office, which has made saving and restoring the river a cornerstone of their plans for the city, passed when offered a chance to comment on the bridge plans. Council Member Mitch O’Farrell told Streetsblog they would get back to us yesterday afternoon. Read more…

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City Recommends General Contractor for Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement

The 6th St. bridge over the L.A. River. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog

I’m not sure I’m ready to let the 6th Street Bridge go just yet, but it seems I have little choice.

It is in pretty bad shape, according to a planner linked to the project I spoke with last month. Internal chemical reactions have eaten away at the concrete of the 80-year old structure, he explained, meaning there wasn’t much they could do to save it.

And whether or not I’m a fan of the winning design from HNTB, the project appears to be moving along steadily.

Today, city officials announced that the Bureau of Engineering has recommended that Skanska/Stacy and Witbeck take the helm of the $400 million dollar replacement project.

In order to make the process more efficient, they say, Engineering and the Department of Public Works will, for the first time, make use of the Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) Method. This means that the contractor will present during the design phase and work closely with HNTB to ensure the project meets budget targets, design is optimized to reduce cost, and quality and sustainability are enhanced.

In a statement released about the choice of contractor, City Engineer Gary Lee Moore noted that the city’s commitment to making the bridge a community destination remains unchanged, saying “The Skanska/Stacy and Witbeck team understands our commitment to partnership and demonstrates an exceptional ability to work collaboratively with the design team as well as the Boyle Heights and Downtown Arts District communities, and the Design Aesthetic Advisory Committee.”

Construction activities, slated to begin in 2014, will join several other recently completed, currently underway, or future projects, designed to enhance L.A.’s relationship with its much maligned (and even recently engulfed-in-flames) river. Read more…

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City Breaks Ground on West Valley River Bike Path

Councilman Dennis Zine, far left, leads a team of activists and city staff breaking ground on a new bike path. Photo: LA Streetsblog/Flickr

City Councilman Dennis Zine served as master of ceremonies at the groundbreaking for the West Valley Los Angeles River Bike Path yesterday.  Construction has begun on this first phase of the path, a 2.2 mile stretch that extends from Vanalden Avenue to Corbin Avenue.  The path won’t just be a stretch of concrete, but will also have some landscaping, access some mini-parks and have overhead lighting.

The total cost of the 2.2 mile path?  $7 million.

To read Joe Linton's ongoing coverage of this issue, click on his picture.

But, as Joe Linton points out at Creek Freak, because of all the amenities the path is more like a 2.2 mile linear park than a bike path.  Over $5 million of the budget comes from federal stimulus funds and the rest comes from a state grant program programmed for the expansion of open space.

There are 32 miles of L.A. River embankments in the City of Los Angeles, and currently only eight miles have adjacent bike paths, so this is a significant investment by the city in improving access to the river.  Future phases of the River Path are funded, but the construction timelines are unclear. Read more…