West LA Advocates Urge Rec. and Parks Commission to Support Re-Opening Bundy Triangle Park
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or to Councilman Rosendahl’s office at via online form.