Bowing to Pressure, City Announces Public Hearing for Hyperion Bridge Re-Design

As if anyone needed more proof that the malcontents protesting the dangerous proposed redesign of the Glendale-Hyperion Series of Bridges that would turn the historic Glendale Bridge into a mini-freeway across the L.A. River were making progress; proof came late last week.

Bowing to pressure from elected leaders, news outlets, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), and a rag-tag group of concerned citizens organizing on Facebook; the City of Los Angeles announced a public hearing to receive comments on the proposal and extended the public comment period until November 7.

The hearing will be next Monday, October 28, at 6 pm at the Friendship Auditorium, 3201 Riverside Drive in Los Angeles near the west end of the bridge.

Local community advocates and safe street advocates have found common cause fighting a redesign for the Hyperion Bridge that widens the mixed-use travel lanes without adding bicycle lanes or widening the sidewalks as required by the 2010 City of Los Angeles Bicycle Plan. Instead of addressing this short coming, the environmental documents lazily declare the design to be in compliance.

When challenged, city staff point to improvements happening on other bridges as part of the project that would require cyclists to travel well out of their way to access them.

The hearing promises to be a well-attended one, despite the relatively short notice.As Streetsblog has noted, the advocates have already generated hundreds of comments, moved at least two elected officials, received the support of Neighborhood Council sub-committees with votes scheduled by the full Councils.

In addition to regular coverage on Streetsblog, the movement has garnered negative press for the proposed redesign on KPCC, L.A. Weekly, Biking in L.A. and Bike Talk.


  • Don Ward

    This is good news… but we now have learned we must never ever sleep when it comes to agencies like the BOE, LADOT, CalTrans and oblivious politicians…. As soon as the liveable streets movement got lulled into thinking that change was finally here in the form of more bike lanes, PSA’s and CicLAvia, we got lulled into a sleep – we stopped commenting at public hearings we stopped paying attention…. Suddenly Spring St bike lanes got erased, the bike license issue comes back, this bridge design forgets about planned bike lanes, the hit and run epidemic marches on, the MTA wastes some 50 million to shove pedestrians into “gerbil runs”…. It’s such a pain in the ass to have to watch these people like hawks just to keep them from trashing our neighborhoods and communities… no one else is going to do it.

    It’s astounding that these agency people and politicians just rarely ever seem to give a crap. LaBonge calls hyperion his “truck route” and senior engineers like Brian Gallagher sneak around with LAPD motocops conspiring to raise speed limits, O’Farrel pretends that we dont exist and on and on and on…. Its endless how much apathy there is going on with the state fed and “ctiy family” people when it comes to this stuff… Do any LADOT BOE CAL TRANS agency higher ups even LIVE in the communities they are responsible for? They just seem to collect that paycheck and tick another day off towards their retirement Fastrak commuting from Hesperia or Simi Valley or wherever they actually live. It’s really draining. We have no champion. I MISS Villaraigosa and I definitely miss Rosendahl….

  • Anonymous

    Thank goodness for rag-tag groups of concerned citizens. Funny how they get such heroic sounding names when the work they do is applauded by others but the very same people will despise them and call them NIMBYs when they don’t. Remember people, NIMBYs aren’t the enemy, they just happen to believe what’s special about where they live deserves to stay that way.

  • Anonymous

    They’re not saying this bridge shouldn’t be rebuild, that it should take some circuitous route, or are asking for a ridiculously expensive alternative like real NIMBYs do. Those speaking up about the redesign just want it to better accommodate alternative modes like biking and walking. I’m sure they *do* want this in their backyard, just as long as its not designed to prioritize high speed through-traffic over bicyclist and pedestrian safety. The best way to reduce congestion is to get people walking and biking instead of taking those extra auto trips. That’s not gonna happen if crossing the bridge feels scary & dangerous.

  • Anonymous

    That’s just splitting hairs in order to maintian NIMBY as a strictly pejorative term. It shouldn’t be and that’s my point. There are many, many examples of “real” NIMBY’s who would accept a new project or structure with ammendments that make it suitable to the neighborhood.

  • michael macdonald

    A NIMBY by definition is someone who objects to something in their own neighborhood that they would have no objection to in another. I don’t think there is anyone in the group of those opposed to the exclusion of bike and pedestrian infrastructure in this project that would not object to the same narrow-minded exclusion elsewhere in the city, state, or country. People aren’t speaking out in defense of their land values or singular self-interest, they are doing so with concern for limits on mobility of non-drivers; the effect of a reliance on cars on our city, public health, and environment; and for the safety of non-vehicular users on the street.

    You are conflating “advocate,” someone that is interested in positive change; with “NIMBY,” someone who is diametrically opposed to change.

  • Anonymous

    Not having that energy from the mayors office is definitely hurting the livable streets movement in LA. I think the saving grace will come in the following form: building bridges like the Glendale-Hyperion complex into mini-freeways destroy land values and lowers city revenue while increasing long term maintenance costs. It is a dumb-money investment, and our elected officials (whether they like to walk or ride bikes or not) are idiots if they let engineers and planners operate in a vacuum of what matters most to the city these days: it’s bottom line. The bottom line on this project is that it will lose the city money by sending ever faster car traffic hurtling through two small, but potentially very productive, commercial retail centers. Now, of course, retail will not save the city – we need a stable economic base to prop up retail. Yet why should we dump all this useless high speed commuter car traffic into our most valuable commercial districts? This only helps to funnel more of our residents income to Burbank and Glendale, where they know how to build commercial shopping areas (somehow). I mean, how well do property values correlate to car speeds? 55 mph in front of a retailer that is a 600 sq ft. cafe or yoga studio is not how you capitalize on the city you have. 55 mph in front of a big box store might work – but even then it is a losing formula as the big box eats up more city resources per acre than the small guys and pays back less per acre than the small guys too. Dumb money investments in infrastructure are what put LA so far behind financially and ultimately stopping these stupid project designs is going to make political sense or there won’t be a city left to govern. Until then, gas up the flamethrower and let ‘er rip on city hall.

  • Anonymous

    I see. So NSFR weren’t actually misguided NIMBYs but rather misguided “advocates” because they weren’t completely opposed to the Expo line just the part that traveled at grade?

  • Niall Huffman

    Whether we call them NIMBYs (a term I tend to shy away from), advocates, or whatever, there are clearly people speaking/organizing against certain projects whose opposition is utterly misguided and/or comes from selfish motives. In general, I’d prefer to describe these people in neutral terms (“opponents,” maybe?), and then explain why they’re wrong.

  • PC

    Wait…so is a NIMBY, in your definition, somebody who objects to a specific change only because it imposes a cost on him, or is it somebody “diametrically opposed to change”? If you’re that attached to the term, at least make up your mind about when it is permissible to tar somebody with it.

  • michael macdonald

    If you read my post, you would note the difference in labels is about consistency vs. self interest. Any web search will find you a definition in line with my above post. As far as I know, no members of Neighbors For Smart Rail provided any opinion on daylighting of the Crenshaw Line. They didn’t even voice any concern regarding the at-grade portions of Expo Line Phase 1, such as at the contested Farmdale crossing. They did, however, try to divert the Expo Line away from Cheviot Hills towards another neighborhood before attempting to make it infeasible to be completed through legal challenges.

    On the other hand, members of those arguing for inclusion of bike infrastructure on the Hyperion viaduct are also advocating for bike infrastructure throughout the city and for other safe river crossings such as at Figueroa.

    I’m sure you can come up with another term to attempt to deride this group with, but NIMBY simply doesn’t fit. Sorry.

  • PC

    It sure didn’t take Mitch O’Farrell long to show his true colors, did it? I think he made the classic LA politician’s mistake of assuming that he could win the undying support of the cyclists in his district with a little bit of gladhanding, some buzzwords about livable streets, maybe showing up at a bike event or two for a photo op…and then go on to screw them in the usual way once in office. I’m sure that worked for years, during the long era of soporific bike “advocacy” (and nonexistent ped advocacy) in this city but I don’t think it does anymore. Well, I hope it doesn’t.


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