O’Farrell Backs More Study of Potential Designs for Hyperion Bridge, Promises Citizen’s Advisory Committee

Mitch O'Farrell Letter, Hyperion Bridge

Count City Council Member Mitch O’Farrell, who represents the Silver Lake Community on one side the the Hyperion Bridge, as one of the elected officials concerned with the current design proposed by the City’s Bureau of Engineering (BoE) and the State Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

As Streetsblog has covered extensively, the City of Los Angeles and Caltrans have federal funds in hand to seismically retrofit the Hyperion Bridge. While the bridge itself is not being widened, the design of the traffic lanes will change. An initial design showed a sidewalk being removed, crash barriers being installed and the through travel lanes being widened to fourteen feet. When the design became public, many bicyclists and street safety advocates rose up, arguing that the bridge restriping be in a “complete streets” mode including narrow mixed-use lanes and bicycle lanes.

Council Member O’Farrell is perceived as a strong backer of the project and the original design, in part because he appeared in a video with Council Member Tom LaBonge, who represents the other side of the bridge, and Mayor Eric Garcetti promoting the $50 million project. However, recent a recent public comment letter shows the Council Member concerned about the re-striping and sidewalk elimination and making a promise to create a citizen’s advisory committee.

…I want to express my willingness to explore options that include dedicated bicycle facilities on the Hyperion and Glendale sections, modifications to traffic lane widths as currently proposed, a signalized crosswalk that would span the entire width of the bridge, the removal of the center median barrier and/or alternative placement of the 3-ft. roadway-edge crash barriers…

…To that end, as the proposed project progresses, I will continue to engage community stakeholders and will form a citizen’s advisory group to ensure accountability and transparency in the design process.

Of course, a citizen’s advisory committee doesn’t guarantee that the voices on that committee will be heard, but O’Farrell’s letter is certainly a sign that opinion on the bridge replacement project is turning. It now seems more a matter of how the original design will be improved rather than if the design will be improved.


Public Works Board Approves Sidewalk Deficient Glendale-Hyperion Bridge

In a hearing at City Hall this morning, the mayor-appointed Board of Public Works unanimously approved proceeding with the city Bureau of Engineering’s (BOE) recommendation to eliminate one of two sidewalks on its Glendale-Hyperion Bridge retrofit project. The latest version, announced earlier this week, has not changed significantly since 2013 when BOE pushed a similar unsafe design, leading […]

New Plans for Hyperion-Glendale Crossing Don’t Include Bike Lanes, Wide Sidewalks

The City of Los Angeles is moving plans to replace the Glendale Boulevard-Hyperion Avenue Complex of Bridges over the Los Angeles River near Hollywood and Atwater Village. You can read the full EIR, here. The Glendale-Hyperion Viaduct complex consists of the following structures:  Hyperion Avenue Bridge over the Los Angeles River, Hyperion Avenue Bridge over Riverside Drive, […]

Who Do We Blame for the Next Death on the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge?

In a unanimous 11-0 vote, the Los Angeles City Council approved the city Bureau of Engineering’s (BOE) single-sidewalk pedestrian-killer design for the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge. Though the item was not approved at the Public Works Committee last week, the City Council approved the item today with no public comment, after brief misleading characterizations by Councilmembers Tom LaBonge and Mitch O’Farrell. […]