Eyes on the Bridge: What Glendale-Hyperion’s Missing Sidewalk Means

Glendale-Hyperion Bridge walk routes map by Don Ward
Glendale-Hyperion Bridge walk routes map by Don Ward

Above is a graphic created by Don Ward to show just how crappy the Bureau of Engineering’s Glendale-Hyperion Bridge plan is. The unsafe design was recently approved by L.A.’s Board of Public Works, and will soon come before City Council. Streetsblog USA profiled the board’s approval as a sign that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s commitment to great streets may be illusory.

According to Ward:

I made this chart to explain the route of an actual petition signer in Atwater who walked from her house (approximate location A) to her church at B. She was interested in safer access to the south sidewalk and did not want to have to walk an additional half mile or so to get to her destination. The shortest possible route under Option 1 would include walking up a steeper incline to the top of Waverly to get across Hyperion on the Silver Lake side.

This also illustrates how disingenuous it is for the city to claim that the new bike-ped bridge creates better mobility by connecting to Silver Lake. The bike-ped bridge is great to get to the L.A. River bike path, but the south Glendale bridge serves the same purpose.

The key decision-maker at this point could be incoming Los Angeles City Councilmember  David Ryu, who won yesterday’s run-off election. Ryu will replace Tom LaBonge on the City Council.

LaBonge has been an outspoken advocate of “Option 1”, the city’s plan to have four traffic lanes, two small bike lanes and one sidewalk on the new bridge. However, Andrew Adams, Ryu’s campaign manager, read a letter from Ryu at last week’s Public Works hearing that the councilman-elect would prefer the more pedestrian friendly option 3.

“This option has wide community support and many dedicated community members have been working for over a year and a half on this issue,” wrote Ryu. “From sidewalk access for students walking to school, to families seeking to travel by foot to local businesses, I believe “Option 3″ is the best option to help meet the mobility needs of our community”

  • stvr

    That map isn’t right. Thanks but no thanks Don Ward. There is a staircase up to the Bridge by 3061 Riverside Drive. I’m all for advocacy. But this just plain ISN’T fact checked.

  • stvr

    I also don’t think Ryu is beholden to the Streets community considering they came out pretty hard for the losing candidate.

  • stvr

    Hope this link works:




    I believe Streetsblog reported on this staircase at one point in time.

  • Like it makes a difference

    You’re acting like that staircase in any way helps the situation for the common path described. If you walk that route you’ll find it in no way makes the walking trip between these two points any better than the above options. There are also safety concerns with the riverside dr stairway (it sees more “undesirable” activities and characters.

  • stvr

    That doesn’t make the “graphic” any less propaganda. Let’s leave the fact-bending to the car advocates. As streets advocates I think we can stick with the truth!!!

  • stvr

    Also… when is this person going to “church?” Midnight?!

  • Like it makes a difference

    I don’t disagree that it couldn’t/shouldn’t be shown as an option but the point still stands – quality sidewalks on both sides of the bridge would make walking more pleasant.

    Also, time of day doesn’t matter. If a person doesn’t feel safe they will not use a path, regardless of time of day. For example, if a park is known to attract small time gangs, taggers, or homeless people, someone may avoid it at all times of day. I know my girlfriend will avoid certain streets, even during the day, if she is traveling on her own simply because of the possibility of there being someone dangerous/intimidating.

  • Don Ward

    – You are right. There are in fact two staircases on the north side of the bridge. I didnt list the staircases because they are not ADA compliant and I
    have heard from people that they don’t feel safe walking up them. One stair case requires crossing a freeway entrance to get to and it is
    in a remote location known to be frequented by transient people. The Riverside staircase is dark and secluded even during the day. Both have been used as staging areas for ambush crimes over the years
    including the reported rape of a Marshall high student some years ago.

    – It is not clear as to whether the sidewalks will at all be available for the staircases to connect to during construction. I would be surprised if the sidewalks are accessible during that time since the bike /ped bridge is being touted as a mitigation element installed prior to construction phase.

    – There are a quite a few routes that are not shown. Sorry, I didnt include every single route possible. But the point still stands, even if I had shown the staircase options the most convenient straight forward route is Option 3 for an entire area in Atwater in which 98% of the respondents to our petition indicated they did not want to give up a sidewalk even if it meant losing a car lane.

  • Don Ward

    Ryu sent a top aid to attend the Board of Public works meeting to comment in favor of option 3 and he wrote a letter that was submitted to the board.. I dont see Ryu as beholden to the Safe Streets community I see him as a supporter, this, even knowing that many had already endorsed Ramsay including establishment politicians like Tom LaBonge and Mitch OFarrel.

  • Don Ward

    Point taken, but your route includes a steep staircase in a hidden area and a zig zag route under the bridge crossing remote areas… The point still stands. Option 3 would require no stairs and is less complicated more straight forward.

  • Don Ward

    No fact has been bent here. These are all legitimate routes. Im sure you could draw several more, but the most straight forward is Option 3 especially if you are wheelchair bound.

  • Don Ward

    People may want to take a stroll on a livable world class historic bridge, in the evening for dinner, to Atwater, without passing staircases that may or may not have nefarious characters hanging out there….

  • Joe Linton

    Can’t they just widen the stairs? Then the drivers can do that zigzag!


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