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L.A. Parks Committee Approves Griffith Park Plan and River Purchase

5:22 PM PST on January 24, 2017

The new Griffith Park plan minimizes car access while adding new shuttle service. Photo courtesy Friends of Griffith Park

This afternoon, the Los Angeles City Council Arts, Parks, and River Committee advanced two key proposals that enhance livability and improve the quality of life for Angelenos. Both items were approved unanimously by councilmembers Mitch O'Farrell, David Ryu, and Bob Blumenfield. These items will soon move to the full city council for final votes.

Griffith Park Shuttle Plan

The city Recreation and Parks Department moves forward with its Griffith Park/Observatory Circulation and Parking Enhancement Plan. The plan is a promising step toward dealing with congestion largely due to tourist traffic seeking to visit L.A.'s iconic Hollywood Sign.

Over the past year, Recreation and Parks has refined an initial draft plan to manage park traffic by adding a seven-days-per-week shuttle connecting the Vermont/Sunset Metro Red Line Station shuttle to the Griffith Observatory. To pay for the shuttle, the park would charge for parking at the observatory. The plan keeps current car-free park roads car-free.

The Parks Department had hoped to implement the new shuttle late last year, but a group of rich homeowners have threatened a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) lawsuit to block implementation. The neighbors assert that the paid parking plan will cause tourist traffic to spill over into their neighborhoods west of Griffith Park.

The parks committee heard the appeal from the homeowners, as well as extensive public testimony in favor of the plan, and voted to move forward with the new shuttle/parking plan, which could begin in late March. The item goes to full city council tomorrow.

Map of Taylor Yard parcel G2.
Map of Taylor Yard parcel G2.

Purchase of "Crown Jewel" L.A. River Parcel at Taylor Yard

The committee also voted to proceed with the $60 million acquisition of parcel G2 of Taylor Yard. Located in the Cypress Park and Glassell Park neighborhoods of northeast L.A., Taylor Yard is a former 250-acre railroad yard with nearly three miles of river frontage.

Portions of Taylor Yard have been purchased by California State Parks and partially developed into parks, but the 41-acre parcel G2 remained the only way to truly connect communities to the river itself.

Parcel G2 faces hurdles, include serious toxic remediation, but today's vote clears the way for city acquisition to proceed. The full council will vote on Taylor Yard this Friday.

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