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Bike Walk Paths

County Breaks Ground on Vincent Community Bikeway

The bikeway, which includes creekside path connected by on-street protected bike lanes, is projected to open next summer.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis and Director of Public Works Mark Pestrella pose for a groundbreaking photo for the Vincent Community Bikeway with students and a teacher from Gladstone Middle School. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA

County and local city officials gathered beside the Big Dalton Wash in Irwindale on Saturday to celebrate a groundbreaking for the forthcoming $8.1 million Vincent Community Bikeway. 

Vincent is a very working class, unincorporated neighborhood wedged between Covina, West Covina, Irwindale, and Azusa. It’s home to Gladstone Middle School (formerly a high school until this year), and by June 2024, it should also be home to a new segment of the planned 130 miles of the SGV Greenway Network -- a 3 mile walk-bike trail. 

Students from Gladstone were on hand in yellow Los Angeles County Public Works vests to usher attendees onto the future bike path, and after eighth grader Natalie Meza led the Pledge of Allegiance, Public Works Director Mark Pestrella said that this project really is all about them.

“In the future this will be a place for you and your parents and your brothers and sisters to enjoy, to begin to empower you to see new places and to connect to new cultures through this multimodal project that we're about to embark upon.” declared Pestrella.

Pestrella also admonished the kids that the wash isn’t a safe place to play just yet. “We want the flood control system to not be a blight on the community. We want it to be an amenity in the community, we want to turn the flood control system into a linear park throughout L.A. County.” 

A rendering of the Lark Ellen Ave entrance to the Vincent Community Bikeway, looking west. Courtesy of Los Angeles County Department of Public Works

Just where might linear parks/greenways like Vincent eventually take us? Caltrans District 7 Multimodal System Planning Chief Daniel Kopulsky elaborated, “Here in the county, we have little pieces of bikeways on different streets and so forth. This starts to connect everything, create a system where residents can go from their home in any of these cities, in Azusa in West Covina and Covina or even the community of Vincent and hook up to other parts of the San Gabriel Valley, and even get all the way to the San Gabriel River bike path.”

The San Gabriel Valley creek system, mapped by the San Gabriel Valley Greenway Network. Vincent is in the middle, just above the segment labeled "2".

But in more immediate terms, this bikeway could provide a safer route to the affordable shops surrounding Arrow Highway and Azusa Avenue, as well as those on Arrow and Citrus Avenue. “You could go now to Walmart on this path, once it's done, as opposed to driving over there: big difference.” said Kopulsky. 

Irwindale Mayor Manuel Ortiz added that he’d like to see a direct connection between Vincent and the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area. Other proposed greenways would connect to the dam (see above map).

West Covina Mayor Pro Tem Brian Calderón Tabatabai suggested that the benefits of greenway projects outweigh the worries some residents have about whether it’s safe to allow pedestrian and bike traffic behind their neighborhoods.

“In reality, what you're doing is you're providing a service to the residents, you're creating community, you're connecting different parts of the city, you're bringing people together.” said Calderon Tabatabai.

Bringing it back to the youth, L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis said though security on the path is the Department of Public Works’ responsibility, there’s an opportunity here for workforce development.

“I hope in the future that we can even get some of our youth organizations like the San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps, and the San Gabriel Valley Consortium - also made up of youth - that could come out here and help us and provide other assistance and give them exposure to these kinds of jobs that we can offer.” said Solis.

Solis acknowledged the following for funding for the Vincent Community Bikeway: California ATP (Active Transportation Program) grant for $3,384,000, the Los Angeles County Flood District (under Public Works) for $2 million, Prop C for $2,614,000, the city of Azusa for $50,000, city of Irwindale for $45,000, the city of Covina for $3,000, and the city of West Covina for $3,000.

Streetsblog’s San Gabriel Valley coverage is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”Sign-up for our SGV Connect Newsletter, coming to your inbox on Fridays!

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