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Bike Walk Paths

Ballona Creek Path Extension Projects Gaining Momentum

Yes, extending the Ballona Creek path upstream is feasible. Yes, it's costly enough that Los Angeles and Culver City will likely need external grant funding.

Cover of recently completed Ballona Creek Bikeway feasibility study

The non-profit Streets for All recently completed its multi-jurisdiction study on how to expand the Ballona Creek walk/bike path. Now, thanks to a motion from L.A. City Councilmember Heather Hutt, the city of Los Angeles will likely seek state funding for the project.

Ballona Creek map via feasibility study

There aren't a lot of surprises in the "Finish the Creek" study, available online (as a 400MB PDF), as Streets for All and design firm SWA had already done significant planning prior to the current study.

Yes, extending the path upstream is feasible. Yes, doing it right will be a costly enough endeavor that Los Angeles and Culver City will likely need to rely on external grant funding.

Ballona Creek path feasibility study alternatives map

The feasibility study analyzes three alternatives:

  • Primary Route - The path would be mainly along the creek, with a short on-street protected bikeway dogleg in the city of Los Angeles. The study notes that this route is optimal for meeting project goals with the potential for relatively expeditious funding, permitting and construction. Estimated cost $24.8 million.
  • Alternative A - The path would include more on-street segments in Culver City (Alternative A.1) and Los Angeles (A.2), which minimizes costs. Estimated cost $19.8 million.
  • Alternative B - The path would be entirely off-street, entirely along or within the Ballona Creek channel. This is the most expensive alternative, mainly due to the difficulties of squeezing the facility into constrained space underneath the 10 Freeway. Estimated cost $27.2 million.
Feasibility study cost estimates for Ballona Path extension alternatives

The alternatives aren't mutually exclusive. Lower-cost legs could potentially be built somewhat quickly initially, as the cities navigate permitting and funding for later higher quality paths.

Rendering from Ballona Creek path feasibility study showing on-street alternatives including high-quality curb-protected two-way bikeway

L.A. City Councilmember Heather Hutt wasted no time in pressing for L.A. City to make the Ballona path extension a reality. Tomorrow, the L.A. City Council Transportation Committee will vote on a motion (council file 2023-0616) that directs city departments to seek state Active Transportation Program (ATP) grant funding this year.

"Finishing the Ballona Creek Bike Path will resolve some of our City’s mobility issues, connecting the Pacific Ocean through Culver City and into Mid-City," Hutt noted in a statement to Streetsblog. "Studies have shown that the completion of this project will create safer streets for communities with high transportation needs, bolster our City’s socioeconomic and environmental health, and provide a secure space for Angelenos everywhere to gather and exercise."

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