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Eyes on the Street: El Monte’s Merced Ave Linear Park

This is just the beginning. A series of multimodal paths are coming to the area, connecting to the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area and Rio Hondo.

The Merced Avenue Linear Park, looking north. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA

A somewhat unusual park has been built in El Monte, near the city’s border with South El Monte. The Merced Avenue Linear Park is a 0.2 mile bike/walk path in the median of Merced Avenue. It's a project of the city of El Monte, the mobility non-profit Active SGV, and Alta Planning + Design, and it is funded by the Safe Clean Water Program (Measure W). 

A couple walks along the Merced Avenue Linear Park in El Monte, CA. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA

The park is a simple little thing, with an earthen walk path, a winding concrete two-way bike path, the rain water capture elements, drought resistant native plants, plus a few tables and sanded off tree stumps to sit on, but there’s more to come in the way of immediate connections. Some are already here.

Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA

As it is now, cyclists can connect to the Rio Hondo bike path a half dozen quiet short sharrow-ed blocks away along Towneway Drive, the park’s northern terminus. It is also a little more than an intersection away from buffered bike lanes on the other side of Merced across Garvey Avenue to take you to another planned project at El Monte’s border with South El Monte.

More Merced

On the other side of Garvey, the protected Merced Avenue Greenway is planned to run 1.1 miles in South El Monte from Fern Street to Lerma Road, very close to the massive Whittier Narrows Recreation Area, a popular destination in itself, and connected to several bike paths. 

In February, ActiveSGV’s Executive Director David Diaz told SBLA that construction is currently underway on the southern portion of the project below Rush Street, “and it's anticipated that construction is not going to be done until sometime later, maybe late early next year.” said Diaz. “But in the northern section of that, there's still a gap in funding the project team is trying to realize. The anticipated completion for that and still kind of in limbo or not determined yet.”

This Greenway project will also include storm water capture elements, and is also funded by the Safe Clean Water Program.

A rendering of the Merced Avenue Greenway
Another rendering of the Merced Avenue Greenway

Rush Street

Running perpendicular to the future Greenway, is a plan to reconfigure the appropriately named Rush Street. Rush is South El Monte’s main commercial and industrial corridor, but it is also its main east-west arterial, linking locals to regional biggies like Rosemead Boulevard and Santa Anita Avenue where more multimodal projects are in the works.

Now peruse these photos of the Merced Avenue Linear Park.

Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA
Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA
Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA
Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA
Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA

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