Gruen Associates, Mia Lehrer + Associates, and Oyler Wu Collaborative have been selected to design a 12-mile long bike path running along the Los Angeles River through the city’s San Fernando Valley. The L.A. River has its headwaters in the Canoga Park neighborhood in the northwest San Fernando Valley, so the path will be a key and highly visible portion that will work in conjunction with the much larger, Frank O. Gehry and Associates-master plan for restoring the L.A. River. That wider project will use bicycle and pedestrian paths, parks, and public, open space to stitch neighborhoods along the 51-mile long concrete-lined flood control channel. By connecting to a three-mile long path already in existence that runs from Griffith Park, at the southeastern corner of the San Fernando Valley, through the Elysian Valley and into Downtown, the path will help mark a giant leap forward for the otherwise derelict flood control channel.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti made the announcement Tuesday afternoon via press release, saying, “The Los Angeles River is a common thread that links us to our history, and connects us to the natural world. This bikeway will give all Angelenos a new way to experience our city, build accessibility to our revitalized river, and expand green space for families to enjoy. I am proud to work with all of the partners who helped us reach this milestone.”
The San Fernando Valley portion of the trail will be made possible through a special partnership between the offices of Mayor Garcetti and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, with additional support from the City’s Department of Recreation and Parks and City Councilmembers Bob Blumenfield, Paul Krekorian, Nury Martinez and David Ryu. The project team will take nine months to study the route for the new trail in order to develop community-vetted strategies for the path. Construction on the project will then proceed in phases, with an unspecified timeline for project completion. The 12-mile stretch will be engineered by civil and structural engineering firm Psomas.
“We are thrilled to bring together this exceptional team to work with us in the design of the Valley’s river bike path,” said Gary Lee Moore, City Engineer. “We have selected a group of designers known for their experience in successfully addressing architectural challenges, as well as bringing innovative and experimental thinking to their work.”