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.”
Posts tagged with "LA River Bike Path":
Although the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has yet to secure funding for its planned $1 billion restoration of the Los Angeles River, projects along the waterway's banks are sprouting up regularly, including parks, cafes, trails, and even new buildings. The latest, reported KCET, is the Elysian Valley Marsh Park, a three-acre landscape expansion on what was once an auto body complex in LA's Elysian Valley neighborhood. Designed by Melendrez, the $4 million, 3-acre project includes native (and drought-tolerant) plants and landscaping, filtering bioswales, a meadow, fitness facilities, and a 200-person Spanish mission-style picnic pavilion by ERW Design. The idea was to provide gathering, learning, and play areas, and to "bring some nature back into the city," Melendrez Principal Melani Smith told AN. Via large entryways the meandering facility is designed to connect users to both the river and to the river bike path. It's also the first park on the river with amenities like restrooms, drinking fountains, bike racks, parking, and picnic benches. "It's an iconic area. A centerpiece space for the river," said Smith. Initiated by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, the park was funded via Prop A, Prop 84, IRWNP state grants, and more grants from the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Program, and Council District 13. Below are some more additions to the fast-growing LA River landscape, brought about through private, non-profit, local, state, and even federal initiatives. While they're happening in piecemeal fashion (often when funding is secured), these projects are starting to create a sense of place along the river. The parallel goal, pointed out Maria Comacho of the LA River Revitalization Corporation (created via the LA River Revitalization Master Plan to work with the many entities involved with the river), is to unite all the projects into a linear park and "make sure these projects are accessible and connected." The Corporation's Greenway 2020 program, which Comacho directs, hopes to connect all 51 miles of the river by 2020. The recently passed LA River Improvement Overlay (PDF) will provide more guidance for projects moving ahead. "We have to think about how these pieces all fit together," said Melendrez's Smith, who acknowledges the challenge of unity along a river with so many contributors flowing through so many jurisdictions. "Not many people have articulated how many moving pieces there are on the river," agreed Mary Nemick, spokesperson for LA's Bureau of Engineering . "It all has to fit together and serve the community."