City officials and residents recently celebrated the latest addition of L.A. river bike path in the city, in the West San Fernando Valley. The new 1 mile portion of bicycle path between Winnetka Ave. and Vanalden Ave. was officially opened to the public on November 16th. The official ribbon cutting ceremony drew over 60 supporters, including Mayor Villaraigosa, Councilman Dennis Zine, and Friends of the Los Angeles River founder Lewis MacAdams, among others. Phase 2 of this project is currently under construction and expected to be completed soon. It will extend the path 1 mile further, from Winnetka Ave. to Mason Ave.
A few other major projects are on the horizon for the L.A. River Bike Path. First up will be what is known as Phase 4, a 1 mile extension to Forest Lawn Dr. from the current terminus at Riverside Drive (at Zoo Drive). This project is funded and currently in design. Also in design is a project to extend the West Valley path segment further, from Mason Ave. to Owensmouth Ave., at the river’s headwaters.
Looking further into the future, the city has plans to bring people to and from the river path at Barclay St. (where it currently ends) to Downtown. This project, known as Phase 3, will span the Riverside Dr. Bridge (at Figueroa St.) and the N. Spring St. Bridge via a combination of additional bike path and bike lanes. Additionally, the L.A. Planning Commission recently approved a 391 acre NBC Universal studio and park expansion that will parallel the L.A. riverfront for 1 mile. NBC Universal is committed to improving this portion of the bike path and has dedicated $3 million in funding to go to L.A. County for the construction of this portion of the bicycle path. They are also funding a feasibility analysis and preliminary design study on how to connect the L.A. River bike path from the 101 freeway in Studio City to Griffith Park.
In the next few weeks, here at the LADOT Bike Blog, we’ll be publishing a summary map sketching out these planned extensions. Last but not least, L.A.D.O.T. will be re-dedicating the Baum Bicycle Bridge on Thursday December 13th, From 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Expect to hear more information about Alex Baum’s influence on bicycling in Los Angeles and details about the ceremony soon, as well.