The City of Los Angeles will soon be submitting a pre-application to begin the process of pursuing a TIGER Discretionary Grant. The LADOT Bicycle Program has been working with the Department of Public Works – Bureau of Engineering’s Los Angeles River Team and the City of Vernon to develop a project that will substantially complete and unite L.A. River Bike Path segments already built or under construction. We are proposing a project that will link Downtown Los Angeles to the Valley and Long Beach via a contiguous bikeway corridor, a true non-motorized transportation network via the L.A. River that will include some great Downtown Los Angeles linkages (we’ve already got a number of Downtown network segments we’re readying for implementation separately that will tie into this proposed project). Construction would start as soon as late 2013.
Due to the nature of the funding timelines we’ll seek the money to do a preliminary build out of the project (with bike path and on-street connections, and at-grade street crossings that provide great access to the river, ) and come back and add additional amenities at future dates using other funding sources. This is a really big opportunity to get most of the facility on the ground without precluding coming back and addressing those areas that have been very difficult thus far, such as the lots at CBS and Universal, and desired undercrossings (which will require lengthier environmental review processes), at a later date. More details on the proposed project after the break:
The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grant program, in the words of Ray LaHood (Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation), are for projects that will, “change the U.S. transportation landscape by strengthening the economy and creating jobs… and providing safe, affordable and environmentally sustainable transportation choices.” Additionally, they are designed to support, “…projects that could not have been funded without this program.”
We think the L.A. River Bikeway Network (and the Downtown Los Angeles linkages included) are a perfect match for the TIGER program, and will give Los Angeles a rare opportunity to secure a substantial amount of funding to provide a regionally significant non-motorized transportation corridor that can support regional access to jobs as well as begin to build out a bikeway network that can also serve recreational needs as called for in the Los Angeles River Revitalization Plan.
The 2010 Bicycle Plan identifies the Los Angeles River Bicycle Path as a part of the citywide Green Network and prioritizes the complete design and construction of the path along its full 32 miles by 2035 (policy 3.3.1.B). In addition, the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan recognizes the “…Los Angeles River as a key non-motorized transportation link.” Momentum for the L.A. River has been building over the last several years as is evidenced by the increasing number of people coming to the river to travel, to commute and to recreate. The growing list of supporters of this project includes Congressman Brad Sherman and Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, State Senator Fran Pavley, the City of Glendale, the City of Burbank, and the City of Vernon, L.A. City Councilmembers Paul Krekorian and Tom LaBonge, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, as well as various community groups, including GreenLA Coalition, Village Gardeners of the Los Angeles River, Save L.A. River Open Space and the Studio City Residents’ Association.
We’ll come back to you with more information on the project in future posts. With the right support and funding the L.A. River Bike Path could be completed well in advance of the 2035 deadline as called for in the Bicycle Plan. We’ll keep you posted!
If you’ve got any great photos of bicyclists using the L.A. River Path, please consider submitting them to our Flickr pool. We’ll use them in our grant application (and this blog) and give you a photo credit. Thanks!