As bicyclists, birders and New Urbanists have long been aware, there exists in digital space overlapping fever dreams of a Greenway along “51 miles of the LA River”. A Google search will retrieve dozens of mock-ups. This sublime alternative Los Angeles, we are given to expect, is due to arrive by 2020. Golden Road has already issued a commemorative IPA in celebration, sort of making it official.
Fifty-one miles would, by default, include the Valley. Except that it won’t. Unless one believes the western perimeter of the Valley is Universal City. Cause that’s as far as the Greenway is going to extend.
Sssh. Don’t tell anyone. People are too busy lining up for photo shoots with our money.
Besides, who bikes in the Valley? Who walks, for that matter?
Los Angeles is spending $600 million replacing the viaduct between the Arts District and Boyle Heights with a mixed-use architectural showcase. One block parallel to another bridge.
There are plans in motion to build a park atop the Hollywood Freeway. Price tag unknown.
The development of the Downtown to Elysian Valley segment of the Greenway, including parks, is going to run a billion dollars.
What are we getting in the Valley, west of the 170? This:
We’ve all seen Chinatown. We know the score.
To give the appearance of inclusion in the great Greenway, several short discontiguous pathways, a half mile in length, have been scattered here and there: Radford to Whitsett, Mason to De Soto, and now the most recent: along Valleyheart, between Sepulveda and Kester. One can’t complain as to the landscaping. It’s very nice. But disconnected from each other and from the rest of the system, they serve no practical purpose for the general public. One cannot pedal to the Zoo, and thence down the Glendale Narrows to Downtown, as I did yesterday.
They are, in effect, taxpayer-built private esplanades for the people who live nearby. No one else will be using them. One gets the feeling people in those neighborhoods wanted it that way.
This is our Angeleno moment: Dubai in Hollywood, Detroit in the Valley.
Speaking of Detroit, Andy Hurvitz has urban renewal schemes for parking lots up in Van Nuys: