Good news for those who bike and walk in Los Angeles: Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Friday that the city had received more than $40 million in state funding for new bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in South LA and the San Fernando Valley.
That includes $18.8 million for three miles of bike and walking paths along the LA River. The new trails would stretch from Vanalden Avenue in Reseda to Burbank Boulevard, just north of the Sepulveda Dam. The project is part of a larger effort to complete a biking path alongside all 51 miles of the river, from Canoga Park to Long Beach.
Bike and walking paths already exist along much of the waterway, but large gaps make it impossible to travel along the entire river.
A continuous trail is one of 28 projects that Metro aims to complete in time for the 2028 Olympics, and work on paths that would close those gaps is expected to wrap up in the next six years.
In a statement last week, Los Angeles Councilmember Bob Blumenfield said grants from the state would help turn the river into “an amazing linear park that all Angelenos can enjoy.”
Plans are also in the works for nearly 10 miles of additional bikeway through the San Fernando Valley, as well as an eight-mile riverside path from the Elysian Valley to Vernon.
The remaining $24.8 million in funding awarded by the state last week will go toward new infrastructure along two South LA streets: Broadway and Manchester Boulevard.
Both streets are on the city’s High Injury Network, an inventory of the roads where people are most likely to be hurt or killed in traffic collisions. According to Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, nearly 250 people have been injured and nine people have died in crashes along the two corridors in just the last six years.
The safety-minded overhaul is officially known as the Broadway Manchester Active Transportation Equity Project; it’s been in the works since 2015 and would bring protected bike lanes, new curbs, and better sidewalk lighting. Also planned are 480 new trees, as well as re-striped crosswalks and pedestrian islands.
On Friday, Harris-Dawson called it the “largest known public investment in this neighborhood in generations.”