In June 2014, the Metro Board of Directors directed staff to perform a feasibility study to close the 8-mile gap in the Los Angeles River Bike Path between Elysian Valley and the City of Vernon.
The Los Angeles River Bike Path Gap Closure Feasibility Study assessed the engineering feasibility, neighborhood connectivity, safety, environmental and permitting requirements, hydraulic impacts, real estate, maintenance and operations, and preliminary cost estimates of the project. The study found that the project is feasible and would help serve the transportation needs of communities neighboring the project area as well as the region.
Following the completion of the feasibility study, in September 2016 the Metro Board approved the project to advance into conceptual design. This includes the preparation of technical studies about the corridor’s existing conditions, and community outreach to understand the community’s needs and desires.
During conceptual design, Metro staff reached out to the communities to understand how people currently use the path and what they’d like to use the path for in the future, how people want to access the path, preferred path types, project goals, and on what should be considered as part of the evaluation criteria. Metro hosted nine public meetings, fielded online and in-person surveys and attended numerous community events. After collecting this information and applying evaluation criteria, three draft alternatives were identified and presented to the public in May 2019.
After conceptual design, Metro will further study the alternatives during the environmental review process. As part of the environmental study of all three alternatives, Metro will work to environmentally clear and fulfill all permitting requirements for this project under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) in coordination with the US Army Corps of Engineers and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) with Metro as the lead agency. Public outreach and community engagement will continue throughout this phase of the project.