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Project Background

Project Background

The City and County of Los Angeles have devoted significant time and resources in creating a Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan that would eventually revitalize all 51 miles of the river channel, and include bike and pedestrian facilities as a key element of accessibility and mobility. Non-profit groups such as River LA (formerly LA River Revitalization Corporation) and Friends of the Los Angeles River (FOLAR) have also been working to transform the River. This transformation envisions making the River an integral part of the community and includes a regional active transportation corridor for biking and walking.

In June 2016, the Los Angeles City Council approved the US Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) recommended plan, Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study, to restore habitat, widen the river, create wetlands, and provide pedestrian access points and bicycle paths along an 11-mile stretch of the Los Angeles River north of Griffith Park through Elysian Valley to downtown Los Angeles. The USACE recommended the Plan for approval in 2015 and is pending authorization by the US Congress. There is also significant interest and a long history of support for a path along all 51-miles of the River from non-profit groups. Most recently, RiverLA published its Greenway 2020 plan, including the goal of completing the bike path along the length of the river.

This project has been included in several local and regional plans, including the 2016 Metro Active Transportation Strategic Plan and the 2009 Long Range Transportation Plan , the Southern California Council of Governments 2016-2040 Regional Transportation Plan/ Sustainable Communities Strategy , as well as the County of Los Angeles 2012 Bike Master Plan , the City of Los Angeles Mobility Plan 2035 and 2010 Bicycle Plan .

The largest remaining, 8-mile gap in the Los Angeles River Bike Path, between Elysian Valley and the City of Vernon, requires a multi-jurisdictional effort and close coordination with rail operations along Metro-owned right-of-way. As the County’s transportation agency and owner of the adjacent rail right-of-way, Metro serves as the Lead Agency role for this project.

In 2014, the Metro Board of Directors requested 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 resulting Los Angeles River Bike Path Gap Closure Feasibility Study in 2016 finds that the project is feasible and would help serve the transportation needs of communities neighboring the project area as well as the region.

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