Elysian Valley Bike Path: Almost there!

Ed. Note:  With a misplaced keystroke, we accidentally published this post a few days early.  Our apologies for teasing your RSS feeds without delivering.  Fitting, considering content of the post.  Anyhow, enjoy!

So there was a recent post in The Eastsider LA (also covered in L.A. Creek Freak) about the newly paved section of bike path running through Elysian Valley.  We’re pretty excited about the bike path too.  2.5 more miles of bike path along the L.A. River is always something to be happy about.  Even better, the 2.5 miles connects to the existing Glendale Narrows bike path, creating 7.1 miles of uninterrupted bike path along the LA River.  Eventually, we’ll connect those 7.1 miles all the way down to Long Beach.

Construction along the LA River

But as happy as we are about the bike path, it still isn’t finished yet.  I know it’s way tempting to hop on your bike and get a whiff of that “new bike path smell”, but the area is still a construction site until the lights are installed (our source’s best guess is that this will take place sometime in late April and we will let you know as soon as we hear anything!).  There’s still construction equipment out there, workers are on the job, and asphalt is still being poured and smoothed.  We wouldn’t want any bicyclists to take a test run and wipe out before the project is finished.

You might be asking why there is a delay in the first place?  The target completion date was originally scheduled for February 2010, after all.  Our insider mentions two hiccups.  First, there were delays due to weather.  The rainy weeks that took place in January and February really threw a wrench into the construction schedule.  Second, Public Works Bureau of Street Lighting needed to switch the existing lights to an LED package.  The original contract called for standard lights.  And why didn’t we just use solar lights?  The major problem with the solar lighting package was that we would have to cut down a lot of trees in order to have solar lights.  Solar lights would have been preferable, but cutting down trees in order to install them seems to defeat the purpose.  Instead we went for the next best thing: LED’s.

work in ... uh ... progress

So there you have it: due to a wetter than usual winter and changes to the lighting, the project is delayed!  Our bad, guys.  Tough to swallow, but we’re just asking for a little patience.  LADOT Bike Blog will be one of the first people out there to trumpet Elysian Valley bike path’s grand opening (and we’ll probably be one of the first riders on it!).  I hope you’ll be able to make it too.  Keep an eye out here for an official opening date.

0 replies
  1. ubrayj02
    ubrayj02 says:

    I have a plan to construct a bike path in this portion of Los Angeles, and the area is already well lit! Here is my plan: convert the underutilized Riverside Drive into a protected bike way on both sides of the street using paint and plastic bollards.

    No lighting problems, millions of dollars less, and safer too since the LAPD can actually get to you when you call 911 and tell them where you are (off-road bike paths aren’t on their maps).

    One other benefit of doing this on Riverside Drive is liability. If the bike path is off-street, the City is absolved of liability when people hurt themselves due to cracks and faults in the pavement or unsafe riding conditions or path design. Not so when the bike facility is on-street, where bicyclists are afforded the same legal consideration as automobiles (a least in the letter of the law) – and can sue for damages without having the case shot down.

  2. Dennis Hindman
    Dennis Hindman says:

    Since the bicycle path next to the Los Angeles river has few entrances and exits with no real purpose for the vast majority of the bicyclists other than exercise and site seeing, should it not fall under the category of parks and recreation rather than transportation? How is this so much different than say the bicycle path that goes in circles around Balboa Park. Buiding facilities for recreation is great but it hardly improves bicycling transporation in Los Angeles.

    Shouldn’t the main purpose of the department of transporation be to provide safety as New York cities transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn recently stated? If this is true then the main focus should be to improve transportation safety for bicyclists on the most heavily traveled streets where people want to shop, go to work etc. Putting bicycle lanes or paths in areas where bicycling is not used as transportation or safety was never an issue would seem to be a misdirection of the transporation department resources.

  3. iain
    iain says:

    while i’m all for having safe off-road bike paths for recreational riders, most of the people who use these will drive their cars to the bike path just to use it!

    i have a car, but i choose to brave traffic every day so that i can do something good for my health and for the environment and i’m CONSTANTLY getting honked at and buzzed by cars. it’s scary! i know lots of people who don’t ride bikes because they’re too scared!

    people want to ride their bikes in their own neighborhoods! how about painting some more sharrows like the ones that you painted on figueroa in highland park? this is something that can really save lives and encourage people to give it a try!

    plus, painting sharrows is a lot quicker than building a bike path. im sure you could do it in a few hours! i understand that some are concerned that sharrow paint is slippery, but it’s not nearly as slippery as the hood of a mercedes threatening to kill me!

    let’s get real and get something done!

    every day that we wait to paint sharrows is a day that cyclists are endangered! protect me and my friends (and everyone else on bikes!) and let’s get some sharrows painted TODAY!!

    (Ed. Note: As much as we’d like to claim it, LADOT did not put up sharrows on Figueroa in Highland Park. They were D.I.Y.)

  4. tortugaveloce
    tortugaveloce says:

    the problem with these off-road bike paths is that there is no safe way to get to them by bike. i know a lot of cyclists who drive less than 5 miles to get to the ballona bike path because they are too scared to drive from their house!

    i think these facilities would be a lot more useful if the surrounding streets had improvements for bikes like sharrows and bike lanes.

  5. TheDudeAbides
    TheDudeAbides says:

    Why even bother putting in lights. They never work or they are plundered for their copper wire which will make them useless.

    Good idea posted by ubrayj02

    • PaulD
      PaulD says:

      I disagree; I ride on the dedicated bike trail adjoining the Orange Line busway in the Valley and the fact that it is lit enables me to ride an hour or so later into the day.

    • ladotbikeblog
      ladotbikeblog says:

      Good point.

      Part of our decision-making process for the lighting package took into account the amount of exposed copper wiring. By limiting it to a minimum, we reduce the risk that people will try to plunder the lighting.

  6. Roadblock
    Roadblock says:

    Very glad to see this happening. The goal of connecting Long Beach to DTLA to Canoga park is very do-able. Universal studios and CBS studios are the only people blocking a valley connection Yes, the paths can be dangerous at night through sketchy neighborhoods but that is a societal problem not a bike path problem.. The good out weighs the bad in the long run as the path will provide a day time facility not only to long distance commuters such as myself but to encourge and facilitate less skilled riders who otherwise would never ride. I personally have fond memories as a kid riding my bmx and skate to the Atwater ramp way back when….

    Don’t stop. Keep it moving and please apply pressure on Universal to get their crap off of the public right of way! We need bike paths (bicycle freeways) and bike escapes in addition to on street facilities.

    Thank you.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] optimistic about the opening date of Phase 1C.  Back in the salad days of LADOT Bike Blog, we predicted 1C opening in late April of 2010.  Oops.  That predicted opening itself was a delay of the original opening date set for January […]

  2. […] biking detention at LAX, and yes, one should bear yesterday’s date in mind. The 2.5 mile, LED-lit Elysian Valley Bike Path along the L.A. River Bike is coming soon, really. The Mt. Wilson Bicycling Association will hold […]

  3. […] Elysian Valley Bike Path: Almost There (LADOT Bike Blog) […]

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