Back in September, we had our first public meeting with residents of Cheviot Hills and other members of the public about the Northvale segment of the Expo Bicycle Path. The purpose of the meeting was to gather public input from the community before LADOT begins to design the bicycle path. Receiving public input before designing the path allows us to better address the comunity’s concerns about the bicycle path. LADOT’s preliminary design will be communicated at a future public meeting.
About the Northvale portion:
The Northvale segment of the Exposition Bicycle Path will be on the north side of the Expo Light Rail line between Overland Avenue and Motor Avenue, as shown in the image below. This path is being funded and constructed separately from the Expo Line and is projected to open in 2017. Many factors including steep hills, convenience, and cost were considered when locating the bicycle path at this site. This path will not go under the freeway with the Expo Train because the existing tunnel is not wide enough for both. Widening the tunnel would be prohibitively expensive for the project.
Community discussion on the path’s design:
One major discussion point at the community meeting focused on whether the bicycle path should be in a trench or at street level. LADOT clarified that at this time, we do not know if the bicycle path will be in the trench, on the side of the trench, or level with the roadway. These are all concerns to be considered during design. Additional concerns were voiced by some in attendance of the need to retain existing trees and landscaping paralleling Northvale.
There were varying opinions on where bicyclists will access the Northvale path. Potentially, there may be an access point at every street along the path. Some residents near the path are concerned about the risk of crime occurring along the new bicycle path. Other concerns were raised about visitors parking in nearby neighborhoods therefore creating on-street parking shortages for local residents. Local residents’ opinions differ on whether there should be access at every local street intersection. A few believed there should be no access to the Cheviot Hills neighborhood from the bicycle path while others thought there should be some access. More access points may increase safety at night and make the path an easier route to access for all users, especially UCLA students who bicycle from the Palms neighborhood. Some local residents worried that a bicycle path would attract crime to the community. Some residents have experienced people coming over the pedestrian bridge at night and creating problems in the neighborhood.
Additional questions were posed about the steep grade from Motor Avenue to Walavista Road. People were curious how LADOT will build a path that will not exceed a 5 percent grade, the maximum grade for a bicycle path per the Cal Trans Highway Design Manual.
What’s next for the project:
If you attended this meeting, we thank you for your input as we proceed on finding the best design for the Expo Northvale Bicycle Path. We look forward to working with the community in the future and presenting the path’s preliminary designs as they become available.