Urban Exploring: Take a Downtown Urban Planning/Tunnel & Bridges Hike

Big Parade participants last month walk in downtown | Photo Courtesy of Casey Schreiner/Modern Hiker

If you missed the Big Parade last month, here's a chance to experience a small slice of the urban hike this Saturday. The event's leader, Dan Koeppel, has joined up with the 1st annual Los Angeles Design Festival for a downtown urban planning and tunnels & bridges walk.

About two miles in length, the tour is similar to the Big Parade's first segment, but more compact, with lots of zig-zags, and, in a way, more interesting, said Koeppel. "This plan for Los Angeles introduced in the 70s was for all of downtown to be connected by pedestrian bridges," he explained, noting that 10 of these public walkways were built and today are recognized as the Calvin S. Hamilton Pedway. "It's a really fun walk. People are always amazed."

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Concept L.A. | Courtesy MetroAs Los Angeles' top planner for more than 20 years, Hamilton was known as a visionary, but one who rocked the boat. In 1970, his department released "Concept Los Angeles," a general plan that foresaw dense commercial centers--think Century City and the valley's Warner Center--dotted throughout the city and connected by public transit. Like the abandoned pedway plan, the vision was never completed.

To walk these pedways and get a sense of Hamilton's visionary plan, join Koeppel at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 18th at the bottom of Angel's Flight railway (on Hill Street, between 3rd and 4th). You can (but don't have to) RSVP for the free tour on Facebook.

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About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCET's Director of News, Region and State, working on digital and on-air news products that relate to Southern California and beyond.
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I love that we got all the traffic generating urban centers without any of the high-capacity rapid transit until only now.