Northeast Los Angeles Placemaking Competition: Bike Path Loopification


Project submitted by Susanna Boney

Project designed for entire NELA area

Project Summary and Scale

NE River Bike Path Loopification

Why are you committed to this project?

We live in Cypress Park and are in a love affair with the river. We use the NE side of the river bike path to get everywhere, but it's not a complete loop, we have to hop off under the Fletcher AND Glendale streets and go under scary, unlit bridges.

What are the most relevant characteristics of project site and scale?

The best part about using the NE side river bike path is avoiding traffic on San Fernando, Riverside, and Figueroa around the 5 and 110, where cars are often moving very quickly. The plan incorporates the bike path on the Riverside-Figueroa bridge. The bridge would include a detailed facade of a female, apparently holding up the city, as seen from either bike path. Facing the city is a male.

Describe how this project will reinforce a sense of place or enhance the built environment.

This beautiful addition and restoration of the NE side bike path would enhance the existing path and allow further travel, connecting Lincoln Park to Los Feliz. The path will be lit at night by solar panels, including the areas under the Glendale and Los Feliz Bridges, enhancing safety and security at little long-term expense. The sense of place will be enhanced by the lovely artwork (see below) and the ability to use the path any time we want, day or night! When the project is complete, we will also host a Cyclavia, introducing the new loop to the community.


Provide a description of the project's necessary planning activities.

The bridge artwork would be planned and executed by, hopefully, the artists Brett Goldstone who created the beautiful heron gate and other los angeles river icons, based on the design by myself above. We would encourage the clean up teams to continue their efforts. We want to repave and add bike paths under the Glendale and Fletcher Bridges. We want to mark and add signs and clear debris. The path is usable by those adventuers who go on foot or with fat-tired bicycles, but we want the path to be usable by all cyclists and pedestrians.

What is a rough estimate of your project budget?

5 million dollars

(3 million for the ironwork of the "Lady of Los Angeles" on the Riverside-Figeroa Bridge, 1 million for repave & lighting under Fletcher Avenue Bridge on the NE side of the river & 1 million for repave & lighting under Glendale Blvd Bridge on the NE side of the river ).

Story continues below

How does this project leverage existing resources and efforts?

Biking on the side of the road on San Fernando and in Glendale can be scary, especially at night. There is already a bike path on that side of the river, sitting in the dark. The path that exists is totally usable (we do it all the time), but it is hard to use at night. With solar lights, the cost of lighting the path in perpetuity will be minimal, and the existing NE side bike path, mostly lying fallow and unconnected, can again be brought into use. It is unsustainable for bikers to go across bridges on the current path, and thus we propose lighting and leveling with concrete under the bridges on the NE side bike path (as on the other side), to complete the loop to the bike bridge from Atwater Park to Griffith Park over the 5. 5 miles of this path currently exists, unconnected.

What community need is your project serving?

So many of us go back and forth to Hollywood, and Silver Lake, and Echo Park, from Glassell Park to Atwater Village, it would be great to also see a restored sense of community in the whole valley. Bikers are more likely to stop in the area, and increasing bike traffic will only be good for community business. By lighting areas under bridges that are currently dark, it will also address possible safety concerns already undertaken by some bikers and pedestrians on the NE side of the LA river.

If your project is realized, what does success look like?

Success is use by taxpayers. The other side of the bike path is already well used, and we would like to connect our side of the valley with that side. Additionally, by making the undersides of the bridges well lit and level, the area can be a connected bike lane for easier use by commuters.

We are dedicated to providing you with articles like this one. Show your support with a tax-deductible contribution to KCET. After all, public media is meant for the public. It belongs to all of us.

Keep Reading