17 Sep I tried biking the entire length of the Los Angeles River. It was a disaster.
By Hillel Aaron
Originally published by LA Weekly
September 16, 2015
As I was reporting my recent feature on tensions surrounding the Los Angeles River, I realized I hadn’t seen much of it. I’d ridden the 7.4-mile bike path in the Glendale Narrows, which goes from Chinatown to Griffith Park. And I’ve seen glimpses of it from my car, going over bridges. But I didn’t have a sense of the river as one continuous thing.
Walking along the 51-mile river would take too long, but I could bike it. An uninterrupted L.A. River bike path is still a ways off (the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation wants one by 2020), but there are a few bike paths along the Valley portion of the river, plus some streets that run parallel to it. Downtown is a bit of a dead zone, river access–wise, but there’s the Glendale Narrows bike path and one 20-mile bike path from Vernon all the way down to the Pacific Ocean, in Long Beach.
I knew I’d probably have to break it into two trips — I’m not Lance Armstrong — but two 25-mile bike rides didn’t seem that bad. What could go wrong?
As it turns out, everything.
Wednesday morning, 10:50 a.m.
The L.A. River begins at the confluence of two creeks (Bell Creek and the Arroyo Calabasas) in Canoga Park, just north of Vanowen Boulevard and just east of Topanga Canyon, near the In-N-Out Burger. A small piece of “green space” — i.e., not quite a park, not quite a concrete slab covered in graffiti — opened here last year and apparently cost $11.5 million.
So you see what a tough road to hoe this whole river revitalization thing is gonna be, given that $11.5 million gets you some shrubs, some landscaping and a 2½-mile bikeway.
Read the full story at LA Weekly