River Access Opened: SUCCESS!

arroyo gates

Today, to my delight, I found that gates were added at the top of the three stairways to nowhere. This effectively cuts the distance between river entrances in half. I want to thank everyone involved in the Dry River project for increasing access to the Arroyo Seco riverway.

I couldn’t have done this without the help of the wonderful Northeast LA community, City of Los Angeles, KCET, SCPR, Los Angeles Walks, Arroyo Seco Foundation, and the Flying Pigeon Bike Shop.

Access to the river can still be improved. The remainder of the fence still overly restricts access to our neighborhoods best bikeway and largest park space. These conversations will continue so that we may further improve the place we live for ourselves and our children.

For now, pat yourselves on the back, because we stood up as a community and got something done.

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In the News: Dry River Making a Splash

Thank you KCET and SCPR for engaging in the conversation and helping our community remove these unhelpful barriers between greenspace, bike paths, and the river.

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Reimagining the Arroyo Seco as an Alternative Transportation Corridor

“The Arroyo Seco has this great bikeway on it. It’s the best piece of bike infrastructure in Northeast Los Angeles and it can really connect us to the city if we let it,” says Moreau. “The funny thing about it is that chain link fences run all along the path; when you also realize that it’s the same path that is also lined with parks, you begin to see how strange that is.”

First Person: Jack Moreau wants a more connected Arroyo Seco

“At the top of these stair sets are chain-link fences with no gates, no possibility for access.” So “people from the community have been cutting holes in the fences,” he said, adding, “it’s just very obvious that we could put in more access points, it’s very obvious that people want it.”

Accessing the Arroyo Seco Bikeway

Access to the Arroyo Seco Bikeway is mostly blocked by chain link fences. Even though the majority of the creek-adjacent path is surrounded by public green space, gates in the barrier can be more than a mile apart.  Evidently, the bikeway is not optimized for pedestrian or bicycle access.  As a result, Arroyo Seco visitors have made their own entrances by cutting and bending back the fences for easier access.

The map describes the legal and clandestine access points along the entirety of the Arroyo Seco Bikeway.
Access Map

The fence dividing the parks and Arroyo Seco was placed to control riverbed usage during flood season. However, so few gates were installed that there is hardly access when there is no chance of flood either. The division of the parks and the bikeway now discourages local connection to the Arroyo Seco.

Bent Fence 1

Stairway to Nowhere

At several points along the Arroyo Seco Bikeway there are stairways leading from the bike path to a park, but blocked with a solid fence.

Stairs Uncut

There are three occurrences of this phenomenon:

Blocked Stairs

If one were to remove these fences, convenient access would be granted to pedestrians between the parks and the riverbed.  In one case, local river goers have taken this action upon themselves and cut the fence above one of the staircases.

Stairs Cut Fence Detail

Other staircases lead to walking paths that connect Ernest E. Debs Park, Hermon ParkLower Arroyo Park, and more.

Second Stairs to Chainlink

More access points can be made be simply removing the remaining fences.  By increasing the quantity of access points, NELA can unite its largest area of green space with its only alternative transit corridor.

Bent Fence 6