Dogs – even on a leash – would be banned from the L.A River Recreational Zone. Photo by D. Hibbs
A proposal to open a stretch of the L.A. River between Atwater Village to Elysian Valley to recreational uses this summer will permit everything from boating and fishing to bird watching and hiking along the riverbed. But there better not be a dog in your boat or trotting next to you on that hike because canines – along with weapons, smoking and nudity – would be banned from the riverbed. The ban on dogs – leashed as well as unleashed – is among the rules that would be imposed on the Glendale Narrows section of the river under a three-month, pilot program that would treat the river more like a park or beach than an anything-goes, no-mans land, where currently dogs and even horses splash through the water, the homeless live on flood-prone islands and rules and enforcement are rare.
“We are trying to make it pleasurable for everyone to enjoy it,” said Lupe Velez, policy director for Councilman Ed Reyes, of the rules and regulations, which include the ban on dogs. “People don’t always control their dogs … Some people don’t pick up after their dogs. When people don’t pick up the poop, it impacts the fish in the water and impacts the birds.”
That prohibition on pooches came as a surprise to some who attended a meeting Thursday night devoted to the L.A River Recreational Zone pilot program. Dogs would still be allowed on the paths that run alongside the river but not along the concrete slopes of the river channel or on the marshy bottom. Said Silver Lake blogger and dog owner Diane Edwardson:
The only place I can escape the bikes whizzing by at high speed on the narrow & crowded path is to walk in the riverbed with my dog on a leash. But then, I also pick up after my dog.
If the pilot program is approved by the City Council and other agencies, the rules of what is allowed – non motorized boats, for instance – and isn’t allowed – bikes, dogs, booze, etc – will be posted along the river, said Velez. In addition, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority will help enforce the rules, which limits public access to the river to between sunrise and sunset.
The city is seeking public comment on the recreational zone pilot program and draft report, which will come up for review by the Ad-Hoc River Committee today.
- City Council committee could vote on narrows boating, recreation on Monday. Patch