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Friday, September 30, 2016

City to close part of sidewalk around Echo Park Lake

Concerns about pedestrian safety have prompted the upcoming closure of a nearly block-long section of  sidewalk along Glendale Boulevard  as part of the clean up and renovation of Echo Park Lake.  Many residents have voiced concern after the closures of the popular path surrounding the lake was closed and fenced off as part of the construction, forcing walkers and joggers to the narrow sidewalk surrounding the park and even the surrounding streets. The sidewalk will be reopened once the project is completed. A notice posted today on EchoParkLake.org, the official site of the lake clean up, said:

At the request of Council District 13, the sidewalk on the east side of Glendale Blvd. between Santa Ynez and Kent will be closed indefinitely due to safety issues. All pedestrians should take alternate routes as directed by the signage to be installed.

Much of the concern is focused on the Glendale Boulevard side of the park, where joggers and pedestrians have been seen darting into the heavily traveled street to avoid the crowded sidewalk. “It’s too dangerous,” said Rolando Hueso of Echo Park of the narrow sidewalk.  After the construction fence went up and the park closed, Hueso  has reduced his once daily run around the park to a twice-a-week routine.

In other Echo Park Lake clean up news:

  • The lake will be drained in phases, with the first phase lowering the water level by between four to eight feet as fish and other wildlife are removed and relocated. The entire lake will be emptied in the second phase to prepare for the construction of a new lake bed and filtration system. Officials did not say when the draining of the lake’s estimated 26 million gallons of water will begin.
  • Most of the interior of the Boathouse has been gutted as workers prepare build new framing.


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15 comments

  1. This is going to be a dissaster!!! I’m already hateing that there just chopping down the trees after they directly specified that they would not touch any of them…THEY ARE F*$%@ LIARS and I’m sick of these money hungry A *&$% oles that spend our money until were dead broke and still expect the taxpayer to pony up the money…Un freaking believible, anyone that supports this project is just as crooked and guilty of sucking out the money from the tax payer!!!

  2. What about access for people with disabilities? There is no way for a person to get between Park Ave and Bellvue along Glendale since this project has started. Americans with Disabilities Act anyone?

  3. So there’s a a safety issue from high volumes of pedestrians and speeding commuters that skinny sidewalk and the city’s solution is to just close off pedestrian access to a public street? Any other city in the world would just convert the right parking/traffic lane to a temporary foot path with bollards, so people can still walk down the street… this city’s nuts!

  4. How will blocking off an already narrow sidewalk make people and animals safer? Now they will HAVE to walk/run/amble in the street. Isn’t this counter-intuitive? Where oh where is the common (uncommon) sense here?

  5. See the safety concerns are for people being hurt because of the construction for which the city would be liable. Now if people go and walk in the street (which is far more likely to subject people to harm than the construction) and are hurt, the city isn’t liable the motorist is. See the logic here?

    @corner soul : The neighborhood would throw a fit because they really do depend on access to street parking.

  6. I wonder if it’s a way to mitigate the complaints about grass and debris? The parkway on Echo Park Ave and Park are filthy and the grass is unmown. It’s safety risk. I predict all of the sidewalks around EPL will be blocked.

  7. Also, what about street cleaning on Echo Park Ave?
    They covered the signs with burlap and have not been cleaning the street anymore-why?
    People still live there-random men still park on the street and throw their garbage out their car windows. I predict the stink will come not from the dry lakebed, but the garbage piling up on the grass.

  8. I do not live in the beautiful Echo Park Lake area,
    but have driven thru there many times in the last 11 years
    living in Sunland Tujunga and working DownTown,
    and I know and notice there are sidewalks on both sides
    of Glendale Blvd and Echo Park Drive, and crosswalks,
    enabling anyone to walk or run, ,
    just like when the park’s sidewalks were open,
    just in a larger circle. [adapt]

  9. Hey other Louis,

    Thanks for the advice. It’s great that driving through our community many times has given you such perspective. We really appreciate being told to adapt by someone who lives nowhere near us and doesn’t know what their talking about.

    Sure people could run or walk on the outside but they’d have to cross those busy streets about six times a lap.

  10. Well, thank the stars those vendors are gone at least! Phew! Park saved!

  11. @skr: Fair point about the parking. I used to live across the street from Angelus Temple so I can relate, but I feel like their has to be a better solution than just closing the sidewalk.

    Glendale Blvd. (at least by the park) could really benefit from traffic calming and wider sidewalks… maybe a road diet with bike lanes and angled parking to reclaim the western edge of the lake for the neighborhood, instead of catering to commuters from the suburbs.

  12. Thank You ‘ Louis ‘,
    My son said the same thing
    as we drove past tonight going to tacos
    Mexicali @1st&Beaudry
    I get it now, and can hardly wait
    for the re-opening of Echo Lake! Other Louis

  13. if you cannot walk on the east side of glendale then walk on the west side. If that still cannot work then walk around the lake on echo park ave.

    people complain on here way too much.

  14. My apologies, Mr. Elovitz… I was bein’ a sarcastic jerk. Looking forward to the new and improved lake as well. See you there in 2013 (um, fingers crossed). Until then I’ll be doing most of my walking and running at Elysian Park and SL reservoir.

  15. Why chop down the trees? Why eliminate a pedestrian sidewalk and curbside parking by extending the fence to the roadside?

    Lets make an analysis bases on a theory of political agrandizement. This theory assumes that all discretionary expenditures of public bond money will be subject to the politicians attempting to maximize the political benefit that can be brought to themselves.

    Under this theory, the sidewalk was closed in order to eliminate the curbside parking. This is done to reduce the available supply of public parking. This will accelerate the competition for available parking. If the situation gets bad enough, then frustrated residents will ask government for help to relieve the situation.

    The city will then offer to sheperd the neighborhood through the process of creating a preferential parking district. Once established, the parking district is a moneymaker through the sale of parking permits and the issuing of parking citations.

    In Los Angeles, a percentage of revenue from some parking citations and fees is deposited into the discretionary spending account controlled by the councilmember representing that district.

    Why chop down the trees? Everyone knows that taking out a mature tree on the parkway in front of your house is no trifling matter. trees cannot be removed without permits. And the policy is to preserve trees when possible rather than removal. That leads me to believe that the decision to chop down trees in Echo Park was not arbitrary.

    So why chop the trees down? Because they are in the way.

    Of what? We haven’t been told yet, but the politicians must have plans which they haven’t made public. They just eliminated the first roadblock to their secret plan, there won’t be a fight over the trees now.

    Whats in the secret plan? Based on the theory – one possibility is a parking lot for Echo Park. Everybody likes more parking, plus it will make money. Even if they dont put meters in the new parking lot – they will issue citations. The parking lot will have an official closing time just like the park itself. Anyone caught daydreaming in Echo Park past the 6pm or 8pm closing time will return to a hefty citation.

    But a parking lot does not maximize the political agrandizement potential of the land where the trees formerly stood. The councilman for the district has reached his term limit on council. So he will need to choose another political office to run for. Could be mayor or another citywide office. My guess that if he can’t become Mayor then he will try for State Assembly.

    Under the theory, contracts for work at the park are steered to cronys and are used as bargaining chips. Under the theory, what actually gets done with the money should bring positive publicity to the politician which can translate into votes.

    The best publicity for translating into the most possible votes would be to add something which is beneficial to seniors;therefore, I predict that before the project is finished a senior center will be proposed.

    If they can use some of the bond money then it will be built. It is very difficult for anyone to oppose a senior center. But will that truly maximize the political aggrandizement? NO.

    For maximum political agrandizement they will also need to construct a subsidized senior housing facility. It will be lovely because the apartments will be built so each has a view of the lake. Of course. that means blocking the view of properties across the street from the project.

    Nobody wants to have their view stolen, but if its for the seniors the sacrifice must be made.

    To summarize: the trees were chopped down because they were in the way of the parking lot and the 5 story building with a senior center on the ground level and four floors of subsidized senior housing.

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