Something new underfoot at Echo Park Lake

Construction worker takes a walk on new, eco-friendly pavement/Kevin Break

When Echo Park Lake reopens to the public in May after a multimillion clean up and renovation, most of the attention will be drawn to the lake, of course, and the landmark bridge, boathouse and Lady Of The Lake statute. But visitors may also want to glance down every once in a while to look at the new ribbon of pathways that circle the 13-acre lake. Instead of the cracked and lumpy dark asphalt of old, the new paths, photographed today by Kevin Break, are made from a tan-colored, porous pavement. That pavement, riddled with tiny gaps,  is not only for walking, however.

During a community meeting late last year, Julie Allen, with the city’s Bureau of Engineering, explained how the eco-friendly permeable path will play a role in collecting water to keep the lake filled:

The stormwater that lands on the pavement will infiltrate down and travel to the lake through a drainage pipe under the pavement. The water is filtered and cleaned before getting to the lake.

The new pavement will be porous enough to allow rain water to pass through but durable enough to stand up to heavy foot traffic. Cyclists might be tempted cruise along on the smooth, new pathways. But they better watch out. Bikes won’t be allowed to ride on the surface.

Tiny gaps in the concrete will allow storm water to trickle through into the ground. Photo by Eastsider

Pathways encircle the Lady of the Lake statue. Photo by Kevin Break

New path sweeps along the eastern edge of the lake. Photo by Kevin Break


  1. Sounds good- looks GREAT.

    Hope there is a plan to keep creeps & taggers at bay.

  2. I’d love to use something like this – or decomposed granite – for my driveway. I’ve been taking out chunks of my asphalt driveway with a pickaxe, little by little, and it’s nice to see the ground underneath. I feel like I’m letting the earth breathe.

    • If you use DG, be careful it’s packed down well, and not subject to erosion. In particular, don’t let there be a little stream of rain water running down your driveway, or it will erode away and develop ruts.

      • Yeah, that’s what I’m fearing. I’ve noticed the water doing that in another area where it runs down the dirt walkway. What if I put some sort of binder or stabilizer? Is there such a thing for DG? I need to find out what they used around the Silver Lake Reservoir, because that seems sturdy but looks like it absorbs water.

        • DG will erode with any meaningful water flow. If you mix any sort of stabilizer aka “hardener” it will no longer absorb water. I’ve used a product called “drivable grass” on slopes. Penetrable, functional and decorative.

    • Pavers are better for driveways. Water can run into the cracks between them , you can even plant little plants between the pavers if you really want your driveway to be green. Google “green driveway” and you’ll see a lot of examples. You can even used busted up concrete for pavers. If you get lucky, you may be able to swipe them from a renovation project.

  3. Looking at the pictures, it’s nice to see the lake and park looking more normal again.

  4. this is great, very excited. from my view on the hill it looks really narrow though (minor grumble). and i’m seeing some fancy pants ‘street’ lights all along the path.

  5. My fat butt can’t wait to try out that track

  6. When the fences went up and the water was drained out of Echo Park Lake to begin this voter approved municipal bond funded project – the price tag was quoted at $57 or $58 million, the highest $65 million.

    The gala reopening is coming up just around the corner and Whiz! Bang!….Kazaam…we are looking at an $85 million expenditure!

    When did the taxpayers blink? Who ordered dessert? When exactly did $65 become $85 million?

    How? When? Why? What?

  7. Silver Lake Architect

    It would be great to have something like this done with the Silver Lake Reservoir, now that it’s not being used for domestic water.

  8. love the new pavement. I’m looking forward to taking walks around there again

  9. Hey, nice shoes.

  10. How far is it around the lake?

  11. CAN’T WAIT to see the Lake again!
    No bikes makes sense. Happy to keep this a pedestrian walkway. But what about motorized wheelchairs?

  12. Will there be swimming lessons here for the kids?

  13. Does anyone know of any plans to keep litter / trash / debris tossed out by park users at a minimum once the park re-opens? This was, in my opinion, the only true down side to the park prior.
    Fines? Security?
    do tell….

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