Monday, October 24, 2016

Visions of parkland for a Glassell Park traffic island

The wide grassy median in the middle of Eagle Rock Boulevard at Avenue 35 in Glassell Park has over the years inspired ideas about how to find more active uses for  this nearly three-quarter acres of public space between traffic lanes. The people behind Islands of L.A. held a barbecue on the Glassell Park “island” as part of  the group’s exploration about the  use of medians and traffic islands as platforms for public gatherings and expression.  On resident and former Marine wanted to install a veterans memorial on the block-long median.  Now,  Severin Martinez of Walk Eagle Rock has proposed turning this spot into a “median park.”

In a post published on L.A. Streets Blog, Martinez writes:

It almost looks like a place for recreation, doesn’t it? But it isn’t, it’s just a well-kept median that goes unused on a daily basis in a part of the city that lacks access to public spaces and green space. Wouldn’t it be great if this median actually were a park? At three quarters of an acre it is certainly large enough.

So what’s stopping this purposeless median from becoming a truly nice and pleasant place? Currently the barriers appear to be two-fold: the median is not easily accessible and the adjacent traffic moves much too fast to make spending time in the median peaceful and enjoyable experience.

Martinez proposes expanding the island by removing adjacent traffic lanes and some left-turn lanes. That would nearly double the size of the median park, narrow the street, slow down traffic. “The median could unite the two sides of Eagle Rock Boulevard rather than divide them, as it currently does,” Martinez said.

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  1. Would be a great spot for yoga classes!!!!!!

  2. LOL…seriously, yoga?

    yeah, because there’s nothing like encouraging people to breathe deeply smack in the middle of a busy four lane street, with cars and trucks whizzing by, spewing exhaust. it would be so peaceful, too!

    • Sure yoga! There can be free classes, ones with suggested donations and ones with a fee. Everyone can participate. Namaste!

  3. Median parks, are parks in the middle of a freeway. Inaccessible and stupid. It shouldn’t have been built in the first place. Instead they should widen the sidewalks and encourage businesses that offer outdoor seating.

  4. Thanks for the coverage, Eastsider! Here’s a picture of the *general idea* being proposed


  5. How about posting a super-large “Glassellland” sign there?

  6. With all this space on the street, I think we have the opportunity to do some beautiful/innovative large bioswales in over-sized parkways. We may have space to kill a traffic lane, add seating, the (already planned) bike lane, keep/enhance the median park, and ALSO fit in mini parks between the sidewalk and the street (connected via curb cuts-BOE has standard plans for this) filled with lush natives that capture, treat, and infiltrate stormwater. We are a River community!

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