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.