Saturday, October 22, 2016

Echo Park Lake’s new sidewalk under construction*

ECHO PARK  —   The estimated $45 million spent on cleaning up  and renovating Echo Park Lake  did not include any money to repair the crumbling sidewalk that rings the landmark park.  But that nearly mile-long cement sidewalk is now being replaced at a cost of about $300,000*.  The sidewalk and related improvements are part of the $10 million the city recently allocated to improve sidewalks near city facilities, said Councilman Mitch O’Farrell. About  $1.5 million of that amount was allocated for projects near city parks, including Echo Park Lake.

In a statement, O’Farrell said the new $300,000 Echo Park Lake sidewalk is a worthy investment:

“Improving access and safety in our City parks is one of my number one priorities, and I am thrilled this work is finally taking shape. This is one more addition that will create an even better experience at Echo Park Lake.”

The new sidewalk is scheduled to be completed by the end of June in time for this year’s Lotus Festival in July.

* Correction: A previous story said the new sidewalk would cost $1.5 million. That’s wrong.  The amount was based on information provided by Council District 13, which has corrected the figure to $300,000.

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  1. $1.5 million for a sidewalk? and no one questions that figure? wow, I mean it’s just pouring concrete right?

  2. Have you ever worked with concrete? Lots more step besides just pouring concrete. You also have to factor in union labor costs.. 1.5 million might actually be a fair price.

  3. The price of $1.5 million does seem quite a bit for a sidewalk in a project of this size. Google Maps shows the drive around the park to be 1.1 miles (5808 feet). For a 6-foot wide sidewalk, the square footage would be 34,848. According to homewyse.com, the cost of constructing 35,000 square feet of sidewalk with 1) “specialty-grade” concrete, 2) labor hired by builder/designer 3) on steep land/difficult soil, 4) in the 90026 zip code would be $387,432. Of course this project involved removal and disposal of the old sidewalk, but the $1.5 million price tag still seems to be inflated.

    But did we really need a new sidewalk there in the first place? I remember it being in pretty good shape. You can see the sidewalk as it looked before and during the lake rehabilitation project on Google Street View. Apart from a few cracks and pits at the northwest corner along Park Avenue, I couldn’t find any problems with the paving itself. If there was damage due to the rehabilitation project, it should have been covered by that project’s cost.

    One major problem with the park’s sidewalk that did need to be addressed is its narrowness on the Glendale Boulevard side, with multiple street lights and telephone poles, smack dab in the middle of the sidewalk, acting as obstacles. It’s an insult to pedestrians, let alone someone in a wheelchair. But the Eastsider doesn’t say: did the project involve widening this portion of the sidewalk? If so, perhaps the cost could be justified.

    I think the $1.5 million probably would have been much better spent on installing rubber sidewalks, that accommodate tree root growth, along Sunset Boulevard, and perhaps we could have saved a lot of the majestic trees (and shade) that have recently been removed by the City.

    Concrete sidewalk installation cost:

    Rubber sidewalks:

  4. IMO, the Glendale Blvd. sidewalk should be closed to pedestrian traffic. Years ago I was suddenly wrecked into by oncoming traffic and shoved over the sidewalk and into the rails. I was incredibly relieved that no joggers, dogwalkers, or walkers were on the sidewalk at the time. It would’ve been impossible for me to avoid hitting and perhaps crushing them under my car or against the rails. Every time I drive by there and see people on that sidewalk (or jogging on the street along the gutter?!?) I remember how lucky we both were on that day. Besides. there’s already a more scenic path paralleling the sidewalk in the park, which avoids any risk from traffic. I guess it will take for the worst-case scenario that I luckily avoided to happen before anybody arrives at the common-sense conclusion.

    • So the sidewalk is too narrow and your solution is just to remove it?

      Glendale Blvd. is part of the future “backbone” in LA’s bike plan… a road diet would allow for bike lanes, wider sidewalks, and maybe even angled parking spots on one side to increase the parking supply. It would also calm traffic speeds, and reclaim the street for the neighborhood (instead of a commuter highway that shifts wealth out of the community.)

      A minute or two increase in rush hour traffic is a relatively small tradeoff for a much safer and more pleasant urban community… you just have to look beyond the windshield perspective.

      • Do you ever have to use Glendale blvd. during the morning commute? Bike lanes for more non existent bikers? This is not the answer.

  5. I love how they have taken care of the park since it has reopened despite the usual a-holes who insist on writing their names on everything, drop their trash on the ground and leave their dog pooo behind.

  6. But STILL no plans for a path into the park from the north corner of Echo Park ave, right? Welp there goes your grass.

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