Cypress Park — Fenced off, damaged and surrounded by traffic lanes, it's hard to imagine Confluence Park as an inviting green space. Now the Mountains Conservation & Recreation Authority is studying how the park could spread out - like it was always supposed to.
The existing part of Confluence Park - Phase One - looks nothing like a park. It's located in the north corner of San Fernando Road and Figueroa Street, bounded to the north by the 5 Freeway and the Home Depot parking lot and on the south by the Cypress Park traffic circle. The parkland was purchased in 2003, and an $800,000, computer-controlled “dancing fountain” was put in a few years later.
The original plan was to eventually occupy the other three corners surrounding the traffic circle. But things seemed to stall after that. It didn’t help that the beautiful, modern fountain was damaged just a few years after it opened. During construction of the Riverside-Figueroa Bridge and the traffic roundabout next to the park, a truck ran over tiles and water jets, said Dash Stolarz, director of Public Affairs for the MRCA. The fountain hasn’t operated since.
And that's pretty much how things have remained.
But now the west and south corners of San Fernando and Figueroa have opened up after the city is no longer storing trees on the sites. It’s an opportunity for the park to grow some more. “Now is a good possibility to move in,” Stolarz said.
But it’s not a done deal.
“It’s a troubled area for pedestrian purposes,” Stolarz said. “The park is fenced. It would have to be reengineered.”
Plus, the city is also looking at this same area for temporary shelters to house the homeless.
But while the area is still open, the MRCA is using a planning grant to explore the possibilities. Among other things, the agency recently held a community workshop to get feedback from the public. And while much of that meeting ended up focusing less on the park and more on the current traffic problems, Stolarz said she has noticed one public sentiment. The area is gray and needs ... something.
“People have wanted a park there for years,” she said.