Eagle Rock -- Eagle Rock Boulevard will be getting a $16.2 million makeover intended to create a safer, sustainable and more attractive destination. But it will be several years before any changes take place.
Metro board members in late September approved funding for “Rock the Boulevard,” a project co-sponsored by the Eagle Rock Association (TERA), Los Angeles City Councilmember José Huizar and the City of Los Angeles.
The process to secure funding took about 18 months, according to TERA President Greg Merideth.
“In the end, we're very happy with the outcome,” Merideth said via email. “We believe that this will result in significant street and mobility improvements for Eagle Rock and Northeast Los Angeles.”
The Rock the Boulevard effort was launched after neighborhood activists and officials had spent about two decades focused on Colorado Boulevard, where planning guidelines have encouraged more pedestrian-friendly features and helped attract new restaurants and shops to Eagle Rock's main drag.
According to TERA’s website, the plan lists 15 changes to Eagle Rock Boulevard, including an expanded median from York to Westdale, a new crosswalk at Corliss Street and an improved crosswalk at Ridgeview Avenue, ADA-compliant ramps, opportunities for plantings and public art, changes to bus stops and added parking-protected bike lanes, to name a few.
“[The plan] will stimulate economic growth, make the boulevard more visually appealing, and develop a realm where pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders and drivers can safely coexist,” says the Rock the Boulevard mission statement.
A final agreement over use of the funds from the county is expected to be reached next year, according to Paul Gomez, a spokesman for the Department of Public Works. After that, there will be two to three years of design work followed by construction, which itself could take another two to three years to complete.
Gomez said the current funding — which was allocated from funds leftover by the rejected plan to close the 710 freeway gap — will cover the entire “Rock the Boulevard” project as originally proposed.
“Given that a vision plan was developed for the Eagle Rock Boulevard project, we aim to give priority, if necessary, to these community-driven elements,” Gomez said via email.
Laura McKinney, communications director for Councilmember José Huizar, said the project will be managed by the Bureau of Street Services, also known as StreetsLA.
“Our office will work with [StreetsLA] and the community to provide feedback or concerns as they finalize design and the construction timeline,” McKinney said via email. “We expect to keep the community engaged and informed throughout the entire process.”
According to Merideth, it is currently unclear exactly what role the community, including TERA, will play in the design of the project. He said TERA will be working with Councilmember Huizar’s office and the Bureau of Street Services to get more concrete answers.
Flora Adamian is a freelance journalist, former reporting fellow at KCRW Berlin, and past editor of The Occidental.