Those of you who live in Los Angeles may know that much of the LA River is already tacitly open to activity like biking and jogging. But it’s all been very unofficial—until now. Last week, AN attended a meeting about an upcoming program to open a 4.6 mile portion of the Los Angeles River known as the Glendale Narrows—stretching from Griffith Park to Elysian Park—to public recreational use this summer. “Recreational use” includes walking, hiking, fishing, birdwatching, and yes, even boating (portions of the river have been open to guided kayak tours, but not to general boating)—but, alas, no tubing.
Previews of the river under the LA River Revitalization Master Plan (Mia Lehrer + Associates)
The pilot program will include oversight by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority from Sunrise to Sunset, so it’s all very proper. And if the pilot program goes well we might see people enjoying the river all year long. “This was too good of an opportunity to let go,” explained LA council member Ed Reyes. And thanks to Senate Bill 1201, which amended the LA Flood Control Act to provide for “public use of navigable waterways…that are suitable for recreational and educational purposes,” it’s a public right. See more upcoming plans for the LA River below, including a River Development District. They’re further off, but with the LA River open to recreation, you could be hearing more about them soon.
Map of proposed river access points (LA Department of Recreation and Parks)