Los Angeles's 2024 Olympic bid has no shortage of obstacles to overcome. There's the ongoing debate over cost overruns, especially regarding the proposed Olympic Village, not to mention some stiff competition from European cities also looking to host the games (although Hamburg recently dropped out). Now we can add to that list Griffith Park's total lack of appreciation for extreme sports. Totally not rad, Griffith Park! The Los Feliz Ledger reports that the Griffith Park Advisory Board has publicly come out against using the park as an Olympic venue for BMX and off-road bicycling events, as the bid suggests. Their reasoning is quite simple: biking on trails is against the rules at Griffith Park.
LA's official 2024 Olympic Bid proposes that Griffith Park be used as the venue for all BMX and off-road biking events, but the park's 11-person community advisory board has sent a letter to Olympic bid organizers saying not so fast (literally). The group says off-road biking "violates city statutes" and would damage the "delicate ecosystem" of the park. They also believe the city's Olympic bid contains several fraudulent and "sloppy" claims about Griffith Park's actual ability to host biking events.
The park's advisory board takes issue with the bid's claims that Griffith Park features trails regularly used for biking—it's simply not true. Even more egregious are the bid's claims that the affects to the park would be "negligible" in replacing its current velodrome with a new one suitable for hosting Olympic events. Griffith Park has no velodrome, and has never had one. It's false claims like these that have the board saying LA's Olympic bid is "beneath the dignity of our great city."
It's probably not beyond reason that Mayor Garccetti, who wants the Olympics very badly, could find a way to bend the "no biking on trail" rule a bit. The claims of damage to the park's ecosystem might hold a little more argumentative power for the advisory board, though—the landscape of the park stands to change significantly if Olympic plans are approved. The 2024 Olympic Games would leave behind a 4.7-acre BMX biking venue and an extensive mountain biking course in the park, both open to public use after the games. Here's hoping Griffith Park resident and LA's most famous recluse, Mountain Lion P22, likes bikes.
· Advisory Board Says Bicycling Proposed for LA 2024 Olympics Bid Illegal [Los Feliz Ledger]
· 7 Very Big-Deal Plans in Los Angeles's New 2024 Olympics Bid [Curbed LA]
· City Analysts: Los Angeles's Olympics Bid is Kinda Nonsense [Curbed LA]
· Olympics 2024 [Curbed LA]