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A Map Guide to the Glorious Future of the Los Angeles River

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Last year was a huge one for the long-neglected LA River: after decades as a flood control channel, it officially restarted life as a "navigable waterway" and was opened for public recreation for the first time since it was encased in concrete back in the 1930s. But that was only the first year on a very long journey to recovery. In May, the Army Corps of Engineers decided to push an ambitious plan for restoration and greening along 11 miles of the river stretching from the northern side of Griffith Park through Downtown (concrete will be removed!); meanwhile, LA County and the cities that line the river all have dozens of their own big plans for parks, paths, bridges, art projects, and more. For Outdoors Week, we've attempted to map every future project (and some that have recently opened already)—they're not all guaranteed to happen, but they are all serious proposals from groups prepared to make them happen.

Besides the individual points on the map, there's also Greenway 2020, a plan to close every last gap in the bike path along the river's 51 miles, and the newly-created River Improvement Overlay District (RIO) and Los Angeles River Improvement Overlay Zone (LA-RIO), which will help govern development along the river in Northeast LA.

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1. LA River Headwaters

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Owensmouth Avenue & Bassett Street
Canoga Park, CA 91303

This very new project created a 2.5-mile round-trip greenway in Canoga Park where the river officially begins. (Image via Los Angeles County]

2. West Valley River Greenway

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Vanowen Street & Mason Avenue
Winnetka, CA 91306

This greening project between Hartland Street and Vanalden Avenue had its phase one groundbreaking in 2011. [Image via LA Creek Freak]

3. Aliso Creek Confluence Project

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Wilbur Avenue & Kittridge Street
Reseda, CA 91335

This project will add a small park, bike and walking paths, a greenway, and a big mural on an empty lot where the Aliso Creek meets the LA River.

4. Duck boat tours

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Los Angeles River
Los Angeles, CA

Two City Councilmembers have proposed that Los Angeles look into contracting with a duck boat operator for tours along the river.

5. Bull Creek Channel Ecosystem Restoration Project in Beilenson Park

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6300 Balboa Blvd
Van Nuys, CA 91406
(818) 756-9743
Visit Website

27.9 acres of "aquatic, riparian and native" habitat that supports tons of wildlife in the Bull Creek Channel, located in the Sepulveda Flood Basin.

6. LA Riverfront Park

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Sepulveda Boulevard & Morrison Street
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

A new little park and bike path in Sherman Oaks.

7. North Valleyheart Riverwalk

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Coldwater Canyon Avenue & Valleyheart Drive
Studio City, CA 91604

This half-mile pedestrian and bike path opened in June, providing new access along the northern bank of the river from Studio City to Sherman Oaks. [Image by Carren Jao via KCET]

8. Los Angeles Riverfront Park, Phase II

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Whitsett Avenue & Valleyheart Drive
Studio City, CA 91604

Under this project, "Sepulveda and Koster Avenues (South bank), Coldwater Canyon and Whisett Avenues (North bank), and Van Nuys Boulevard to Cedros Avenue (South Bank)" would receive some greening-up via planting, signage, and irrigation (to keep it green).

9. NBCUniversal bike path

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Lankershim Boulevard & Cahuenga Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 91604

As part of its big Universal City overhaul, NBCUni will add a bike path and park to a section of the river between Griffith Park and Studio City.

10. LA River Headworks

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Zoo Drive & Forest Lawn Drive
Los Angeles, CA 91506

This massive project includes two underground reservoirs and a power plant, which will be topped with a park after all the underground work is done. The construction on the first, eastern reservoir was planned to wrap late this year, and the whole thing was expected to finish sometime in 2017, at which point the park would start taking shape. The park phase is expected to take about two years.

11. Glendale Narrows Riverwalk

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400 Paula Avenue
Glendale, CA 91201

Phase one of the three-part project at the riverwalk area is currently open. Part two will extend the path and include a pedestrian bridge; phase three is the bridge phase (see next point).

12. Glendale-Griffith Park bridge(s)

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Glendale is considering adding two bridges from the Riverwalk to Griffith Park. [Photo by Elizabeth Daniels]

13. North Atwater Park addition

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3900 Chevy Chase Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90039

North Atwater Park opened in 2012; now the city is looking into expanding it onto the 25-acre site of the Recreation and Parks Department Central Service Yard.

14. La Kretz Bridge

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3900 Chevy Chase Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90039
(323) 664-6611
Visit Website

This foot/bike/horse bridge is set to span from northern Atwater Village into Griffith Park; its suspension design is meant to be "iconic."

15. Vanowen Street Bridge

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Vanowen St. and Los Angeles River Bike Path
Los Angeles, CA

A wider bridge is in the works and it'll come with two miles of bike path, plus a bike underpass.

16. Sunnynook River Park

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2901 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90039

This park by the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge on the river's western bank incorporates native plants, picnic space, and a filtration system for runoff. It was completed in the summer of 2013. [Image via Atwater Village Newbie]

17. LA River Recreation Zone

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A stretch of the river north of Downtown opened for public recreation for the first time in 2013 and became a permanent summer rec zone this year.

18. Taylor Yard park

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2800 Kerr Street
Los Angeles, CA 90039

In late 2013, the city finally started inching toward buying the long-sought-after Taylor Yard property, next to the existing Rio de Los Angeles State Park. The plan has been to turn the more-than-40-acre Yard into a huge public space with wetlands that'll improve water quality of the river overall.

19. Bowtie Parcel

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Currently in use as a home for giant, outdoor art piece "The Unfinished," this Glassell Park riverfront space recently hosted the river's first public campout, complete with tents and s'mores. [Photo by Alexis Chanes]

20. Marsh Park

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2960 Marsh Street
Los Angeles, CA 90039

The $3.2-million Marsh Park should be finished any day now. It will have a huge new picnic shelter, a meadow, an outdoor classroom, and, yes, parking.

21. Frog Spot

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2825 Benedict Street
Los Angeles, CA 90039

Newly opened, this space functions as a pit stop for those along the River Path (bike repair supplies, popsicles, free water, restrooms), but also as a neighborhood hangout place with plenty of street parking. They've got coffee! [Photo by Grove Pashley]

22. Taylor Yard bridge

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1900 North San Fernando Road
Los Angeles, CA 90065

Studio Pali Fekete Architects have designed this very orange pedestrian/bike bridge to span the river between Cypress Park and Elysian Valley at the Rio de Los Angeles State Park.

23. Dorris Place Park

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2225 Dorris Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90031

A public park is on the way to the grounds of this LAUSD school that sits on the river in Elysian Valley.

24. LA River Bike Path, Phase III

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Blake Avenue & Barclay Street
Los Angeles, CA 90031

This phase would keep the bike path going from its current terminus in Elysian Valley all the way to Union Station. The plan is to have the bikeway cross the Riverside Bridge to San Fernando Road, then become dedicated bike lanes from Avenue 19 and 18 to the Spring Street Bridge.

25. Floating bike path

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Riverside Drive & Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90039

This plan to bridge the bike path gap between Riverside Drive and Downtown would put a path right down in the middle of the river. The LA City Council recently voted to have city engineers look into the possible route further.

26. Lincoln Heights Jail

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421 N Avenue 19
Los Angeles, CA 90031

The LA River Revitalization Corporation is working with architecture firm Perkins + Will on a rehab of the old Lincoln Heights Jail (plans at one point included a huge outdoor climbing wall).

27. Ed P. Reyes River Greenway

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North Ave 19 & Humboldt Street
Los Angeles, CA 90031

This one-acre greenway in Cypress is now open to the public from 7 am to 7 pm daily, but don't forget: it's not technically a park; it's run by the Department of Sanitation as a water treatment facility. (There's a lot of river-water cleaning that happens here.) It has a little waterfall and a footbridge. [Image via Eastsider LA]

28. La Noria/The Delta of Mt. Whitney

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1745 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Artist/Annenberg heiress Lauren Bon and her Metabolic Studio have a plan to install a 70-foot-tall steel and aluminum water wheel, an inflatable dam, and a shady grove by their HQ in Chinatown.

29. Albion Dairy Project

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This site was planned as a public park and water treatment center, but money was scarce. Last we heard about the project in 2013, money was shifted from then up-in-the-air Taylor Yard to fund another phase of the park.

30. Los Angeles State Historic Park

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1245 N Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 620-6152
Visit Website

The river-adjacent Cornfield is getting a big makeover right now; the $1-billion revitalization plan recommended by the Army Corps of Engineers includes a terraced connection between the park and the river. The park's wetlands will be supported with water recycled from the river.

31. Sixth Street Viaduct

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E 6th St. / Whittier Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Planning has wrapped up for the Sixth Street Viaduct, and the latest HNTB/Michael Maltzandesign for the bridge includes 60-foot climbable arches and pedestrian ramps down into the river bottom, plus lots of open space.

32. Hansen Dam

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11798 Foothill Boulevard
Sylmar, CA 91342

The Army Corps is discussing ways to expand the flood capacity of the dam, as well as increase recreational features.

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1. LA River Headwaters

Owensmouth Avenue & Bassett Street, Canoga Park, CA 91303

This very new project created a 2.5-mile round-trip greenway in Canoga Park where the river officially begins. (Image via Los Angeles County]

Owensmouth Avenue & Bassett Street
Canoga Park, CA 91303

2. West Valley River Greenway

Vanowen Street & Mason Avenue, Winnetka, CA 91306

This greening project between Hartland Street and Vanalden Avenue had its phase one groundbreaking in 2011. [Image via LA Creek Freak]

Vanowen Street & Mason Avenue
Winnetka, CA 91306

3. Aliso Creek Confluence Project

Wilbur Avenue & Kittridge Street, Reseda, CA 91335

This project will add a small park, bike and walking paths, a greenway, and a big mural on an empty lot where the Aliso Creek meets the LA River.

Wilbur Avenue & Kittridge Street
Reseda, CA 91335

4. Duck boat tours

Los Angeles River, Los Angeles, CA

Two City Councilmembers have proposed that Los Angeles look into contracting with a duck boat operator for tours along the river.

Los Angeles River
Los Angeles, CA

5. Bull Creek Channel Ecosystem Restoration Project in Beilenson Park

6300 Balboa Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91406

27.9 acres of "aquatic, riparian and native" habitat that supports tons of wildlife in the Bull Creek Channel, located in the Sepulveda Flood Basin.

6300 Balboa Blvd
Van Nuys, CA 91406

6. LA Riverfront Park

Sepulveda Boulevard & Morrison Street, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

A new little park and bike path in Sherman Oaks.

Sepulveda Boulevard & Morrison Street
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

7. North Valleyheart Riverwalk

Coldwater Canyon Avenue & Valleyheart Drive, Studio City, CA 91604

This half-mile pedestrian and bike path opened in June, providing new access along the northern bank of the river from Studio City to Sherman Oaks. [Image by Carren Jao via KCET]

Coldwater Canyon Avenue & Valleyheart Drive
Studio City, CA 91604

8. Los Angeles Riverfront Park, Phase II

Whitsett Avenue & Valleyheart Drive, Studio City, CA 91604

Under this project, "Sepulveda and Koster Avenues (South bank), Coldwater Canyon and Whisett Avenues (North bank), and Van Nuys Boulevard to Cedros Avenue (South Bank)" would receive some greening-up via planting, signage, and irrigation (to keep it green).

Whitsett Avenue & Valleyheart Drive
Studio City, CA 91604

9. NBCUniversal bike path

Lankershim Boulevard & Cahuenga Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 91604

As part of its big Universal City overhaul, NBCUni will add a bike path and park to a section of the river between Griffith Park and Studio City.

Lankershim Boulevard & Cahuenga Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 91604

10. LA River Headworks

Zoo Drive & Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, CA 91506

This massive project includes two underground reservoirs and a power plant, which will be topped with a park after all the underground work is done. The construction on the first, eastern reservoir was planned to wrap late this year, and the whole thing was expected to finish sometime in 2017, at which point the park would start taking shape. The park phase is expected to take about two years.

Zoo Drive & Forest Lawn Drive
Los Angeles, CA 91506

11. Glendale Narrows Riverwalk

400 Paula Avenue, Glendale, CA 91201

Phase one of the three-part project at the riverwalk area is currently open. Part two will extend the path and include a pedestrian bridge; phase three is the bridge phase (see next point).

400 Paula Avenue
Glendale, CA 91201

12. Glendale-Griffith Park bridge(s)

Glendale, CA 91201

Glendale is considering adding two bridges from the Riverwalk to Griffith Park. [Photo by Elizabeth Daniels]

13. North Atwater Park addition

3900 Chevy Chase Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90039

North Atwater Park opened in 2012; now the city is looking into expanding it onto the 25-acre site of the Recreation and Parks Department Central Service Yard.

3900 Chevy Chase Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90039

14. La Kretz Bridge

3900 Chevy Chase Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90039

This foot/bike/horse bridge is set to span from northern Atwater Village into Griffith Park; its suspension design is meant to be "iconic."

3900 Chevy Chase Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90039

15. Vanowen Street Bridge

Vanowen St. and Los Angeles River Bike Path, Los Angeles, CA

A wider bridge is in the works and it'll come with two miles of bike path, plus a bike underpass.

Vanowen St. and Los Angeles River Bike Path
Los Angeles, CA

16. Sunnynook River Park

2901 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90039

This park by the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge on the river's western bank incorporates native plants, picnic space, and a filtration system for runoff. It was completed in the summer of 2013. [Image via Atwater Village Newbie]

2901 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90039

17. LA River Recreation Zone

Los Angeles, CA 90039

A stretch of the river north of Downtown opened for public recreation for the first time in 2013 and became a permanent summer rec zone this year.

18. Taylor Yard park

2800 Kerr Street, Los Angeles, CA 90039

In late 2013, the city finally started inching toward buying the long-sought-after Taylor Yard property, next to the existing Rio de Los Angeles State Park. The plan has been to turn the more-than-40-acre Yard into a huge public space with wetlands that'll improve water quality of the river overall.

2800 Kerr Street
Los Angeles, CA 90039

19. Bowtie Parcel

Los Angeles, CA 90039

Currently in use as a home for giant, outdoor art piece "The Unfinished," this Glassell Park riverfront space recently hosted the river's first public campout, complete with tents and s'mores. [Photo by Alexis Chanes]

20. Marsh Park

2960 Marsh Street, Los Angeles, CA 90039

The $3.2-million Marsh Park should be finished any day now. It will have a huge new picnic shelter, a meadow, an outdoor classroom, and, yes, parking.

2960 Marsh Street
Los Angeles, CA 90039

21. Frog Spot

2825 Benedict Street, Los Angeles, CA 90039

Newly opened, this space functions as a pit stop for those along the River Path (bike repair supplies, popsicles, free water, restrooms), but also as a neighborhood hangout place with plenty of street parking. They've got coffee! [Photo by Grove Pashley]

2825 Benedict Street
Los Angeles, CA 90039

22. Taylor Yard bridge

1900 North San Fernando Road, Los Angeles, CA 90065

Studio Pali Fekete Architects have designed this very orange pedestrian/bike bridge to span the river between Cypress Park and Elysian Valley at the Rio de Los Angeles State Park.

1900 North San Fernando Road
Los Angeles, CA 90065

23. Dorris Place Park

2225 Dorris Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90031

A public park is on the way to the grounds of this LAUSD school that sits on the river in Elysian Valley.

2225 Dorris Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90031

24. LA River Bike Path, Phase III

Blake Avenue & Barclay Street, Los Angeles, CA 90031

This phase would keep the bike path going from its current terminus in Elysian Valley all the way to Union Station. The plan is to have the bikeway cross the Riverside Bridge to San Fernando Road, then become dedicated bike lanes from Avenue 19 and 18 to the Spring Street Bridge.

Blake Avenue & Barclay Street
Los Angeles, CA 90031

25. Floating bike path

Riverside Drive & Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90039

This plan to bridge the bike path gap between Riverside Drive and Downtown would put a path right down in the middle of the river. The LA City Council recently voted to have city engineers look into the possible route further.

Riverside Drive & Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90039

26. Lincoln Heights Jail

421 N Avenue 19, Los Angeles, CA 90031

The LA River Revitalization Corporation is working with architecture firm Perkins + Will on a rehab of the old Lincoln Heights Jail (plans at one point included a huge outdoor climbing wall).

421 N Avenue 19
Los Angeles, CA 90031

27. Ed P. Reyes River Greenway

North Ave 19 & Humboldt Street, Los Angeles, CA 90031

This one-acre greenway in Cypress is now open to the public from 7 am to 7 pm daily, but don't forget: it's not technically a park; it's run by the Department of Sanitation as a water treatment facility. (There's a lot of river-water cleaning that happens here.) It has a little waterfall and a footbridge. [Image via Eastsider LA]

North Ave 19 & Humboldt Street
Los Angeles, CA 90031

28. La Noria/The Delta of Mt. Whitney

1745 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Artist/Annenberg heiress Lauren Bon and her Metabolic Studio have a plan to install a 70-foot-tall steel and aluminum water wheel, an inflatable dam, and a shady grove by their HQ in Chinatown.

1745 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

29. Albion Dairy Project

California

This site was planned as a public park and water treatment center, but money was scarce. Last we heard about the project in 2013, money was shifted from then up-in-the-air Taylor Yard to fund another phase of the park.

30. Los Angeles State Historic Park

1245 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The river-adjacent Cornfield is getting a big makeover right now; the $1-billion revitalization plan recommended by the Army Corps of Engineers includes a terraced connection between the park and the river. The park's wetlands will be supported with water recycled from the river.

1245 N Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

31. Sixth Street Viaduct

E 6th St. / Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90021

Planning has wrapped up for the Sixth Street Viaduct, and the latest HNTB/Michael Maltzandesign for the bridge includes 60-foot climbable arches and pedestrian ramps down into the river bottom, plus lots of open space.

E 6th St. / Whittier Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

32. Hansen Dam

11798 Foothill Boulevard, Sylmar, CA 91342

The Army Corps is discussing ways to expand the flood capacity of the dam, as well as increase recreational features.

11798 Foothill Boulevard
Sylmar, CA 91342