Strange Days: LA River Bike Path Closure & Griffith Park Plan Interview

What a day Wednesday was. My daughter kept waking up in the middle of the night, I had my anticipated interview on KPCC and a lot of stuff to cover at work, but life still happens.

My plan was to bike with my friend Rafi to check out Coffee Camp for my first time, head to work, kvetch about the interview, then actually do it.

The day didn’t start off right because I forgot to text Rafi. By the time he got the message, he was already ten minutes ahead of me. I guess I’ll see you there.

On Tuesday, I was driving down the 5 when I noticed that the bike path seemed open. I knew the bike path closure was looming and heck, I’m a risk taker. Not a very good one, but I’m in a comfortable place about that.

Already a bit out of sorts from my morning fog, my run of good luck ended as my journey down the LA River Bike Path was inconveniently interrupted. I wasn’t so upset about the closure, but it was the way it was handled.


I was able to board the path at its start on Riverside Drive making it clear down to Los Feliz Blvd. Riding straight over the Alex Baum Bridge, I descended to find a series of signs and cones stating the bike path was closed.

Yes, that was a buzzkill, but wait, there’s more. I figured to exit onto Los Feliz on the southside and cut through Atwater to get to Glendale Blvd., only to find the gate was locked. In other words, what was the point of making me cross the bridge?

A bit deflated, I reconsidered my next steps for a few moments while I looked for possible detour signs. No luck there either. I decided to head west on Los Feliz and turn south onto Riverside. That’s a lot of lanes and fast moving traffic to force somebody to cross, but I managed to pull it off weaving through a bunch of stopped cars.

Riding down Riverside was no picnic either, fighting for space with vehicles thinking they were eluding the traffic on the 5.

The last bit of fun was figuring out how to make a left onto Fletcher so I could make it back onto the bike path. On this stretch of Riverside, there is a bike lane, but even with polite hand signals, the drivers wouldn’t let me in. Hello box turn at the Arco station.

It looks like this is how I’ll have to get around as word has it that the bike path will be closed for two weeks while work is being done and when it reopens(or if), there may not be space to bike in these sections.

I know construction just started on the river and there hasn’t been a lot of time to react with signage, but figuring things out on the fly was a sour way of starting the day.

Now that I was already late, I encountered a mother as I entered the bike path who was pleading to me and the police to find her seven year old son. After a brief description, I did what I could to scan the nearby streets, but no luck.

I eventually ran into Coffee Camp asking if anyone had seen the child. Someone said they had just seen him down the road where the cops were headed, so I figured they had it covered. And, oh yeah, Rafi showed up five minutes after all this. Where was he?

I got to meet a few new people and connect with some other friends, but I was already up against it to make into work before 9am.

*****  *****  *****  *****  *****  *****  *****

As for the radio interview, it couldn’t come soon enough. I made a couple of phone calls to people who know the Griffith Park issues far better than me(I’d name them if I had remembered to ask permission) which helped give me some confidence.

As for my performance on the Larry Mantle Show, I’m okay with it. First of all, I never re-listen to anything I’ve ever BikeTalk02done. Who ever thinks, “I did far better than I thought?” Answer: no human being ever. At least my daughter recognized my voice over the radio.

There were a couple of things I skipped in my remarks that I wished I mentioned. During Joe Salices’ interview, he mentioned the shuttle would travel up Mount Hollywood Drive only 2-3 times an hour.

If you listen to his remarks(at the 8:10 mark), the study that was conducted during Spring Break last year yielded 390,000 people to Griffith Park over a two week span.

You get a bus larger than a fifteen seater, good luck turning that thing around up there. In order handle the amount of volume coming to the “designated viewing area”, you’re going to need lot more buses.

The other thing that got to me was Salices’ mention from this study that twenty-five percent of visitors came to see Observatory and “the rest came to view the Hollywood Sign and to take in the view of the city…”

That’s a real kick to the groin. How am I getting lumped into the same category as all the tourists? Because that’s the way they want it. Does anyone remember all the complaints about the survey takers refusing to interview cyclists last year?

“…you can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. Forty percent of all people know that.” – Homer Simpson

I spent the rest of the day a bit frustrated I missed these points. I was temporarily brought out the funk when Ted Rogers caught the Los Angeles Magazine gaff think I was the Karate Kid(look at the top of this blog):


@LA_mag uncovers Mr. @Ciclavalley‘s secret identity. @lacbc

— Ted Rogers (@bikinginla) January 20, 2016

But the rest of the day was a haze. Facebook reminded me that three years ago was my daughter’s due date(she’s 38 months now) and I was committed last evening to a homeowners general meeting ,when my mind was at the Griffith Park Plan Presentation.

I heard a lot of positives coming out of last night’s meeting, but I know the battle isn’t over, whether it be for the LA River Bike Path, Griffith Plan or other issues. The struggle is real and the scars will heal. I’m in it for the long haul and you continue the fight no matter what.