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Crossings & Platforms
While the LA River has many bridges, few offer safe crossings for bikes or pedestrians. Additionally, many areas along the channel have a narrow right-of-way in the densest communities where space for parks, ecosystems, access, arts and culture, and education are often most greatly needed. While crossings can connect communities to close but otherwise inaccessible parks, community facilities, and each other, wider platforms can create space for parks and habitat in addition to cross-river connectivity. Crossings and platforms can also connect people to the river, creating new spaces for gathering and reflection with panoramic views of the river and surroundings.
Given its width, length, and configuration, the LA River channel is often hidden or not visible to passers-by and can separate communities and be an obstacle for connectivity.
Trapezoidal Channel Cross Section
Box Channel Cross Section
Crossings can connect existing or proposed communities or assets on one side of the river with existing or proposed communities or assets on the other side of the river. In addition to providing connections, platforms can increase park space in areas with limited or nonexistent landside right-of-way. Platforms can also host a range of habitat typologies, including riparian and upland conditions, and allow for wildlife migration. If combined with appropriate channel modifications, shade from crossing and platforms can help cool water temperatures locally and create areas for fish cover and habitat.
All crossings and platforms must be publicly owned and managed as publicly accessible open space. Private development, housing, and parking are not appropriate uses for platform areas. When considering a crossing or platform, potential impacts to other beneficial uses such as habitat or recreation should be considered. Large platforms are not appropriate for soft bottom reaches of the river. However, bridges and smaller platforms that promote habitat connectivity may be considered. Crossings and platforms may limit access to the channel itself, so in areas where access is critical, this must be a design consideration. Any channel modifications required for crossing and platforms require hydraulic analysis to ensure flood risk is not increased.