Enhance opportunities for equitable access to the river corridor.
Today, ease and availability of access to trails along the LA River is highly variable.About 90 access points connect people to trails that serve 32 of the river’s 51 miles. Yet, only one-third of these access points have signs and only 70% connect to sidewalks. Many access points are well served by bus, but only two Metro rail stops fall within a half mile of an access point to the river. It is therefore not surprising that one of the top five reasons community residents cited for not visiting the LA River is simply not knowing where to go. The LA River is intended to be a resource for use by all of LA County, and to be a resource the river must be accessible and usable.
Steps that should be taken to achieve the goal
LA River Access Need
Needs: River Access
Public access to the LA River means a continuous 51-mile river trail with frequent access points and a network of lateral trail connections that improve access to outdoor space and opportunities for recreation.
The need for improved access along the river starts by evaluating the status of the 51-mile river trail and identifying gaps where the trail or access to the trails is not continuous. Communities adjacent to the river trail that lack additional connecting trails or lack trail connections to public facilities were also evaluated. The need analysis also included data from The Los Angeles County Health Survey which was used to identify areas that have a higher need for the positive health outcomes associated with recreation.
Areas greater than a half mile (10 min walk) from an existing river trail access point are categorized as having a higher need for access and trails, while areas adjacent to an access point were categorized as general need. Access points were based on the City of LA, LA River Greenway map, but were then modified and updated for the Master Plan based on site observations and meetings with various stakeholders.
Locations on either bank of the LA River that do not currently have a continuous trail were identified as having a higher need for access and trails. Areas with an existing river trail are categorized as having general need, while areas beyond the LA River corridor were categorized as having no need. The LA River Trail delineation was based on the City of LA, LA River Greenway map, but was then modified and updated for the Master Plan based on site observations and meetings with various stakeholders.
Connecting to adjacent trails improves access to the LA River and regional connectivity. Areas without existing or planned adjacent trails have a very high need for improvements, while areas within a quarter mile of an existing trail have a general need. The location of existing and proposed trails was based on trails data from the LA County GIS Data Portal, Department of Parks and Recreation Trails, and the LA Metro Active Transportation Strategic Plan.
Trails also provide recreation, exercise, and open space, which can improve both physical and mental health outcomes. Areas with a higher health composite score (poorer health conditions) have a very high need for access and trails, while areas with a relatively low health composite score were categorized as general need. Health data was compiled from the 2018 Los Angeles County Health Survey conducted by the LA County Department of Public Health.
Connecting important public facilities to the LA River is vital for ensuring an effective community connectivity system. Areas greater than a half mile from an existing Metro rail, bus rapid transit, or rapid bus stop; park; or school have a general need for access and trails connections. Areas more adjacent to these facilities were categorized as very high need. Metro stops were sourced from the LA Metro’s Active Transportation Strategic Plan Online Data Portal, parks from the LA County GIS Data Portal 2016 Countywide Parks and Open Space layer, and schools from the LA County GIS Data Portal, 2016 Point of Interest Data.