Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Bicycle and walking trails are planned for a 12-mile San Fernando Valley stretch of the Los Angeles River, with $6 million announced Thursday to design the project.

City and county officials split the design cost for the Los Angeles River Valley Greenway project, with four Valley area council members contributing much of the $3 million in funding the city is dedicating to the effort.

The project is anticipated to fill a gap in riverfront trails between Canoga Park and the Elysian Valley.

Mayor Eric Garcetti and County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl gathered with about 300 children from nearby schools and council members at Anthony C. Beilenson Park in Lake Balboa to announce the funding.

“With this investment, we take one more step in linking our communities to each other and to the backbone of our region, the Los Angeles River,” Garcetti said.

Kuehl said the trails will turn the river — which has traditionally been used more as a storm channel to prevent flooding — into “a social hub that connects communities to public transportation, provides habitat for plants and animals,” as well as “much-needed open space for recreation” by families.

The majority of the city’s contribution comes from the offices of City Council members Paul Krekorian, Bob Blumenfield, David Ryu, and Nury Martinez, whose districts include the portions of the river that would benefit from a redesign of the area into a greenway and trails.

Krekorian, who’s office put up about $360,000, said the proposed trails and greenway “will transform the way Angelenos use and view the L.A. River in the San Fernando Valley.”

“By working together to connect the patchwork of ongoing revitalization projects, like the Valleyheart Riverwalk project in my district, we are restoring the river’s majesty in its Valley home,” Krekorian said.

Councilman David Ryu said his office contributed about $500,000 “to ensure river revitalization moves forward and to ensure the children of L.A. will live healthier and safer lives.”

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand our city’s green space, improve our region’s transportation infrastructure, and promote a sustainable future,” Ryu said.

— Wire reports 

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