BURBANK – On Wednesday, September 29th, Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), Mayor Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles), Councilmember Nithya Raman (Council District 4), Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell (Council District 13), Mayor Paula Devine (Glendale), Councilmember Ara Najarian (Glendale), and other local leaders unveiled over $15 million in funding secured by Assemblymember Friedman for Los Angeles and Glendale’s active transportation infrastructure, including $5 million for the Colorado Street Undercrossing and $10 million for the Glendale-LA Garden Bridge project.
“It’s hard to overstate the importance of investing in my district’s active transportation infrastructure,” said Assemblymember Laura Friedman. “The 43rd is home to incredible community amenities such as Griffith Park, the LA River Bike Path, the Chandler Bike Path, and Descanso Gardens. However, many of our neighborhoods and business districts lack the access necessary to realize the true potential of these community assets. By connecting our district’s treasures and providing people an alternative way to get around, we’re providing a better way of life not just for our residents, but for the entire region. I’m so grateful for the partnerships that have formed over these efforts, and look forward to continuing to work with Los Angeles and Glendale to make the vision of this region a reality.”
As part of the Legislature’s budget process, Assemblymember Friedman requested $5 million to the City of Los Angeles to establish an integral undercrossing that will create a safe and continuous path for active transportation users along the North Atwater East Bank of the LA River. On completion of the project, pedestrians, cyclists, and equestrians will be better connected to parks, equestrian facilities, neighborhoods, businesses, and recreation along the river.
“The L.A. River is an iconic destination for people across this region — and these investments demonstrate the strength of our coalition taking action to help it realize its full potential,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “I want to thank Assemblymember Friedman for championing this piece of our historic waterway, which will provide Angelenos and visitors with better access to green spaces, as well as more places to walk and bike.”
Assemblymember Friedman was also successful in her budget request for $10 million for the City of Glendale for the completion of the Glendale-LA Garden River Bridge, a pedestrian and bicycle bridge that would make a long-needed connection between Glendale and Griffith Park’s bike paths. Friedman had previously secured $20 million in initial funding for the project in 2017.
“I am ecstatic about this project and truly grateful to Assemblymember Laura Friedman for her unwavering support,” stated Mayor Paula Devine. “This will become a place where people will gather, discover, and explore the best of what our beautiful Glendale and its surrounding areas have to offer.”
At the press conference, officials talked about the significant amount of effort and investment that Los Angeles and Glendale have put into the Glendale Narrows section of the LA River in order to make it a hub of active transportation and mobility options.
In 2020, the City of Los Angeles completed the North Atwater Bridge (also known as the La Kretz Bridge), a pedestrian, bicycle, and equestrian crossing that connects Atwater Village and the equestrian communities there with the LA River Bike Path and Griffith Park. Los Angeles is also leading with the Colorado Street Freeway Extension Undercrossing, with the help of Friedman’s $5 million in state funds, to further complete connectivity from Atwater Village to the Glendale.
As part of Metro’s Doran Street Project, a planned pedestrian bridge at the LA River’s Confluence Park will cross the mouth of the Verdugo Wash, connecting the East Bank Riverway Bike Path to the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk.
When completed, each of these projects will open new opportunities for Los Angeles and Glendale residents and visitors to enjoy the unique amenities both cities offer, without reliance on cars.
"As Councilmember, I've prioritized connectivity at the Los Angeles River, including literally building bridges between communities," said Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell (CD-13), the chair of the Los Angeles City Council's Committee on Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and the Los Angeles River. "Thanks to the efforts of many partners, we have made enormous progress on the restoration of and access to this precious resource. I want to thank Assemblymember Friedman for her work to bring state funding to these important projects."
This project is a win-win for Los Angeles. By investing in our active transportation infrastructure, we are also investing in our green spaces, reducing vehicle use, and connecting neighborhoods across the city,” said Councilmember Raman (CD-4).
“Thanks to Assemblymember Friedman, traveling between Los Angeles and Glendale will be much easier than it is today,” said Glendale Councilmember and 2nd Vice Chair of the Metro Board Ara Najarian. “Both the Garden Bridge Project and Metro’s Doran Street Project fit into our mission to strengthen connectivity between our neighborhoods and keep our economy moving.”
Laura Friedman represents the 43rd Assembly District which encompasses the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and La Cañada Flintridge, as well as the communities of La Crescenta and Montrose, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Atwater Village, Beachwood Canyon, Los Feliz, East Hollywood, Franklin Hills, and Silver Lake.
Audio from today's Friedman LA River news conference
Assemblymember Friedman says the transportation funding will get people out of their cars and improve the communities for everyone. (:40)
Opening remarks from Assemblymember Friedman at today's LA River news conference. (5:22)
Entire LA River news conference including remarks from LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmember Nithya Raman (Council District 4), Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell (Council District 13), Mayor Paula Devine (Glendale), Councilmember Ara Najarian (Glendale) and others. (31:34)