The Pacoima Wash, encased in concrete and mostly closed off to the neighborhoods through which it runs, isn't pretty. With few bridges, it is a quite literal barrier in Sylmar, San Fernando, Pacoima and Arleta, and its location next to several schools has led scores of young people to cross it illegally to cut across to their neighborhoods. But city officials have ambitious plans to open it to the public, adding bike lanes and a "ribbon of green" to this densely populated and park-poor area, which has high rates of obesity and health problems.
Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times
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