Valley Group Plans ‘Greenway’ Along Railroad Right of Way

A plan to transform a dusty 15-mile stretch of Southern Pacific railroad track in the San Fernando Valley into a swath of tree-lined trails for bicyclists and pedestrians was unveiled Wednesday by a group of community leaders.

They envision a shady strip connecting North Hollywood with Warner Center as the first section of a web of many such “greenways” built on old Southern Pacific rights of way in Los Angeles County.

“We are going to bring the country back to Los Angeles,” said Nick Patsaouras, director of the Southern California Rapid Transit District.

The Los Angeles greenways are the brainchild of Patsaouras, who called them a “creative, innovative” solution to the dearth of parkland in a county where open land is scarce and expensive.


The proposed Valley greenway follows the route of the proposed Metro Rail extension that will run between North Hollywood and Warner Center. The Los Angeles County Transportation Commission is negotiating to buy the rights of way on old Southern Pacific lines around the county.

Patsaouras said the Valley greenway would be the first of many such grassy arteries throughout the county. Other proposed greenways would connect Los Angeles with Santa Monica, South Gate with Anaheim and Highland Park with Baldwin Park.

He estimated that the greenway would cost about $1.5 million and would be funded in large part by money from Proposition 70, which was passed in 1988 and made about $120 million available to cities for open-space projects such as greenways.