Local cyclists will be happy to know that the L.A. River bike path, without any fanfare, has reopened after 18 months of being closed off with the near completion of two new pedestrian and bicycle bridges over the river, each approximately one mile on both sides of the Los Feliz Boulevard overpass. It is now clear to ride a bike all the way to the I-5 overpass and into downtown Los Angeles.
A major change, however, is that the L.A. River is now closed along the public Burbank section to hikers and bicyclists north of the Victory Boulevard overpass. A heavy steel gate now blocks the path and makes the entire area, supported by all local taxpayers, a private reserve for neighborhood horseback riders.
It’s been hard to deal with the continual and seemingly endless construction on the 5 Freeway here in Burbank. But I think Caltrans is doing a herculean and complicated job very well, which will make life — and getting around town — a lot easier soon.
The best example is the new Empire Avenue interchange. I have lived in that area for over 15 years, and I’ve dealt with the old, awkward and unsafe route of San Fernando Road under the freeway, and the long, winding route one had to take to get to the Empire Center or west Burbank. Now it is an easy drive right onto the north or south freeway, and a breeze to get to Empire Center shopping. It actually opens that connection up for pedestrians and bikes, as well. And the elevated train tracks will mean on-grade train traffic will not cut our part of Burbank in half anymore.
Nice job, Caltrans! Now get the Burbank Boulevard bridge project over as painlessly and quickly as possible!