I stand with River LA in supporting river project items in Mayor Garcetti's proposed 2017 budget. Specifically, I support the City’s purchase of the 42-acre Taylor Yard G2 Parcel in Elysian Valley and the $1 million city investment to leverage the $9 million gift from River LA to the City of LA to build the North Atwater bicycle-pedestrian-equestrian bridge, La Kretz Crossing, which is shovel-ready!
The Taylor Yard G2 parcel is a major opportunity for the City to signal it is serious about river revitalization. Known as the “crown jewel,” it is included in both the City Council-adopted LA River Revitalization Master Plan and the US Army Corps’ LA River Ecosystem Restoration Study and Recommended Plan.
In addition, the La Kretz Crossing project is, once again, fully-permitted and ready to break ground! We could walk, cycle, or trot over the LA River by 2018! The bridge crosses the river upstream of Los Feliz in Atwater Village to allow safer crossings from Atwater Village directly into the 4,200 acres of Griffith Park – particularly for equestrians who currently cross by going down into the river on informal ramp structures.
What is most amazing about the La Kretz Crossing is it's being a true demonstration of public-private partnerships, showing the possibilities for future river revitalization. River LA obtained a $4.5 million donation for the bridge from philanthropist Morton La Kretz as well as a $3.7 million grant from the California Department of Transportation. The County of LA and City (BOE and former Council Districts 4 and 13) also provided funds to move the project forward. If, however, the City's budgeted $1 Million is not awarded, the bridge will not be built and the $10 million in County, State, and private funding could be lost.
Both these signature projects are in the City’s River Revitalization Master Plan and will transform our river into a healthy and green space for surrounding communities and serve as key connectors to the LA River.
I urge you to vote in favor of the purchase of the Taylor Yard G2 Parcel and the $1 million investment to make La Kretz Crossing a reality so future generations can enjoy a more connected, vibrant and accessible LA River.