2nd Stop: Studio City Greenways
Studio City is interesting in that it is really the only affluent neighborhood that abuts the river. In 2004, a park was completed here, with the hope that many more would follow along the Studio City portion of the Los Angeles River. The river itself isn’t particularly impressive here, being a completely concreted channel, but a real potential for a “riverwalk” exists, given the retail/dining nature of the surrounding area along Ventura Boulevard.
Children from the local Carpenter Avenue Elementary School helped to design the park, adding features such as the “Great Toad Gate," the “Butterfly Bench," and other elements.
However, this is also about the only area in which the river revitalization effort has run into some serious NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) issues, as local luxury-condo dwellers didn’t want open space because “it’ll attract homeless to the area.” There are also a lot of studios in the area (hence the Studio City name), and most have built right up to the river’s edge, creating obstacles for developing a greenway.
Tour leader Joe Linton described how the parcel was acquired, naming an alphabet soup of organizations, agencies and jurisdictions that were involved. This illustrated the issue of multiple jurisdictions overseeing the river.
Joe noted that it would be useful to create a “River Authority” which would consolidate funding and administration of rehabilitation efforts, so that projects don’t get bogged down in territorial disputes.