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LA River Plan held up because of Steven Spielberg?

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It's just a rumor, so don't really hold it too close to heart, but it goes something like this: The LA River Plan's recreational and commuter bike trails are being held up because Spielberg does not want people rolling by his office window. I don't even know where his office is and I doubt that he is a Grinch that stole LA's river (I imagine him as a gregarious gentleman ready to sign a huge check to kick start the project for people of Los Angeles... hint, hint). But the fact is, movie studios are concerned over the LA River Plan because of security and their own property rights.

So be it. If years down the line the LA River Plan is close to finish with one huge gap between CBS Radford Studios and Disney, the people will speak up, right? Maybe they will park their cars in a circle around each studio and light them on fire (my college freshman philosophy teacher proposed this idea in regards to UCLA and traffic and Emmanual Kant. I still don't understand it, but the visual has stuck).

In the spirit of all the 'design your own Los Angeles' talk (Dodger Subway, WeHo Pink Line, Downtown Streetcars), here's what I would like to see for my neck of the woods and why.

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Between the 405 and 170/101 (Sherman Oaks through Studio City), the LA River recreational and commuter bike paths should be completed soon. Why? Amenities and mid-density housing serve this particular route for local travel.

Starting at the 405 and the river, you've got the Sherman Oaks Galleria, Whole Foods and all those businesses that line Ventura Blvd. (not to mention Castle Park for some mini-golf). At Van Nuys Blvd., you get access to Van Nuys/Sherman Oaks Park, Best Buy, Gelsons, and all that the Business Improvement District has to offer (great falafel at Pita Kitchen). At Hazeltine, you've got Trader Joes and Westfield Fashion Sqaure. On the other side of Westfield is Woodman where more small businesses and restaurants serve the Ventura Corridor. Same goes for Fulton.

Now in Studio City, Coldwater Canyon is where the river is almost against Ventura Blvd. Here you've got Ralphs and a few blocks down along the river is Jerry's Deli, Staples and Bed, Bath & Beyond to name a few. Studio City's popular shopping area, between Whitsett and Laurel Cyn., already has an existing bike path that has been closed more than it has been open for the spectacular reason of county vs. city fighting (although, people kick down the plastic fencing and use it anyway). Then there is the Valleyheart Greenway, a beautiful meandering path between Laurel Canyon and Radford.

Imagine all that by bike or foot.

So what are we waiting for? Other than the obvious money, planning, politics, etc., it is the community that rallies behind an idea they support that is missing here. And that may be the most important.

Do you live along the LA River? What would you like to see?

Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist