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Los Angeles Considers A Bike Path In Downtown's L.A. River Channel

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L.A. River (Photo by Andriana Baker via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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The L.A. River is getting a lot of love lately. Mayor Eric Garcetti has been working on a $1 billion plan to transform the river into a destination hotspot. And the City Council is now looking into building a bike path in the L.A. River channel through downtown.

This proposed bike path would have at least three ramps to the river and it would finally close the 8-mile gap we have between bike paths in the Elysian Valley to Maywood, according to the L.A. Times. Closing this gap means you could cycle from Griffith Park all the way to Long Beach on a bike path in one long unbroken line. Also, since NBC/Universal recently agreed to expand the bike path from Riverside Drive to Lankershim Boulevard by 2016, that means Angelenos would have an even longer path to ride through.

The City Council voted on Wednesday to have the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study whether this project is feasible. Although the Corps of Engineers have voiced their safety concerns about letting folks bike through a concrete river bottom that's supposed to have stormwater go through it, L.A. River and bike enthusiasts have ideas about how they plan on making it safe.

"We are committed to putting in a warning system to make it significantly safer to ride in the river channel than to drive the 10 Freeway,'' Yuval Bar-Zemer, a biking enthusiast and real estate developer told the Times.

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Bar-Zemer has been working with engineers and designers to figure out some ways to make this bike path a reality, KCET reported in April. They found that the rain would only affect the proposed bike path five days out of the year. And if they built some concrete panels above the river bed, cyclists would be able to bike over the water that may flow down the river.

Of course, this wouldn't be the first time cyclists had taken over a river channel (warning: NSFW link!).