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Park at Border of Studio City & Sherman Oaks Nears Completion, but Divides Neighbors

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The new Studio Oaks Park, officially a wide median along Ventura Boulevard with a walking path that straddles the border of Sherman Oaks and Studio City, is practically finished. The meandering walking path is open to the public, except for one block that was flooded out by a trunkline break on Coldwater Canyon, and all that needs to be done to complete the project is some landscaping, which has become an issue between neighbors.

Although construction began last May, the park was first envisioned by neighbors six years ago. The most recent developments in 2006 after Jeff Berk, an active community organizer and neighborhood watch enthusiast, was walking his daughter in a stroller down the the residential side of the median when a car brushed him. "The car literally touched us," he explained about where he got his energy to aggressively pursue his neighbors' idea.

The 2,000 foot median sits along Ventura Boulevard between Fulton Avenue and Van Noord Street, splitting the busy commercial drag from a quiet residential street. For Berk, it was the perfect spot for a walking path on the side of the street where no sidewalks existed. The unmaintained median was covered in ivy, a heaven for rats, said neighbors.