I wish the first post was about what the Elysian Valley Neighborhood Watch and SuperCommunity are collaborating or beautiful pictures of the L.A. River.
However, David De La Torre of the Elysian Valley Neighborhood Watch just shared a frightening anecdote via email about events that took place this morning in the Elysian Valley on the L.A. River Greenway Trail, a pedestrian and bike path along the L.A. River:
"Councilmember O’Farrell, Adam, Gina, Capt. Sandoval and others:
I just took a call from a frightened Elysian Valley stakeholder reporting an LAPD vehicle in pursuit of a black jeep on the Elysian Valley pedestrian/bike path. This marks the third instance that I am aware of a private vehicle entering the Elysian Valley recreational pedestrian/bike path endangering community stakeholders. This is the first involving LAPD in pursuit of.
I have been ringing this alarm for some time now and the urgent necessary remedy continues to fall on deaf ears. I reiterate my call to secure the access to private vehicles immediately before we lament an avoidable fatality."
Originally a pedestrian path, this area of Elysian Valley or Frogtown was paved to make way for L.A. River Greenway Trail. Some in the neighborhood have expressed mixed feelings ever since. Ideally the Greenway Trail brought benefits to all: exercising in open space, being in contact with nature, meeting with neighbors, etc. However, residents haven't been feeling safe on the path or included in the transformation of their neighborhood. They feel disrespected by cyclist that run through the area too fast, sometimes running into neighbors. And now cars? Overtime things seem to be getting more and more complex.
If nothing is done we run the risk of alienating neighbors further. At this point, instituting a slow-zone on the weekends is might not be enough. There are many problems with the trail and it all seems to go back to the inability of a few to acknowledge and offer respect towards the people of Frogtown.
I wasn't born or raised in Frogtown. So I have less authority in my claims than neighbors like David De La Torre. But Frogtown is my home away from home. I feel in love with the neighborhood 3 years ago shortly after I moved to Los Angeles. A friend invited me to bike on the L.A. Greenway trail along the L.A. River to escape the concrete jungle. I decided to join the ride, secretly hoping to see frogs. Little did I know then that they had been long gone.
With the increasing pressure on the neighborhood I fear many people will be pushed out too. I just personally hope the path does not become one of those points of contention or reasons for people to leave.