Update: The city has submitted an application to extend the deadline for the bridge’s redesign and has created the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge Citizen’s Oversight Committee. The Committee will consist of six members that will meet with Bureau of Engineering and DOT along with CD 13 and CD 4 staff periodically on an as-needed basis to discuss the project design. Our executive director Deborah Murphy will be on the committee representing Los Angeles Walks.
Deborah was also quoted in this excellent piece about the bridge in the Los Angeles Times: “It feels like something out of Star Trek,” said Deborah Murphy, the executive director of pedestrian advocacy group Los Angeles Walks. “Beam me up and beam me down on the other side, because there is no other way to get across.”
On Sunday, November 3 Los Angeles Walks joined Dan Koeppel of the Big Parade, Don Ward of Wolfpack Hustle and 50+ community members from Los Feliz, Atwater Village, Silver Lake to walk and discuss issues of accessibility on the Hyperion Bridge. Our walk included a trek through Griffith Park and along the LA River to North Atwater Park, as well as a crossing of the Los Feliz Blvd bridge, which also has a number of pedestrian and bicycle safety issues. Here are just a few of the problems we noticed:
Trying to cross the 5 freeway on-ramp on Hyperion Bridge was incredibly dangerous due to fast-moving cars and no crosswalk
Trying to safely cross from Hyperion Ave onto the Glendale Ave sidewalk at the Atwater Village end of the Hyperion Bridge, sidewalks are non-existent
Walking to Silver Lake on the Hyperion Bridge the sidewalk narrows from 6′ to 1.5′ violating federal accessibility laws.
The current bridge has many problems, however, a new Hyperion Bridge project is being managed by the City of LA’s Bureau of Engineering. The project will improve the seismic strength of the bridge and will address some of the current safety issues. The project will offer a number of benefits to motorists and include the addition of a new pedestrian walkway across the former Red Car trolley piers, which we support to provide an important connections to the Los Angeles River Ped-Bike Path.
However, the addition of the walkway does not reduce the need to make the Hyperion Bridge, the most direct route across the river and the freeway, into a safe and welcoming route for pedestrians and cyclists.
It’s also important to ensure the design of the bridge encourages safer vehicle speeds. Currently the design of the bridge allows vehicles to get up to 50+ miles an hour for this short stretch, which means vehicles are zooming onto the main streets of both communities at fast speeds, the proposed design only enhances this issue making the heart of both communities less safe for people shopping, dining out and enjoying their neighborhoods.
In addition, the bridge needs enhanced pedestrian crossings to allow pedestrians to safely cross the often high-speed traffic between Hyperion Avenue and Glendale Blvd. The project needs to include sidewalks on both sides of the bridge, the current proposed design only provides a sidewalk on one side and doesn’t include a way to access the proposed single sidewalk on Hyperion Avenue from the south side of Glendale Boulevard.