We have identified a series of key areas posing both problems and potential: Nine local site analysis have been worked into project proposals to fill-in missing portions of the park and create linkages both within the interior of the park, while reaching out to the surrounding communities.
The Proposals range from quick fixes like re-painting existing roadways and wayfinding signage to distant future bridges and freeway cap parks.
Stadium Way, a six lane road, is designed for major events but that specific usage adds up to less than 1% of all hours in a year, and most often for those events LADOT cones off 5 lanes uphill before events and 5 lanes downhill after events – they are not even utilizing the high capacity striping. The consequence is much cut-thru traffic, trying to speed thru to avoid traffic on the I-5 to I-110 interchange, endangering local residents and park visitors.
We propose a new striping plan that create new Dodger Blue bike LAnes uphill and downhill that buffer pedestrian walkways, re-allocating a lane on either side for people walking and biking. 4 dangerous intersections with frequent vehicle collisions need to be re-signalized and re-designed in order to complete the park and make Stadium Way safe for all users every day. For large events the configuration can still be re-configured via cones and officers.
Curate the important attractions of the park as well as the hidden historic sites. Bind the park together into a series of walks including one that circumnavigates the entire park, including the dodger parking lots. Use the Portola Trail as a backbone, and reconnect the park that Los Angeles loves and deserves.
In addition, use the park to hook up the major bike routes of the area, including new ones stretching along the major boulevards of Downtown.
All new connectivity efforts should be strengthened by a comprehensive system of environmental graphic design, to allow for easy expansion and modification of the network.
Dodger Stadium is only an 18 minute walk away from the Metro Gold Line Chinatown Station. We propose painting a path that leads vistors from the station thru old chinatown across the I-110 on existing bridge and up a new pedestrian-only path to the stadium. This path would mimic the path on the 1894 Birdseye Drawing of Los Angeles seen above. The Dodgers already own most of the land so it’s really just a matter of minor grading and setting the new path. Retail could potentially be added to the path providing Dodger fans with amenities on their journey up the hill.
Build a new balustrade to match the dignitiy of the beautiful old walls and the glorious view it should frame. Awkward existing picnic areas could be improved into cafe style seating areas. Food vendors would enhance the experince of traversing the hills to reach this unique vantage point.
Unbeknownest to most passers-by, Elysian Park extension nearly connects to Elysian Park proper along stadium way. There is a gap at Landa St. that can be easily closed perceptually thru ground surface treatments and other visual clues. Environmental Graphics should be applied to the uphill wall of Stadium Way to create cohesion and play up the park’s identity and continuity.
The Arroyo Seco Confluence and the myriad of public works that surround it is a key point in the future of LA’s green infrastructure. Once the river is revitalized, it is only common sense to improve connectivity between the river backbone and Elysian Park.
Such efforts could be as simple as providing stair access between the river and Buena Vista Meadows and extending the bikepath that curves along Frogtown at the edge of the river.
A more ambitious yet still fairly realistic plan would be to connect Grand View Point with Broadway through the park, restore the path of the former Portola Trail by building a new Spiral Stair on top of the existing confluence infrastructure and complete the intersection of Baxter and Figueroa after over half a century of neglect.
The current infrastructural configuration around Elysian Park poses problems to connectivity, but at the same time it often holds the key as well. For instance, the North Broadway could be modified, to connect Elysian Park with the Cornfield Los Angeles State Historic Park.
The narrow strip of land between Broadway and the Gold Line tracks could be feasibly developed to partially cover the railway and incline with a terraced system of walkways, retail and public spaces, for visitors and shoppers to take hold at the edge of the park.
Restore North Figueroa as the neighborhood street that used to connect the neighborhood of Solano Canyon - now divided into ‘Upper’ and ‘Lower’ Solano. Stacking the northbound lanes on top of the southbound lanes – which was excavated in the at great costs of the park topography – would restore the I-110 as an actual walkable parkway, on top of two decks of freeway. Furthermore, N Figueroa Street would be relieved of its traffic burden and opened up for revitalization as a real street.
To reconnect Elysian Valley with Elysian Park and replace the all the lost homes, green space and commerce we need to build on the scale of the freeways themselves.
Inspiration can be derived from the past: both from the Figueroa Tunnels and the 1937 landslide that temporarily capped the Riverside Drive. This landslide was a grim predictor of the new fortress wall freeways that wall off Elysian Valley Neighborhood and replaced homes and commerce.
To repair the wound of the Roads and Freeways we propose freeway cap live/work buildings and park space. Key linkage locations like Dorris Place may be strategically implemented first to urgently provide a much needed walking connection to the Elysian Valley, the river and the future Dorris Place Bridge to Cypress Park.