Marvin Braude Beach Trail Widening Approved:
Pacific Palisades residents received some great news at today’s meeting of the L.A. Recreation and Park Board of Commissioners and afterwards.
First, they approved the Marvin Braude Beach Trail Gap Closure Project in Pacific Palisades, and later, Michael Shull, General Manager of the Department of Recreation and Parks, agreed that it was time for the Palisades Recreation Center to have a new playground.
The Marvin Braude Beach Bike Trail stretches 22 miles from Will Rogers State Beach at Temescal Canyon to Torrance.
Many Palisades residents know that the portion of this bikeway just south of Tower 15 to Chautauqua is about 13-feet wide and is shared by bikers and pedestrians.
The proposed project, which has been in the works for decades, would add 16-17 feet to the existing trail to create a 30-ft.-wide path that would be striped and separated into a dedicated pedestrian trail and dedicated bike path. The length of the proposed expansion is about .6 miles.
The scope of work would include construction of a concrete slab bridge, removal and replacement of culverts, modifications to rest areas and new benches, trash receptacles and bicycle racks.
Plans were prepared by Los Angeles County, which will be responsible for construction. Funding will come from a $2.2 million Active Transportation Program Grant and $3.8 million in Los Angeles County Measure R Local Return Funds.
According to a 1975 Joint Powers Agreement, all development undertaken by the County on beaches within the City need to be approved by Recreation and Park Commissioners. The beach is owned by California State.
The California Department of State Parks issued an approval letter in April 2020, and in November at the California Coastal Commission meeting, commissioners learned that the City of L.A. had issued a coastal development permit.
On December 1, the L.A. County Department of Public Works sought approval from the L.A. County Supervisors, noting that “When the project is completed, this will have a positive impact by providing separated paths of travel along the Marvin Braude Beach Trail for pedestrian and bicycle users. This project will also provide an improved environment for physical activity and travel.”
The bike path was first proposed in the late 1960s and received approval in 1988. The last section of the path opened in 1989. The path was officially named in 2006 for the late City Councilman Marvin Braude.
RAP Board member and Palisades resident Joe Halper was happy. At the meeting, he said “This was initially raised over a decade ago, and I’m pleased that RAP is considering it.”
Pacific Palisades Community Council Chair David Card said, “This has been a long-time coming. I would urge the board to make sure the northern terminus signage is enhanced.” He explained the area is one where pedestrians, bikers and beachgoers converge.
POSSIBLE NEW PLAYGROUND AT THE PARK:
As RAP Board members listened to discussions about a proposed playground replacement for Aiden’s Playground, which was built in Westwood in 2002, General Manager of the Department of Rec and Parks Michael Shull told commissioners: “Ideally, playgrounds should be replaced every 15 years. We’re constantly trying to replace them and do about 25 to 30 playgrounds every year.”
Shull said the reasons for replacing playgrounds is liability and the risks associated with play. “It is our strong commitment to replace playgrounds,” he said, noting that the rubber surfacing is generally the first thing to be replaced and that there are safety and maintenance concerns with sand. “The sand has to be sifted every day by hand,” he said.
Circling the News contacted Shull after the board meeting and asked about the playground at the Palisades Rec Center, which has sand, is handicapped inaccessible and is nearly 30 years old.
Shull responded in an email: “Yes, I stated that we strive to replace playgrounds on regular intervals. I agree that Palisades is in need of replacement. I am going to ask staff to talk with PAB [the Park Advisory Board] about this because there was a push to make it a universally accessible playground. In any event, we will follow up.”
CTN sent that affirmative email to members of the Palisades Park Advisory Board, and also to a former Palisades Woman’s Club President Annie Barnes, who spoke on behalf of the Westwood Park Universal Playground at the RAP meeting today.
Assistant General Manager Jimmy Kim sent a follow up email to CTN and wrote that he was adding the Superintendent of the West Region (Sonya Young-Jimenez) to the email, so that the playground was addressed by the staff here and PAB.