By Ted AYALA
On the cusp of the contraction of phase one of the city’s Glendale Narrows Riverwalk project, the Glendale City Council voted to accept community input that had been gathered for public space concepts.
Three workshops were held by the city and Atkins North America, Inc. of Los Angeles that gathered feedback from stakeholders and the community over what direction they wanted to see the project move toward.
According to John Mekler of Atkins, over 300 people attended the workshops. He added that it was stressed that community input would be important, but not necessarily binding, toward the ultimate outcome of the project.
Among the key items were plans for two park spaces along the north bank of the Los Angeles River to be included in the project.
Public spaces included extensive shading areas and overhead gardening that showcased sleek, futuristic designs.
Mekler said the designs put forward to the public range in estimated costs from $3 million to $18 million. The public’s favorite design fell into the middle range with an estimated cost of $10 million.
Councilmember Laura Friedman, while praising the designs, expressed concern over the costs.
“The [public] chose the Cadillac when it comes to these options,” she said.
She also expressed concern whether Glendale’s concepts could be easily integrated into the overall Riverwalk Project, which would be largely overseen by Los Angeles.
“Whatever happens in the future [in the overall project] can be incorporated without changing much of the bridge designs,” Mekler said.
Friedman also expressed skepticism over the ability to include equestrian access into the design, given the limited space available.
To a question by Councilmember Ara J. Najarian concerning the hours when the bridges and the parks would be lit, Mekler informed him that those questions were being held for future discussion.
Despite her prior concerns, Friedman praised the project, calling it a boon for residents.
“This is very exciting. These are works of art, not just bridges,” she said. “[People in south Glendale] will see a huge increase in their quality-of-life.”