The Los Angeles County Flood Control District is reportedly currently working on a plan to open up more than 138 miles of San Gabriel Valley waterways to bicyclists and pedestrians. The San Gabriel Valley Greenway Strategic Implementation Plan will create a roadmap toward increasing open space in SGV communities and connecting to Rio Hondo and the San Gabriel Valley River.

During a presentation to the San Gabriel Valley Council Governments’ Technical Advisory Committee, the civil engineer with the Flood Control District Enrique Baul said: “The plan will transform flood control district right-of-way within the San Gabriel Valley … into a world-class greenway network. This plan will incorporate the needs of the communities and bridge gaps between existing planning efforts and it will identify and prioritize project opportunities.” 

This new plan comes after years of other planning and actions by regional decision-makers and local stakeholders. In 2014, the SGVCOG and ActiveSGV, then known as BikeSGV, were awarded funding to conduct a regional Greenway Feasibility Study to identify flood control channels, abandoned railways, and utility rights-of-ways to be transformed into bikeways, urban trails, and parks from the California Active Transportation Program. This study identified 50 miles of waterways best suited for greenways. Then, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a motion to create the San Gabriel Valley Regional Greenway Network Implementation Plan in 2017.

For this project, Flood Control District staff have completed a couple of analyses so far. They’ve mapped out which waterways have hydraulic concerns and analyzed the size of right-of-ways for the entire network. And as for the right-of-way analysis, Flood Control District staff is currently figuring out how much space they have available to accommodate the greenway.

Moreover, the plan will also prioritize projects through two lenses: a community lens and a circulation lens. The first will identify where are communities with the highest density, are the most disadvantaged, have high pollution burdens and lack park space. The second will see where retail, industry and schools are located along the waterways, where existing projects are happening, what regulatory constraints may exist within waterways being analyzed, and the complexity of a project and how that would affect or increase its cost.

The plan is expected to be completed by Fall 2021, and the environmental review process by Summer 2022. And though the SGV Greenway Strategic Implementation Plan is still a few years out from being finalized, 13 projects have already started and are in various stages of development, including the Puente Creek Greenway and San Jose Creek Regional Access Multi-use Path. 

According to Baul, the SGV TAC is the first engagement with cities the project has done, but LAC Flood Control staff will reach out to individual cities in the planning area to get their feedback. At the time of the meeting, only City of Pomona staff had been reached directly.

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Neama Rahmani is the President and co-founder of West Coast Trial Lawyers.

Neama graduated from UCLA at the age of 19 and Harvard Law School at the age of 22, making him one of the youngest graduates in the 200-year history of the…

Neama Rahmani is the President and co-founder of West Coast Trial Lawyers.

Neama graduated from UCLA at the age of 19 and Harvard Law School at the age of 22, making him one of the youngest graduates in the 200-year history of the law school. Upon graduation, Neama was hired by O’Melveny & Myers, the largest law firm in Los Angeles, where he represented companies such as Disney, Marriott, and the Roman Catholic Church.

But Neama wanted to help ordinary people, not corporations, so he joined the United States Attorney’s Office, where he prosecuted drug and human trafficking cases along the United States-Mexico border. While working as a federal prosecutor, Neama captured and successfully prosecuted a fugitive murderer and drug kingpin who had terrorized Southern California and was featured on “America’s Most Wanted.” Neama was then appointed to be the Director of Enforcement of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, an independent watchdog that oversees and investigates the elected officials and highest level employees of the City of Los Angeles, including the Mayor and City Council. He held that position until becoming a trial lawyer for the people.

Neama has extensive trial experience. He has led teams of more than 170 attorneys in litigation against the largest companies in the world. Neama has successfully tried dozens of cases to verdict as lead trial counsel, and has argued before both state and federal appeals courts. Over the course of his career, Neama has handled thousands of cases as attorney of record and has helped his clients obtain more than $1 billion in settlements and judgments.