Monday, October 12, 2009

18-Acre Elysian Park Parcel: Problems Past

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 1, 2009. Dirt bike parts abandoned on the 18-Acre Elysian Park Parcel. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

For years, the 18-Acre Elysian Park Parcel (between Riverside Drive and Landa) served as an unofficial dirt bike track. On weekends, a group of local motorcyclists, complete with their families, would park their trucks on Riverside Drive, unload their motorcycles and use the Elysian Park land as their own private off-road course.

Orange traffic cones marked their track. The track even had a jump off the slope near the closed off portion of Landa and Twin Oak St. (a paper street). The pile of parts in the above photo is at the bottom of the jump site. You could hear their motors as far away as Corralitas Drive. It was Elysian Park's version of the X Games.

It took years of pressure by neighbors and Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park to convince CD13, Rec & Parks and LAPD that something needed to be done. Not only was it illegal to ride a motorized vehicle off road in the City, it was a public safety issue and fire hazard.

A few years ago, Rec & Parks finally fenced off the site to prevent vehicular access. It looks like the occasional dirt bike enthusiast still rides the track. In the years since, the flora has grown back and it is as peaceful as a vacant lot can be adjacent to the 5 Freeway.

Rec & Parks posted plans for the 18-Acre Parcel and the environmental review on their website.

Public comment on the environmental review is due by 3PM, October 19, 2009.