Sunday, November 9, 2014

Red Car Property: Trail In Plans Since 1968

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 28 2012.  Dodging cars with kids & on-leash dogs, south of the Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase, is trickier in the rainy season.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 27, 2011. The exact same stretch of trail without cars is more inviting to walk.

The Red Car Property is not a park, it just looks like one.  A former privately owned right-of-way for the Pacific Electric Red Car Trolley Glendale Line, it is still private property that we've all been trespassing on since the tracks were removed in 1955.  

Due to it's unique length, shape, grade & location, in the middle of a residential neighborhood, it is an ideal trail for non-motorized use, connecting people to parks, schools & recreational facilities in a heavily freeway & topographically divided neighborhood.

Planners took note and, for decades, included the Red Car Property as a part of a larger trail system in various State & City plans, including the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy's El Pueblo Trail (1983), a part of the Rim of the Valley Trail Corridor  in the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Zone (enabled by State Public Resources Code in 1979); Silver Lake - Echo Park - Elysian Valley Community Plan (1984); as a key link from surrounding community to LA River in LA River Revitalization Master Plan (2007).

It even shows up as far back as 1968 in the City of Los Angeles Equestrian Trails Master Plan showing a general alignment through the hillside area west of the 5 Freeway between Griffith & Elysian Parks. The plan encourages hikers' use of equestrian trails to increase trail safety.

Since its inception 6 years ago, The Big Parade LA has included The Corralitas Red Car Property as a key link in the Silver Lake Loop as part of a growing urban trails movement using public staircases and rights-of-way, encouraging walking our neighborhoods instead of driving between Downtown Los Angeles & the Hollywood Sign in an organized 2-day hike.  

The Red Car Property is not a park, it just looks like one