Planning for Sunset Boulevard Refurbishment in Echo Park Underway

Congressman Xavier Becerra's office is funding the project, which must be completed in 2013.


The stretch of Sunset Boulevard between Alvarado Street and Elysian Park Avenue in Echo Park gets a lot of traffic--auto and otherwise.

It's the heart of Echo Park's entertainment district, where restaurants like Masa of Echo Park, Pizza Buona, Sage and Senor Fish, and clubs and bars like The Echo, El Prado and The Gold Room attract visitors from all over the city now.

Merchants and property owners have been asking for upgrades of public space along that stretch for a long while now.

And now they may finally get some relief thanks to a plan unveiled recently by the city's Bureau of Street Services.

It's being funded by an $687,000 "enhancement" appropriation from Congressman Xavier Becerra, whose 31st District will include Echo Park until the end of the year.

The money was allocated in 2009, but efforts have begun in earnest, since the funds must be spent by the end of 2013. 

Working with the Echo Park Chamber of Commerce, the Echo Park Historical Society, the office of Council District 13 and the Echo Park Improvement Association, engineers at the Bureau of Street Services have put together a preliminary plan.

Check out the documents in the gallery above and you'll see that it focuses on four intersections: Sunset and Alvarado, Sunset and Park, Sunset and Echo Park Avenue and Sunset and Elysian Park Avenue.

According to the plan, several broken sidewalks will be repaired. Decorative inserts in the sidewalk concrete have also been proposed, perhaps most controversially at the southeast corner of Alvarado Street, where a proposed hitching post has pundits joking. 

According to the plan, some trees will be planted.  Other trees will be pruned. 

The original Big Belly solar-powered trashcan at Echo Park Avenue will be restored. Several other Big Belly cans will also be installed, two of them at the intersection of Elysian Park Avenue, where heavy crowds pass through during Dodger season.

Perhaps most significantly, a pocket park would be created at the intersection of Park and Sunset, across from the Brite Spot restaurant. 

Because the funding comes to enhance the stretch of street, outright "repairs" of existing infrastructure are not covered by the grant.

But several insiders have noted that the presence of Bureau of Street Services workers on the street could lead to long-awaited repairs just off the stretch, including the curb outside Walgreen's on Echo Park Avenue. 

Christine Peters has been helping to liaison between the Chamber, the Improvement Association and the Historical Society, groups that have been providing input to the project.

She says the design unveiled recently reflects a lot of the area's 19th century history, especially Angeleno Heights. 

She said engineers have been advised to think more about the area's 20th century in developing the next pass.

It will be shown to the community at a meeting in January. 

Peters said the project also creates a lot of opportunities for synergies with groups like Northeast Trees, who might want to do some further planting. 

She also added that it could also incentivize stakeholders like property owners and tenants to pitch in and help maintain things once the work is done.

J, F, December 06, 2012 at 03:13 AM
Please trim all trees


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