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Access to the Dominguez Channel walk way is often by bicycle, so we read this recent email from Jordann Turner at the City of Los Angeles with interest.

It arrived as a PDF, but for your reading pleasure we’ve converted it via OCR to postable text. There may be some errors/typos as a result.

September 24,2009
To all Interested Patties:
The City of Los Angeles is pleased to release the draft 2009 Los Angeles Bicycle Plan. This proposed Bicycle Plan is a result of extensive fieldwork, public/community input-including public meetings, mail-in comment cards, the online comment page from the project’s website and routes  submitted via web-based mapping services-as well as a review of the network recommended in the current Bicycle Plan….

There’s more below, but the important thing to note is the deadline for submission of comments of November 6.

Bike paths along the Channel would be Class I – …areas with available right-of-way, usually along flood control channels, utility corridors or through open spaces where the implementation of a bicycle path can provide access to destinations and/or enhance the continuity of the broader bikeway network.[my extra emphasis]

But there is no “broader bikeway network”! Page 19 of 22 in the report shows the bikeway designations for the upper Dominguez Channel. From 120th st near Hawthorne airport south to El Camino College / Alondra Park is designated as an existing bike path, however doesn’t connect to anything and is balkanized by major arterial streets (not shown on map). We’ve commented on this before.

Another very short segment of designated bike lane exists on the map between Garden Willows (near the W end of the 91 freeway). Connections are shown to several potential bike lanes. Timelines are difficult to ascertain, but the vibe I’m getting is that these bike lanes of the future will always be bike lanes of the future.

Then there’s nothing. All the rest of the remaining way to the harbor.

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This just received on email and specific to Hawthorne residents.  Hawthorne is in the Dominguez Watershed.  However, the Surfrider Foundation offers a general program similar to this one for other communities.  See http://oceanfriendlygardens.blogspot.com/

Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG) Program
“Be a part of the solution, not the pollution”

1. The concept – Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG) & parkways utilize CPR© for the garden to prevent wet & dry-weather runoff:

• Conservation of (a) water, (b) fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides (water pollutants), (c) energy (moving water around the state is the #1 user of electricity), (d) and gas-powered machinery (air pollutants) through use of native & and climate adapted plants.
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An email from one of our members:

I went to the opening festivities and tours of the newly opened Bixby Marshland in Carson (it’s on the west side of Figueroa, just south of Sepulveda). This is one of the most impressive of the local habitat restorations, landscaped by WRA and maintained by the County of Los Angeles Sanitation District. It has a lot of ideas for our future projects. It will be open to the public every first Saturday of the month form 8 a.m. to 12 noon. See their website at
http://www.lacsd.org/about/wastewater_facilities/jwpcp/bixbymarshland.asp

Below is an email announcing a Sept 19th cleanup in the Dominguez Watershed (and related fundraising activities) sponsored locally by Adopt a Stormdrain Foundation and area-wide by Heal The Bay as part of Coastal Cleanup Day.

The mission statement from Adopt a Stormdrain seems right in line with ours.

Adopt a Stormdrain Foundation
1218 El Prado Ave. Suite #128, Torrance, CA 90502

Coastal Clean up Day September 19, 2009
Along the Dominguez Channel

9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

LA City/Carson/Torrance/Harbor City Site = 91 Freeway/Artesia Transit Center

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Great news: Back in April we submitted a proposal to restore upland native plants along the Dominguez Channel and do some related community education and outreach.  Our proposal was accepted and funded!

We had asked for $30k and we were funded at $22k, so we have some additional work to do on the budget before we start.  Today we met to focus on that task and draw up a list of actions and we’re optimistic about completing everything that we promised.

Of course we’ll keep all of you in blog land updated right here, but a better way to stay in touch is to join the Friends / Amigos of Dominguez Watershed email list.

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We have an email list! This is the ideal way to see recent activity that didn’t make it into this blog or to receive late breaking news.

Subscribe by visiting our homepage: http://groups.google.com/group/FADW

Once subscribed, use the group email ,FADW@googlegroups.com.

The email list is public; the archives are indexed by Google and are searchable.

To unsubscribe from this group, send email to FADW+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com

A few days ago I received a wonderfully detailed and insightful email from Roy van de Hoek.   Roy is very knowledgeable about local conservation and ecological issues.  He has the added distinction of  once having worked at Alondra Park – smack in the middle of the Dominguez watershed and adjacent to the Dominguez Channel.  There’s a lot of good suggestions and history in his email, so I thought it best to try to reproduce it as completely as possible.

Here’s an edited version of his email after the break.

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Domingueros:

We’re looking for opportunities to green the Dominguez Channel – if you know of any low-hanging fruit, please pass it along!  And we’re finding we need to move FAST, because, despite the lousy economy, the market is hot for impractical bad development.

What could I possibly mean?

Just a few days ago, intrepid Dominguero Brent Morgan posted his first dispatch of Tour de Channel.  He spied an excellent open space opportunity along 120th Street, where Yukon Street hits the 105 Freeway.

Open space opportunity near 105 fwy & Yukon. Photo: Brent Morgan.

Open space opportunity near 105 fwy & Yukon. Photo: Brent Morgan.

Nearby is a bus stop and parking area for public transit.  While parkland adjacent to a freeway is loaded with its own environmental issues, it’s several orders of magnitude better than, say, “open space” that is really a railroad, such as the City of Hawthorne has called out here:

Excerpt from zoning map, City of Hawthorne.

Railroad tracks zoned Open Space. Excerpt from zoning map, City of Hawthorne.

Yes, the City’s own zoning map appears to be endorsing the idea of kids living in R-3 (high density) housing to go play at active railroad tracks. (to be fair, yes, the Memorial Center is also open space in the lower right hand corner)  

Ironically, the land in the photo above, this nice potential park site, is zoned commercial.  The Dominguez channel upstream, like the rail road tracks, is zoned open space, but again, I can’t imagine any public agency seriously wanting kids to occupy the bottom of a concrete channel – can you?  The roads on the Right-of-Way is one thing, but the entire channel??

domchannelzone

Green "Open Space," aka the Dominguez channel, and Commercial zoning where actual open space remains. Excerpted from City Hawthorne zoning map.

But don’t worry, soon this disconnect will be rectified.  Our lovely green patch on the channel is expected to be covered with storage units, showing that land use decisions are made with a great deal of attention to community needs.  

Because what we’re really overflowing with is stuff – and definitely not usable open space.

Right?