December 3, 2006

Status of All requests for San Gabriel River bikeway repairs

South St. Entrance

11/25/05 LADPW (Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Works) notified by email:

1. The entrance to the river at south St. (south bound) has very badly broken pavement due to roots. The roots need to be cut out with the pavement and it needs to be repaved. The paving needs to be done so it is smooth for a 1/2 inch wide bike tire not a 3/4 ton pickup.

Status: Tree and roots removed and repaved entrance 10/06

Problems between Carson and wardlow

3/7/05 LADPW notified by email:

Serious root incursions just south of the wal mart parking lot (about 1/2 way between Carson and wardlow). The roots need to be cut out with the pavement and it needs to be repaved. This entire section (between carson and wardlow) is going to
have to be rePAVED due to all the ruts and holes. There really are too many to patch properly. "slurry seal" will NOT fix it but only conceal all the grooves, divots and other bad sections like happened years before. It is almost impossible to ride that section with a skinny tire road bike (the majority of the bikes on the trail) as it rattles you so much. I am also concerned that someone will hit a dip/rut in that section wrong and will take a spill. The bumps are so bad they can knock the bars out of your hands.

Status: Roots fixed in 2006 but numerous cracks still exist. County fixes some and leave others. Section between Carson and Wardlow to be totally repaved in July 2007 per the county's email in Nov 06. We are working on the details of that paving now.

Bridge at confluence of Coyote Creek and SG River

3/7/05 LADPW notified by email:
3. The bridge at the coyote creek confluence has a huge gap (6-8") on the west side and is rather bumpy on the east side. Over the years the west side gap has increased and the metal and rubber used to fill it have been torn or worn away. I bent a
wheel going over this gap. People are trying, unsuccessfully, to fill it with dirt and scraps of wood as they know it is a problem. As you have to make a 90 degree turn at either end of the bridge it is only a matter of time before someone (likely
an older person or child) is going to get their wheel sideways on these gaps and go down hard. What needs to be done is to remove the metal gap filler there now and replace it with a large piece of wood, flush with the concrete and bolted down. I
am sure your maintenance people can figure something out (or better yet get an engineer to look at it). The point is it needs to be sturdy and slip resistant as bikes have to turn as they go over it.

6/13/06 email to LADPW:
As for Item 3 they tried to fix the west side bridge transition but they did not bolt the board down and someone stole it within a day or two. Then they tamped some asphalt in the gap which was great for a few weeks but as they did not prep the
gap right (by removing the old tin) and as the gap flexes too much, the asphalt is now a bigger hazard as it is all broken up and we are right back where we started a year ago. They need to take out all the existing hardware (at both ends) and BOLT DOWN some new steel non skid transition plates on both ends of that bridge. That could last 50 years if done PROPERLY. The point is it needs to be sturdy and slip resistant as bikes have to turn as they go over it. Again when "skinny tired"
(contact patch of a tire is about the diameter of a nickel) road bikes have to turn at each end of that bridge these transitions are critical that the transition is smooth.

12/6/06 Status:
Not fixed. West side transition still bad due to very shoddy asphalt fill which lasted about 2 months


section between the 405 fwy and the 22 fwy

3/7/05 LADPW notified by email:
4. The section between the 405 and the 22 is horrible and the shoddy patching is making it worse. Again slurry seal will not fix it. It needs about a 2" think layer of pavement (after the potholed and ruts are filled). I don't think this has been
paved (not slurry sealed) in over 30 years. I have not seen a road in this area as bad as that section of bike path. And road bikes need much smoother pavement that cars to be ridden safely.

12/6/06 Status: Still no resolution as the county, Long Beach and Seal beach cannot agree on who must fix this section. No reply from Long Beach yet.

bridges south of south street

3/7/05 LADPW notified by email:
5. At most bridges south of south street there are large areas of sand about 200 feet either side of these bridges. Or in the ares just north of del amo, large accumulations of pine needles which are very dangerous for bikes as they are slippery especially when negotiating that very dark and dangerous tunnel approach. The sand can be eliminated by bi-monthly sweeping or trenching or sandbagging the areas where the sand washes in from.

Status: Sand issues are better but trail still not being swept weekly; that is clear to see. Problem areas not being focused on. The pavement directly under the bridges at Wardlow and Spring are still very rough as of 12/06.


under crossings at wardlow and spring

3/7/05 LADPW (Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Works) notified by email:

6. The under crossings at wardlow and spring are also very rough. Wardlow is also very sandy, especially after a rain. They need to be repaved between the sections of the new concrete path that was installed a few years ago on the approaches to these undercrossings. The worst is at the spring st under crossing. The entire portion under the bridge. The others are all bad (with sand) too Del Amo, carson, wardlow, willow. Now that the rain is gone I guess we dont have to worry about sandbagging the areas where the sand comes from I never could figure out why the county did not smooth out the pavement under the Wardlow, Spring and Willow undercrossings after making all those nice improvements to the trail (approaches) using concrete. (only of course after someone was killed at willow going north due to silly approach ramp). People that work for the county need to understand that 23mm bike tires
are not like car tires. Small pavement imperfections can be very dangerous, especially for all the old people that ride that trail. Just read the caltrans manual on class one bike path imperfections. The streets in this area are smoother than the bike path!!

Response by LADPW or work done:

Some sand swept. As of 11/06 no other improvements.

Status: No further response from county


Del Amo Tunnel

6/13/06 LADPW notified by email:
Another safety area is that bridge under DelAmo. Very dark. Need warning signs for people to yell going in. Also lots of water, slippery sand buildup and horse waste in it. Needs to be cleaned once a week. Transitions and gate openings could be
better north and south bound. Also the pine tree at the north end should be take out as it drops tons over slippery pine needles. Again if swept weekly not a problems but there is no budget for that apparently. 1/4 inch of fine sand is treacherous for road bikes and can easily lead to a loss of control at almost any speed, even going straight let alone turning.

Status: County finished installing and hooking up lights in tunnel as of 1/15/07. Trees removed 11/26/06.

Now Looking at fixing approaches from north and south into the tunnel as of 11/06. The County has not given LAAG a date for when the drawings will be done, when it will go out to bid or when work will commence. We assume summer 2007 but not sure at this point as it took 6 months just to get some lights in.

Motorcycles Used on the Trail
LADPW notified by email 1/22/07

Last week two full sized motorcycles wizzed past me at very high speed on the trail (near the 405) and scared the hell out of me. I think they are using it for racing. This is about the 10th time this has happened and of course the LASD never catches anyone. You need to get those signs back up again that tell people essentially "no motorized devices" can be used on the trail. About a year ago there was just such a metal sign at the south st. entrance on a 9ft tall pole that was so tall you could not see it as you entered. Now I think the whole sign is gone. I have not seen others. They need to be posted on both sides of the truck entrance gates at all entrances. Attach them to the chain link fences so they are at user eye height.


Bridges at 405 Fwy

Caltrans notified that fences down and homeless people living inside bridges (entering into earthquake retrofit access pannels on the underside of freeway bridges)

11/06 Status: Took about 4 months for Caltrans to find the problem even with pictures we sent them. Fixed the problem but not well like we told them to and yes once again the fence has been cut and vandals are back under the freeway 12/06.

General Maint. Issues:

I think the problem on the trail maint. is twofold: (1) the people that do the work are not very conscientious and/or (2) there is either no inspection of their finished work or the people that think the work was done don't ride road bikes over it so they really don't understand the safety problem to begin with as they just ride in cars or trucks with huge tires. Quite frankly the roadway pavement of the streets in that area are nicer to ride on than the bike path! But bikers don't like the street due to stop lights, dangerous divers (cell phone gabbers) and car exhaust fumes.

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