Los Angeles River Regional Bike Path

UltraSystems evaluated environmental documentation and permitting requirements for the proposed construction of a 6.4-mile Class I Bikeway Facility along the Los Angeles River from Whitsett Avenue to Riverside Drive. Due to possible right-of-way restrictions along the Los Angeles River, an alternative route along Tujunga Wash to bypass a CBS property was also be evaluated. The project did not qualify for a categorical exemption from preparation of environmental documentation under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Although a categorical exemption is available in principle through CEQA § 15304(h), “the creation of bicycle lanes on existing rights-of-way,” CEQA § 15300.2(a) disallows categorical exemptions because the project may include construction of bridges across the Los Angeles River and Tujunga Wash, which are classified as wetlands and provide potential habitats for migratory birds and special-status species. In addition, the project was potentially affected by hazardous releases from a nearby facility, and may cause a substantial adverse change in the significance of an historical resource. UltraSystems’ recommended an Initial Study (IS) under CEQA to evaluate the project in 17 impact categories to determine whether impacts are potentially significant, less than significant with mitigation, less than significant, or nonexistent. The findings were accepted by KOA and Los Angeles County.