History & Moving Forward: Public Engagement
Get involved. Stay involved.
Beach Access: Your Elected Reps Want Your Feedback
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Traci Park will be hosting a meeting to go over where the City is with respect to the planning for a pedestrian bridge over PCH on December 5, 2023.
From that point forward, a contractor to the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works will calendar public engagement meetings and notify community organizations, and (we presume) a direct email list to which any member of the public may sign up for notifications. We intend to also post each meeting notification on this site, so please stay tuned.
Below, a brief chronology with respect to how this bridge was originally conceived and the public process up to now.
Pre-1985: Landslides consume houses; city acquires properties
1985-91: The park is planned with a specific intention to bridge Pacific Palisades to the beach via Potrero Canyon Park - EIR and broad reporting.
1995-2004: Issues identified & moves for greater public engagement
Initially, it was thought the project would be completed by 1995. Elsewhere on this site we describe the multiagency issues and considerations for the overall park design, not the least of which is the park's extraordinary engineering and functionality as a riparian habitat.
Beginning in 2004, the new PCCAC engaged in a three-year effort to solicit community input. Dozens of meetings were held. Appointees to the PCCAC estimate that more than 1000 voices were heard. There was significant coverage of the proceedings by the media, most pointedly the community papers. The #1 recommendation of that committee was construction of a bridge across PCH. This recommendation was qualified only by a statement that “the Committee is not opposed to a further neutral assessment of the feasibility, safety and efficacy of an over- crossing as compared with other possible alternatives.”
2016-Present: Park Built - Where's Our Bridge?
If you have made it this far, we congratulate you on your fortitude. Since the bridge was funded, the matter of the bridge, whether there should be a bridge, whether there has been proper notice about the plan for a bridge, what the bridge's design and purpose should be, and commentary on whether the park should even exist has been discussed at great length particularly by residents and owners of homes surrounding the park in regularly noticed and special meetings of the Pacific Palisades Community Council. Discussions included the realization that city agencies are now advising the entire community that in the event of a wildfire, it would be best if they prepare to "shelter in place" whereas the Beach Access Bridge might serve the entire community (as access to the ocean recently saved a number of lives during the tragic fires in Maui).
The bridge was also the subject of a casual poll conducted by an online micro-publication focused on matters of interest in Pacific Palisades which concluded that the community had been heard from “loud and clear” in support of the bridge. There continue to be voices opposing its construction and proclaiming that the public engagement process has been inadequate; however, the very next steps now are another formalized round of public engagement for the -design- of the bridge. It's future as a safe route to the beach, however, is no longer in question.