Take A Stroll In The Park, A Freeway Park - KMSP-TV

Take A Stroll In The Park, A Freeway Park

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Glendale, CA -

The city of Glendale is moving forward with plans for a park...which could stretch across parts of the 134-freeway. Hal Eisner is live in La Canada Flintridge, to explain.

Try to imagine this... you're driving through Glendale on the 134. You look up. Instead of seeing the sky there's a roof. It's a tunnel. On top of the tunnel is a park. That's basically what planners are looking at doing in the center of Glendale. Oh, and that park would be super-sized costing, possibly billions! Alan Loomis is principal designer for the City of Glendale. He says there could be as many as 28 acres in the Glendale park covered with open space, bike trails, retail shops and even a convention facility. Simply put, they're talking about building land in the air by capping the freeway. The first "capped park" was in Seattle in the 70's, but this is a new trend that Loomis finds very exciting.

He and others I've talked with say when big freeways came along neighborhoods were split up. Now, by building parks over the freeways, they are restoring what was separated so many years ago. He says Memorial Park in La Canada-Flintridge is a perfect example of how to do it right. This park is a little different from Glendale's plan. There was once a school on the grounds of this one. The school had to move so the 210 Freeway could be built. But, in doing so, they split La Canada-Flintridge in half separating one side of the city and another. Patricia Anderson, with the La Canada-Flintridge Chamber of Commerce, says the school moved and eventually the city took over the space above the freeway for it's "capped park". She says that with the park's many concerts and other activities the community seem a little more connected.

There is much talk about this sort of above-the-freeway park. LA is talking about developing one in the Downtown area and there could be one in Hollywood over the 101.

The one thing I noticed as I stood in Memorial Park was it didn't seem like there was a freeway right under my feet, but all I had to do was look a few feet away to see the cars driving under me. Cue the "Twilight Zone" music!

Hal Eisner

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