Northeast San Fernando Valley residents will get an opportunity Wednesday to weigh in on a proposal to spruce up a well-used, but neglected bike and pedestrian path that follows the Metrolink route through Sylmar.
Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore recently won an initial $15,000 Great Streets Challenge grant to do outreach and develop a plan for a nearly one-mile stretch of San Fernando Road, between Polk and Hubbard streets. The Sylmar-based nonprofit will then submit the proposal to the city to compete for a $500,000 grant to carry it out.
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Michael Centeno, executive director of Tia Chucha’s, said they are working with community members to come up with ideas for the Great Streets proposal aimed at making the path “more welcoming and safe.”
The road was chosen because it is a frequently used route by residents, but is in need of better lighting at night, repairs to the fencing, landscaping work and traffic safety improvements, he said.
Centeno said there are opportunities to put in public art to make the path more inviting, reflective of and appropriate for the surrounding neighborhood. For example, the only major visual element along that road currently includes billboards that advertise marijuana-industry businesses, he said.
The initial grant pays for a consultant who will help Tia Chucha’s “develop a survey and outreach strategy.” They are seeking feedback from a wide range of people who live in or frequent the area around the Metrolink railroad tracks, Centeno said.
Recently, Tia Chucha’s staff also joined members of the Sylmar Neighborhood Council and a principal from a nearby school to lead a tour of the San Fernando Road path to a reporter and local officials from the offices of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, Assemblywoman Luz Rivas’s office.
This Wednesday’s community meeting will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the auditorium of Osceola Street Elementary School. Questions about the Great Streets project and the meeting can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or (818) 939-3433.