Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilman Dennis Zine and others affiliated with the city gathered on Friday to celebrate a newly completed portion of bike path, part of the Los Angeles River Greenway Project.
The specific portions of the project celebrated Friday were the widening and resurfacing of bridges at Tampa and Winnetka avenues as well as the bike path that runs between the two streets along the Los Angeles River.
The City's eventual goal is to create a continuous 51-mile recreational greenway running from Bell and Calabasas creeks to Long Beach, where the river meets the Pacific Ocean.
"This L.A. River is a way to connect this dispersed megalopolis of a city," said Villaraigosa, calling the river an "emerald necklace" whose parks and green space connect the city.
"Today, we help put one more bead on that emerald necklace," he said.
About 60 people came out for the bike path ribbon-cutting ceremony and while most seemed to support the project, not all in attendance were fans.
Reseda resident Jon Gerfen, whose backyard abuts the path, held a "Got Pork?" sign at the back of the crowd.
Gerfen, who said he's been vocal with the city about his opposition to the path, believes while residents were consulted years ago, the current economic climate should have been taken into consideration before the city broke ground on the project about 18 months ago.
"There's something that's happened since then. It's called the recession," Gerfen said. "They'll tell you it's not your money; It's not my money. If you pay taxes, it is your money," he said.
Gerfen's other major concern has to do with safety and the relative ease of access the path affords would-be trespassers to his and his neighbors' property.
While Gerfen's worries were not addressed at the celebration, Councilmember Dennis Zine spoke about some of the benefits he hopes the paths will provide the community—not the least of which include health benefits—before borrowing a bike from one of the ceremony attendees and trying out the path for himself.