In 1989, Palms resident Jonathan Weiss wanted to revive rail transportation along the abandoned railway that had linked Los Angeles to Santa Monica in 1875 and to Los Angeles' first suburb, The Palms (est. 1886) between the two. He joined the "Committee to Preserve the Right of Way" and, in 1990, the land was "preserved" for what, two decades later, would become the Expo light rail line.

By late-2006, Jonathan had moved to the north side of the tracks, in Cheviot Hills.  As a homeowners association board member, he supported a train crossing under Overland Avenue. Unfortunately, an underpass was complicated by a large storm drain under the roadway.  That obstacle inspired him.  

In early-2007, Jonathan envisioned "daylighting" a buried stream running through storm drains onto the Expo Line's right of way and City land straddling it.  With support from politicians, neighbors, and environmentalists, the "Expo Green Corridor" proposal was submitted to the Expo Construction Authority.

In March 2011, the Expo Construction Authority opted against its planned parking lot, and the Green Corridor proposal was modified to become the Westwood Greenway: daylighting Brown Canyon Creek, a spring-fed stream running from Beverly Glen to Ballona Creek.  Originally, the creek ran under the Greenway area, but its now-polluted waters had been shunted into the storm drain under Overland Avenue.  Pumping the creek back up to the surface could remove lead, zinc, copper, and other pollutants from up to 48 million gallons of water per year.  It would also eliminate the need for potable water to irrigate both the Metro and City land.

By Summer 2013, a Greenway steering committee had formed, and ground was broken:  culverts were installed to move water beneath the railroad tracks.  The Westwood Greenway would be a multi-benefit project combining Metro’s two 35 foot parcels outside the Expo Light Rail line's sound walls with Los Angeles’ 50 foot wide parcels.  Together, they would provide space for:

  • Urban runoff treatment to help comply with the federal Clean Water Act
  • Native habitat
  • A bikeway and pedestrian walkway on the south section, and
  • A meandering walkway on the north section – including access to public transit and educational and passive recreational opportunities.

Throughout this time, Expo Line proponents and opponents alike have supported Westwood Neighborhood Greenway to implement and share a message of sustainability.  They hope to continue working with Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens and Los Angeles Audubon and to fund an Outdoor Learning Center for lessons on sustainable landscaping practices so that they can be spread to public and private spaces.

Greenway Concept


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