Click on the image to the left to see a large depiction of a generally well-used bike path alongside Griffith Park. Both commuters and recreational riders, including roadies in their eternal "training" cycles, use it. It's recently been extended several miles south of its previous terminus at fletcher, and will (we expect) someday be joined to existing bike paths upstream and downstream, making for a bicycle highway connecting dozens of communities between the West Valley and the ports.
You will see that this oldest section of bike path is jammed between the river on the left and a LOUD, smelly freeway on the right.
I suppose the justification was that this would make for easy access to the park (on the other side of the freeway) with having to build bike bridges from the other bank. Because a bike path on the left bank of the river would run not next to a freeway, or even a road: it would instead take you past wooded back yards, horse stables and corrals, and a golf course. And while it would not have as much access to Griffith Park, it would have more access to neighborhoods, retail, and office parks in Glendale and Atwater than the present path has.
Now it's generally trapped between the freeway and the river.
And in fact, later sections of the bike path far downstream do avoid the freeway on the right bank in favor of parks and neighborhoods on the left.
What was going through their minds? Was it meant as a subtle insult to the cyclists of the 1970s, when this (I think) was built?
I may just ask LADOT if anyone remembers why this segment was placed RIGHT BY the freeway. No one likes it there. But there it is.
Note (1/24/11): a contact in LADOT says that the original bike plan called for bike path on one side, pedestrian path on the other--and that also the right-of-way is discontinuous" on the left bank. I've walked it for miles, though; it seems to me it would be feasible with a little money and some political will.