Dog owners unhappy with city of LA over $58 million plan for new bike path in Sepulveda Basin

Jaysha Patel Image
Thursday, November 9, 2023
Dog owners unhappy with Sepulveda Basin bike path plan
Some dog owners near the Sepulveda Basin are fighting the city of L.A. over a plan to build a bike path that would cut into a beloved dog park.

VAN NUYS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Sepulveda Basin Off-Leash Dog Park is a popular place for local dog owners and their four legged friends.

Some dog owners are trying to face off with the city of Los Angeles over a plan to build a new bike path and fence in the Sepulveda Basin right next to the dog park.

Locals say they aren't too pleased about these ideas because it'll cut into their beloved dog park.

They say one solution is to change the bike path over to the south side of the L.A. River.

They say the land and baseball fields there are empty.

"Why cut into what is already being used when there's an alternative?" said dog owner Juan Carrillo. "It seems to me by not using it, you're just telling everyone, "You know what? Your opinion doesn't matter.'"

Dog owners at the park tell Eyewitness News they're not big fans of the new bike path because their dogs are scared of bicycles and bike paths already exist nearby.

"My dog, personally, they don't like skateboards. They don't like bikes. They have had bad experiences in the past, so they are triggered and it does scare them," said dog owner Leslie Robledo.

The Bureau of Engineering says their study found that it is not technically feasible to put the bike path on the south side because the space next to the river narrows and ends in two baseball fields.

Some dog owners have signed a petition opposing the $58 million Los Angeles River Valley Bikeway & Greenway Project, and they're trying to get the attention of L.A. City Council member Imelda Padilla.

The project was in the works before Padilla joined L.A. City Council. A statement from her says in part:

"My priority as Councilmember is to find consensus amongst all groups. That's why I introduced a motion to look into how we can best move forward on this proposed bike path and ensure our beloved Sepulveda Basin off-leash dog park is protected. Our team has been working very hard on this, and my goal is to land on a plan that is a win for everyone."

Dog owners are hoping their voices are heard and the plan for the bike path will eventually be changed.

"I don't think it's necessary. Put it somewhere else," Carrillo said. "There's so many people who depend on this particular dog park just for peace of mind."