Los Angeles River Wayfinding

In 2019, the Los Angeles City Planning (LACP) and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office River Team, initiated an effort to strengthen connections to and from the L.A. River with an emphasis on nearby amenities, open space, and existing and future infrastructure. The team analyzed environmental and socioeconomic data along with the plans and policies that applied to the areas along the Los Angeles River to create a Capital Improvement Strategy focusing on the existing 7.6-mile bike and pedestrian river path. As part of the Capital Improvement Strategy, a wayfinding initiative was developed in 2020 and 2021 to include three geographic areas along the Los Angeles River (Pilot Areas) where LA River Wayfinding signs directing visitors to and from the river are currently installed. The installed signs utilize the wayfinding guidelines and templates provided by the LA County’s Los Angeles River Master Plan to create a framework for consistent wayfinding and promote a unique identity for the L.A. River as it crosses various jurisdictional boundaries.

In 2020, LA City Planning partnered with the National Park Service (NPS) and was awarded $26,000 from the NPS Juan Bautista de Anza Grant to fund the wayfinding program since the LA River Trail System within the boundaries of the City of Los Angeles coincides with the recreation route of the Anza Trail. The Grant allows for the expansion of the wayfinding program and provided an important opportunity to acknowledge the history of the land, as well as the legacies and contributions of native/Indigenous communities along the LA River. City Planning and the Mayor’s river team worked closely with the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians (FTBMI) to develop two interpretive signs that celebrate the legacy and contributions of the Indigenous community near the L.A. River in the Southwest San Fernando Valley. One interpretive sign is going to be installed in a future pocket park where Etiwanda Avenue meets the Los Angeles River as part of the Bureau of Engineering’s Valley Riverway Project and the other within Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority’s (MRCA) future Caballero Creek Park, located at the confluence of the Los Angeles River and Caballero Creek. A total of 155 River Wayfinding signs are designed and slated for installation in key locations along the river corridor in Canoga Park, Studio City, and Griffith Park. The Urban Design Studio looks forward to continuing wayfinding work along the river in collaboration with LADOT, Bureau of Engineering, and Recreation and Parks.