Griffith Park

Griffith Park Pathway Closed to Cars to Make it Safer For Pedestrians

A section of Griffith Park Drive is closed to cars in an effort to make it safer for cyclists, runners, and walkers.

NBC Universal, Inc.

A stretch of Griffith Park Drive is closed to traffic to make room for cyclists, runners, and walkers.

It's part of an on-going effort to make Griffith Park safer for pedestrians after a cyclist was hit and killed while riding through the park in April.

Griffith Park Drive between Travel Town near the 134 and up the hill near Mount Hollywood will be closed off to traffic as part of a pilot program.

"I see a lot of traffic coming really close to me when I'm running," said Mary Rosas a runner in the area. "I think it's a good idea to close it."

Many pedestrians that NBC4 spoke with say they hope it becomes permanent.

"As a pedestrian, I think it's a great idea," said Steven De Leon who is a runner. "I've been running here for the past 15 years and people fly through here."

It's an issue Damian Kevitt, Founder of 'Streets Are For Everyone,' has been fighting for years with renewed urgency just recently.

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"Griffith Park has really become a commuter cut-through for the 5 (freeway)," Kevitt said. "Unfortunately it took a tragedy for this transformation to become an idea on paper to reality."

Kevitt is referring to cyclist Andrew Jelmert.

"Andrew was amazing," said Andre Goeritz whose husband was killed while cycling. "He was an amazing, loving, giving person."

The 77-year-old was training for a charity ride in April when he was hit and killed by an accused drunk driver speeding through the park.

Jelmert's husband is calling on local leaders and safe-street advocates to help make the pilot program permanent after it's evaluated over at least the next six weeks.

"Every person has the power to make changer happen, but they have to believe that they have the power to make things happen," Goeritz said. "That's why I came out. That's the only reason I came out, because I think that my voice can make a difference and if I can make a difference for Andrew, I'll do it and I'll do whatever it takes."

Authorized vehicles like city and county workers still have access to the road.

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