The “Hollywood” Los Angeles River
We’ve all (even the aquaphobes) have seen the dramatic chase scenes on the television or in a movie. You know, the one where the car is driving down an oversized concrete culvert with a trickle of water in the middle. Sometimes the cars splash through the shallow water and other times they accelerate up the paved slope only to flip over. Congratulations you have seen the Los Angeles River.
In the spirit of the summer of water movies here are 5 of the movies which were filmed in the Los Angeles River:
More movies can be found here
The “Real” Los Angeles River
Believe it or not this is not the natural state of the Los Angeles River. To understand how the river got this way is an interesting story. The fact the river is in this condition is a felonious assault on water and nature.
After horrendous floods hit in the 1930s, the renowned landscape architecture firms Olmsted Brothers and Bartholomew Associates proposed over 200 miles of parkways and boulevards in Los Angeles. Located along rivers, and allowing room for their waters to spread, the parkways offered a comprehensive solution to flood threats, park shortages, and traffic congestion. Instead of a soft, GREEN solution, authorities decided to best protect nearby homes they needed to enclose much of the river with concrete and turn it into a flood-control channel.
30 years and 3,000,000 barrels of concrete later the Los Angeles River became a fenced-off no-man’s-land operated by the Army Corps of Engineers. The river, once a riparian paradise, became an arterial blemish on the face of the city with unintended consequences.
Unintended Consequence: Can you imagine wasting 76,000,000,000 gallons of water? (By the way that is what a BILLION looks like with all the zeros). That is a lot of water and the amount of water flushed out to the Pacific Ocean every time Los Angeles gets 1” of rainfall! There is enough water in the river to supply the city with HALF of the water it requires. Couple that with the fact most of the water is IMPORTED to the city which require TREMENDOUS amounts of energy you start to wonder if it might be time to undo the crimes of the past, Rock the Boat and do something to correct the sins of the past.