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Runyon Canyon to reopen Tuesday — with a few improvements

In this file photo, hikers and joggers climb the trails at Runyon Canyon Park.
In this file photo, hikers and joggers climb the trails at Runyon Canyon Park.
Jed Kim/KPCC

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You'll be able to enjoy a popular Hollywood Hills hiking trail again in just a few days.

Runyon Canyon reopens Tuesday after a four-month closure for a pipe replacement project, though visitors will notice some other improvements, as well, according to Marty Adams of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

"There is much improved firefighting capability there, new hydrants," Adams told KPCC. "There'll be some new drinking fountains, including dog-watering fountains. And then on top of that the surface that most people use to hike through the main part of the park will be in great condition." 

Runyon Canyon is "one of the quintessential hikes in LA," Casey Schreiner, founder of the blog Modern Hiker, told Take Two's A. Martinez. "Probably 90 percent of the time when you talk to someone in L.A. and they say they're a hiker, they generally do Runyon Canyon."

While there have been many efforts to renovate the park, not all of them were appreciated by those in the local neighborhood, Shreiner said. "There was this controversial plan to put in a basketball court, which sort of got everybody up in arms."  

Neima Khaila, founder of the clothing company Pink Dolphin, attempted to convert the park's underused tennis court into a basketball court. Many park-goers took umbrage with the fact that the court would be corporate sponsored.

"[Khaila] didn't request that corp sponsorship. The city offered it to him," Schreiner said. "It seemed like he was really trying to do some good things for a park he loved. It's this whole sort of comedy of miscommunication and government bureaucracy that has led to this outrage."

When Runyon Canyon reopens on Tuesday, it won't have that basketball court. But Schreiner said that won't likely away from the trail's appeal.

"A lot of sort of 'serious' hikers sort of pooh-pooh Runyon Canyon a little bit. I've done this as well," he said. "[But] it's a great place to be! It's an invaluable resource for that neighborhood. It's one of the very few parks in LA that's sort of transit accessible. And it's very well loved by its users."

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