The San Fernando Valley is an urbanized valley in Los Angeles County, defined by the Santa Susana Mountains to the Northwest, the Simi Hills to the West, the Santa Monica Mountains and Chalk Hills to the South, the Verdugo Mountains to the East and the San Gabriel Mountains to the Northeast.
Most of the San Fernando Valley is within the jurisdiction of the city of Los Angeles, although a few other incorporated cities are located within the Valley as well: Burbank, Glendale, Hidden Hills, Calabasas and San Fernando. Unincorporated communities are Bell Canyon, Calabasas Highlands, Kagel Canyon, Universal City and West Chatsworth. City of L.A neighborhoods comprise Arleta, Cahuenga Pass, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Encino, Granada Hills, La Tuna Canyon, Lake Balboa, Lake View Terrace, Mission Hills, NoHo Arts District, North Hills, North Hollywood, Northridge, Pacoima, Panorama City, Porter Ranch, Reseda, Shadow Hills, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Sun Valley, Sunland-Tujunga, Sylmar, Tarzana, Toluca lake, Valley Glen Valley Village, Van Nuys, Warner Center, West Hills, Winnetka and Woodland Hills.
The automobile still remains the dominant form of transportation in the Valley and major freeways criss-cross it: “the 405” – San Diego Freeway, “the 101” – Ventura Freeway, Rte 118 – Reagan Freeway, Rte 170 – Hollywood Freeway, Rte 110 – Foothill Freeway, and “the 5” – Golden State Freeway. Broad straight boulevards also criss-cross the Valley. The main commercial/retail conduit is Ventura Blvd. Other East-West thoroughfares include Victory Blvd., Riverside Drive and Mulholland Drive overlooking it all. Going North-South are Sepulveda Blvd., Laurel Canyon Blvd., Reseda Blvd. and Topanga Blvd.
However, Rapid Transit is making headway. Subway, dedicated transitway and express and local buses now serve the Valley, and, with transfers, they connect the Valley to the entire Metro regional light rail and subway network. Metrolink commuter rail has 2 Valley lines, Amtrak’s long-distance line has 3 stops in the Valley, and the California High-Speed Rail Authority is planning 2 stations in the Valley.
The Valley’s has 2 major airports: Bob Hope Airport in Burbank and Van Nuys Airport.
Public Schools in the San Fernando Valley are served by 3 unified school districts: Los Angeles, Glendale and Burbank. There are 4 community colleges: L.A. Valley College in Valley Glen, L.A. Mission College in Sylmar, L.A. Pierce College in Woodland Hills and Glendale Community College in College Hills. There is also Cal State University in Northridge.
The Valley is home to numerous neighborhood city parks, recreation areas and large Regional Open Space preserves – most notable Griffith Park, Sepulveda and Hansen Dam recreation areas, the Los Angeles River, Bell Canyon Park, Laurel Canyon Park and Topanga State Park.
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