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Saturday, October 25, 2014

A shady spot among Silver Lake dots

A grand opening celebration was held today for Silver Lake’s new Sunset Triangle  pedestrian plaza amid a heat wave that made a few scattered green umbrellas as popular as the green polka dots that cover a stretch of Griffith Park Boulevard . The street, which is closed off behind plastic planters that serve as barricades, will remain off limits to vehicle traffic for at least one year during a trial period. The pilot project was organized by Streets for People, which is  a coalition seeking to transform underused streets into public spaces.



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242 comments

  1. clifford lecuyer

    Who puked on my farmer’s market? This is a hideous ill-conceived project. My Saturday morning was ruined when I arrived at my farmer’s market in Silver Lake to find these nauseating neon green polka dots painted in drab flat paint on the street. And thanks to this group
    “streetsforpeoplela@gmail.com” fourteen FREE parking spaces for the market have been removed. How removing FREE parking is going to benifit the market
    is beyond me. The farmer’s market is there for people to buy healthy locally grown produce and offer an alternative to local markets. The farmer’s were not consulted nor any of us who use this market. Now we all have to pay for parking and live with this obnoxious design.
    Thanks so much for ruining my farmer’s market!!!

    • Actually, there were several community meetings and presentations about this.

      • It doesn’t count as a meeting if you don’t tell people who live in the building in front of this about it.

        • i live in the apartments up the street at Effie and Golden Gate and we NEVER get to park in front of our building

          …so i guess you guys just have to walk a little bit just like the rest of us mere mortals for once

    • @Mr. Lecuyer

      Weren’t you the loudmouth disrupting the opening ceremony? I wonder if you really care about parking spaces or are you just a shill for Michael McKinley and the crooked Sunset Junction Neighborhood Alliance who declared bankruptcy to avoid paying the vendors/bands from the Sunset Junction Street Fair – even as they make money renting booths to this flea market/(un certified) famer’s market?

      • He’s no shill for anybody, just a concerned citizen like thousands of others who loves the farmers market and doesn’t appreciate it being messed with because of the “Improvement” Association’s personal vendetta against them. Keep SLIA’s personal beefs out of our city planning!!!

  2. Actually, there was no celebration. There was nothing at all. They announced it like it would be some kind of event, but it was not. People showed up thinking something would be going on, but nothing was going on. I feel duped.

    So, people stood around in little groups with the friends they arrived with — and that was it.

    I think to have announced it like they did, a “grand opening,” and as this story says, a “celebration,” and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. specifically — yet there was NOTHING — was pretty deceptive. I did see two video cameras set up — like they wanted to film a bunch of people so they could say it is very popular. But actually, people were duped to go to a specific event from 11 to 2 that was non-existent. Now, videos will be shown to show how popular it is, yet that is not why people were there. They were merely curious and went for some specific event.

    The reference to the temperature, yes, that closed street and painted asphalt definitely seemed quite hot.

    In looking at the space when I was there, I now find myself wondering how much of it will end up being taken out by the restaurant adding tables more and more into it — like the other restaurants along Sunset have done to the narrow sidewalks. I’m afraid if that happens, this will be less a park and more a place for eating from the restaurant — which would make it basically free land for the restaurant, not park for the neighbors — IF that should happen.

    I’m sorry, I just did not find anything about that space to be enticing. Vacant asphalt – so what. And traffic along the one side with Sunset. I would never want to just hang around there, or lounge around there — unless perhaps I were eating at the restaurant.

  3. Anthony- at about 11:15 or so the coouncle person spoke as did a lot of other folks invloved with the making of the plaza. there was even a heckler (something wanting more parking and less open space)

    • That heckler is my hero.

      • Robert- way is th eheckler your hero? would have had more impact if there were at least 3 of them, picketing with bull horns.

      • I hope you continue to be a watchdog on this project and update your tumblr frequently. And no biases! Don’t just photograph the beautiful or the ugly, give us a real day-to-day look at this! Otherwise I am sooooo going to stop checking your tumblr

  4. A photo op for a politician is not my idea of an event, as one was announced. Even he did not stay longer than it took to get his photo op, did not stay for some event until 2 p.m., as was announced. No sign at noon that anyone had even been there, not that that would qualify as the three-hour-long event.

    A quick photo op for a politician running for mayor is not an event announced to run for three hours! An 11 a.m. photo op is announced for 11 a.m., not 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    We were duped into showing for purposes of a video to show how “popular” the closed street is. And that’s all it was about.

  5. I figured there was no celebration because there is nothing there to celebrate other hot, putrid polka dot pavement and no more easy in-and-out free parking for the twice weekly farmers market. By my calculations, those 14 spots served around 400 market patrons each week and the attendants did a great job of moving people in and out very quickly. Now those 400 people will either have to park on Sunset (hah!) or on the side streets, or just quit going to the farmers market altogether if they are unable to walk or bicycle in. The elderly, I think, will be most affected by this inconvenience. Let’s make things tougher for our seniors! Way to go.

    At the ceremony today, the people who created this neon urban blight congratulated themselves, received their commendations from the City for their work (I am not making that up!), then high-tailed it out of there as fast as possible. I returned at about 1PM and there was nothing going on and nobody around. Not a good sign when the folks who built it can’t even stand to stick around for their own “grand” opening. What makes them think anyone else is going to want to hang out there?

    I saw no heckler there but I was cheering on the guy who was booing, as were a lot of other people. Councilman Garcetti seemed to appreciate him too, I noticed. :)

  6. Annoyed as well once I saw the final splattered layout. This was the grand plan? Splindly chairs and tables that will blow over in a breeze? One coat of thin, vaguely vegetal green over cracked pavement? The planters were the dully concentric pots you had in mind? Eight bike-sized, bike-shaped, bike racks? Is this now a cyclist’s oasis?

    Whose chore is it to fold all the furniture up every day and put them away before they’re stolen or broken?

    I feel for the poor people who work in Mornings Nights and Cru. The rods and cones in their eyes must be overcompensating like mad, with all that yellow glare lighting up their interiors.

    I suspect this is the same whimsical disconnect as the concept of the vertical garden, which still makes me shake my head in disbelief. Looks good on paper, I suppose.

  7. I don’t know how successful the space has to be to be considered “worth it” to some, but given this little stretch is already closed twice a week for the Farmer’s Market, that the plaza has provided a dozen bike parking spaces, and the city now has public space available to people of all ages and abilities (not just those that drive) and has increased greenery (although very limited in this trial version) I’d say it’s already a worthy trade-off. And while it’s impossible to predict the future, I’d venture to say that the space is now safer than it was before.

    Sure we could see this as a loss of a dozen car parking spaces and reduced access to motor vehicles, but LA rolls out the red carpet to motorists in the majority of the city and if this space is deemed unsuccessful, it will be removed after a year. Silver Lake has nothing to really lose from this, any loss is only temporary and serves as a learning experience in land-use.

    • I understand this concept, honestly I do. The concept of making this difficult little triangle into a pedestrian-friendly zone is a worthy one. Putting parking spots outside it was a good idea.

      It’s the delivery. We raised a skeptical eyebrow when we saw the friendly drawings, and dropped a jaw when we saw it implemented. It’s also the fact that, as Clifford has pointed out, the vendors of the farmers market are now hampered in setting up. We were used to the small cluster of vehicles at either side, but I hope they can manage.

      • Syzlak, all the perceived benefits you mention are good things, but when there is nothing attractive about the space, it’s all moot. Polka dot paint on pavement does not qualify as “green space”. I think it’s hideous to look at and it ruins the park for me, too.

      • Look, this is a one year pilot implementation, so yeah there are some half measures: of which, I’d say the polkadots, and perhaps the furiture are one.

        If the whole affair is a failure it can be easily unwound, and if it’s not then I’ll join you in hoping for a more attractive permanent solution.

    • clifford lecuyer

      A learning experience for land use? I would have to say that whomever is in charge of okaying this project should be fired for being so in-experienced and wasting taxpayers time and money.

      And “just a year” is a long time.

      • Did you attend any of the meetings on this?

      • I understand you never have and never will train to be a planner. You’ll also likely never think about land-use outside how it affects your right here right now, which is unwise when coming to grips with reality, limited resources and projected population growth. A year is not a long time, really, especially in planning terms or for a project like this. If you want to talk about wasting tax-payer money, subsidized parking is among the easiest topics. You act like this transformation has actually changed travel patterns or negatively affected disadvantaged people and will do so for an extended period of time beyond a year.

        Los Angeles is notoriously car centric and is known to conduct its own studies even when other cities have conducted the same studies and already gotten results. Believe me, if this change meant it would cause gridlock the LADOT would firmly say no. That said, this project has been contemplated for 6 years and even so it’s just a trial. I say calm the hell down and realize that this will hardly affect you at all.

  8. It’s kind of an eyesore.

  9. i have never seen more assholes complain about more petty bullshit in my life. for gods sake, the city created a tiny park, for one year, for all of us to enjoy, and still the bitter complainers!

    • I’m going to paint my house in the same colored pattern. The neighbors are sure to love it.

    • Seeing it as it is.

      When you’re paying taxes through the ass I expect to come home and find a parking space in return.

      • As taxpayers, we should expect to come home and find street parking? That’s a little absurd. On the other hand, you can organize your neighbors and get resident priority parking established on your streets.

        • How far do you have to walk when you park your car on surface streets?

        • My neighbors and I have approached the city numerous time about permit parking, but we were all told that there is a ” moratorium ” on this topic. Since you seem to be in the know, maybe you can facilitate. I envision something like permit only for 10pm to 6am. Thanks

      • Don’t you have a garage or driveway?

        • Nope. 32-unit complex, directly in front of the Plaza.

          • There’s no way those 14 spots could adequately serve that building and the businesses adjacent, which include like 6 restaurants. What happened to that big parking lot behind the building? Last I walked by it had a chain across it and seemed empty.

      • Because parking is birthright?

  10. This is what the city does while the roads deteriorate unrepaired. Yeah Antonio!

    • Just be grateful they didn’t fix up the surface before creating the plaza. And they do repave streets, but in my experience they opt to repave the residential streets. Several streets have been repaved not once, but twice in past few years and they’re the same quiet residential streets with low traffic volumes.

    • His name is Tony.

    • Seems possibly they will eventually put grass down if the trial period goes well, so maybe they didn’t think it was worth it to re-pave. Just a theory.

  11. The pictures tell the story. A painted street a table, an umbrella, a kid, Wish they had fixed the street. That would have made it NEW! You need to take pride in your work.

  12. I think the idea is great but if they’d taken more time, they could have done something a lot nicer. I’m not an expert, but since it’s not a huge area, would it have taken too long to lay down a brick road there? Something that visually says “pedestrian plaza” in a more subtle manner?

    • I agree, simple brickwork would look a lot nicer… perhaps after the pilot program is up in a year they can put some effort into making this less kitschy. Something more akin to the the street treatment of Olvera St. (patterned brickwork, trees in planter boxes, etc.) would be a better match with the existing park, the fountain, the farmers market and the adjacent buildings.

  13. How long until someone drives through that thing? Big planters are not Jersey barriers.

  14. Lets all go protest this next Sunday. We should all gather on the sidewalk on the otherside of sunset. Let’s ask for wider sidewalks because it takes much more money to plan, tear and rebuild this side of the street. What a sorry excuse for a project that had such little resources to begin with, especially when so many agencies somehow managed to cooperate with each other and with the NC that this could get out the door so fast. I long for delays, but alas I’m just a sidewalk. I haven’t been repaired because I cost more than the project itself.

  15. It’s so sad when a new public space goes up and its most exceptional feature is its bad design. There’s really no excuse.

  16. This seems like a perfectly reasonable experiment. Maybe it will turn out to be popular with the public. Maybe not. Who gives a rat’s ass about a few parking spaces disappearing; there’s parallel parking all around the neighborhood.

    The city can’t/won’t put any significant amount of money into these experiments — even putting zebra stripes in a school crosswalk, rather than just regular stripes, has been denied because of “all the cost of that special paint” (I’m not making this up). So holding out for brick, or for permanent barriers, would amount to it never happening.

    The amount of petty whining about this is really striking. Silver Lake, where’s your spirit of experimentation and appreciation of novelty? The same ninnies are also busy whining about the exact opposite thing in the thread about the 20 square feet of sidewalk that were eaten at Sunset Junction by Cafe Stella.

  17. All of the whining and complaining is typical for this sort of project. In LA it’s particularly loud because a lot of the people here are slaves to car culture and have been most of their lives. Not everyone, but a lot. And like these projects in other cities, all the whining and complaining dies down, and no one usually wants to go back to having the pedestrian spaces opened back up to car traffic. People hate change, but they love complaining. Especially here in LA. And we’re behind most cities on projects like these.

    • If you love public spaces in other cities, move there.

      • Right here you have only ten words a summation of much that is wrong with Los Angeles and why it suffers so much from a poverty of urban experience that resurgent cities from New York to Portland have been creating. What has made those places vibrant and desirable? :: PUBLIC SPACE.

        See what slavery to the automobile has brought about. Not just stress, inefficiency and pollution. But a loss of what makes cities worthwhile. And a triumph of tunnel vision. Along with the entitlement attitude of the earlier poster that paying taxes = a right to park wherever I want. Meanwhile, has anyone who has lived with the sound of traffic on Griffith Park Blvd. noticed it’s already much quieter?

      • No, we will not move somewhere else, because we love LA. We’re working hard to make it a better place, and we understand your complaints, but we’re trying to find intelligent and productive ways of improving the city for everyone. I suggest that you do the same.

        • Sadly, this is neither intelligent or productive; it’s city planning with a personal agenda to allow people to give themselves commendations from the City and to mess with the farmers market.

  18. By calling this project temporary did no impact report have to be done? Everyone wants more open space and less cars but won’t closing the street just add to congestion on Sunset and Effie St. Many side streets aren’t wide enough to accomodate two way traffic. New York and San Fransico both have lots of alternative modes of transportation. Here to be able to afford to live here I have two jobs for which I need a car and now navigating the area has become more difficult. The many people who used the street have been inconvenienced and for whose benefit? The dozen people sitting at the tables. Why are the desires of the few who don’t like cars outweigh the needs of the majority who need the street to get to work and shop? Politicians appeal to what would be ideal and yes open space is great but in this case too few are served by our representatives who should have courage to acknowledge the reality of their constituents. The water main is broken in the triangle park and the sidewalk on Lucile is so bad you can’t walk without going in the street but there’s money and commendations for this? You won’t get my vote!

    • If not here than where? This spot was chosen specifically because traffic impact would be marginal (which is also why the farmers market has been closing the street twice a week for years). If you are in favor of public spaces and improving the pedestrian experience in LA, than these are the kind of projects that are necessary (I just hope they ditch the obnoxious colors next time).

    • “Why are the desires of the few who don’t like cars outweigh the needs of the majority who need the street to get to work and shop?”

      But it could just as easily be “why do the desires of the few who want to park on that street or use it as a short cut (to avoid TWO turns!) outweigh the need of the entire community to have a public space?’

  19. Sorry, but that Silver Lake Farmer’s Market sucks. It is more of a flea market and there is no proof any of those veggies are actuially organic because this is not a certified Farmer’s Market. In fact, this Market is run by the same sleazebag “Sunset Junction Neighborhood Alliance” who used to produce the Sunset Junction Music Festival and just filed for bankruptcy (claiming to have no money when they are raking in booth fees twice a week). The Neighborhood Council should run that crooked organization out of the hood and hire a real Farmer’s Market group.

    • You can complain about stuff because you own your house, unlike the rest of us poors that just rent.

      • This post supports my belief that this monstrosity is about Ganelle and her colorblind “Improvement” crew trying to stick it to the farmers market and give themselves awards, and not at all about serving the neighborhood. When people’s egos drive a project like they did this one, the community is always the loser.

        There was no no attempt to notify the 1000s of people who love and use the farmers market every week, nor the neighbors. At the ceremony, in between kissing each others’ behinds, the people who forced this monstrosity on us had the gall to say it was an effort to “reduce diabetes”, among other lofty claims. Huh? Bad design does not cure diabetes!!! But you know what does? Fresh, locally grown produce from a farmers market. The irony of them making it more difficult to access the farmers market would be amusing if it were not so pathetic and dangerous.

        The fact that EVERY SINGLE ONE of the people involved ran out of the “grand opening” as soon as they received their City commendations should alert the community to their true motives. Either they were too embarrassed to have to stick around and try to sell this asphalt scab to the public, or they were already too sick of all the complaints. I imagine it was both.

        I notice that nobody who has stuck up for this ill-conceived and shoddily constructed junk project has stuck up for its design or execution. Doesn’t even one of the people responsible have anything good to say about its looks? Sad.

        • Silver Lake Resident

          Tom, you said it best! Agreed on all fronts. “Ill-conceived”, “shoddily constructed” are just a few terms for it…I’m dumbfounded at the execution of this and the folks behind it. I also heard rumors about several things they didn’t even think of in their “planning” phases (or lack thereof). How will the waste management truck access the dumpster that resides near the brick apartment complex? Who is in charge of setting up the tables and chairs? Not the city…the businesses are! What a laugh! These people are pathetic in their so-called planning efforts. This is such a waste and I feel sorry for people that live and work within a few blocks radius of this.

        • @ Tom M

          My post was about how the Farmer’s Market sucks. I have no idea who you are ranting about. Ganelle? I don’t know anybody by that name. You and Henry sound like shills for Michael McKinley and the crooked Sunset Junction Neighborhood Alliance.

          I repeat, the current Farmer’s Market is a FLEA MARKET and is not a certified Farmer’s Market. The chef over at Cliff’s Edge – who should be the first to appreciate fresh produce for his eatery – agrees it sucks. I say replace it with a real Farmer’s Market, then everyone will be happy (except Tom M and Michael McKinley).

  20. Lots of complaining on the thread, but I saw only one guy at the ceremony (or whatever) booing the speeches(!)…..funny to witness…and sad. A city this large should have more public spaces. This is a good, if not humble, start. I walk my dog here every day. I live on Maltman. I’ll be using this space. It should be noted that the farmer’s market is only there a few hours a week. It’s for the community, not just the farmer’s market…and I like the farmer’s market, too! There’s free parking on all of the side streets. Let’s also remember that cars have much more than their fair share of public land dedicated to them in this town, so enough already. Public space for the people (and dogs!)!

    • clifford lecuyer

      I drove around for twenty minutes at eight in the morning Saturday trying to find a free space. To say that there are plenty of free spaces in the neighborhood is false. This public space was already “for the people”
      serving hundreds of people in the community with a very popular farmer’s market. This is the first of more than thirty projects scheduled by this misguided group: “streetsfor peoplela@gmail.com“. I think Tom M said it best,
      “Bad design does not cure diabetes”, but access to healthy food provided by farmer’s does. I will be attending meetings after this to prevent Ganelle and these self- serving commitee members from imposing there bad aestectics on “our streets”, at least they were before they showed up.

      • Creating a safer and more inviting pedestrian realm in LA will help combat diabetes as much as access to healthy foods, both issues are important. That said, I’m not a fan of the color scheme. Maybe in a year when the pilot program is up they can lay some bricks and plant some trees.

      • Maybe you might consider walking to the market if diabetes is your concern. The space was for the cars, not the pepole. Now it is..

      • Why do you have to drive? I would just assume there wouldn’t be any parking and ride the bus or walk if you are able…

  21. This thing only works with food trucks on a regular basis and if it’s not applicable to drinking in public. If not than its a waste of time, space and paint. Cars could park in the meter spots and bikes could attach their bikes to the meters. There was a.ready tables and chairs in front of mornings and nights and cru, and if you wa t to haves picnic Griffith Park is 5 minute car ride away.

    there’s plenty of sunny places you can go read a book at, in chairs that are comfortable and weren’t designed for 95 pound waifs all over town, that aren’t puke green.

  22. To those finding opportunities to despise and reject this project, I hope they can at least appreciate that concepts like this are attempted, and can take pride in it happening in our unique section of the city.

    Whether this plaza stays or goes after its year here, it has succeeded in demonstrating a willingness and commitment both to reclaim our community and re-create a sense of community, and that to me is something daring that should be applauded. Neither the process nor the technique nor the implementation has been perfected. And while that can and has provided opportunities for derision and disgust, it should be reason to make it happen better next time, not to wish it never happened at all.

    • Nope, no appreciation from me for this neon nightmare. Let’s hope we can get it removed long before a year passes. It was put up in a day (and looks like it); it should take about that long to get rid of it.

    • Stop using loaded language. There is no “reclaiming” here. Nothing was taken away from the community — until the street was taken away. And as for “re-creating a sense of community”: you might not have been part of it, but most of the rest of us already had lots of sense of being a community.

      And with so many people complaining they knew nothing of this until shortly before it was sprung on the community, how can you claim it shows a “willingness and commitment” for more!?

      Playing word games is just dishonest and undermines an honest discussion of things.

      “Happen better next time.” You are already decided this will be done more and more. There are a lot of complaints that it was even done this once! Aren’t you listening?

      • Anthony, While I appreciate your demand that I excise any words which meet with your disapproval, I must respectfully decline. Yes, I have heard and hear the complaints and it is exactly why I haven’t “already decided” about similar projects. What I have decided is that before any are implemented there must be greater diligence regarding outreach and dialogue during the proposal phase so that the issues and grievances can be discussed and a better project can result from it.

      • clifford lecuyer

        Thank you Anthony.
        It is exactly this pseudo-language “reclaiming the community” and” re-creating a sence of community” that is a problem. This block is frequented by hundreds of people every week. Restuarants,businesses ,people that live here and work here, there is a very strong sence of community. If their idea of reclaiming is “ruining”, we are in trouble.

        • I get it now: The so-called “community” so stridently referenced by Anthony and Clifford is not an encompassing one but instead comprised of those who share an indignation for the pedestrian plaza and an absolute intolerance for anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

        • Yes, you were so connected to that sense of place, that the first you really understood what was happening there was after it was completed, after you had driven around looking for free parking for 20 minutes so you could get out of your car to take a closer look. YOUR market, YOUR day, YOUR 20 minutes. If you’re really that opposed to it, then you should gather signatures to have it taken down. If you’re really that upset by the design, hit a drafting table and come up with a better design they can implement with more permanent materials in a year. It’ll be YOUR design. If you’re so concerned about people who need assistance to get to the market, then you should start a volunteer service that does shopping for the elderly and disabled. Considering how disconnected you were from even knowing that this project was happening, I’m guessing your language is pretty “pseudo” as well.

          • clifford lecuyer

            It is not just me it is HUNDREDS of people that frequent this farmer’s market. Which by the way is the ONLY farmer’s market in Silver Lake. I have been shopping there for a decade. I love the farmer’s and other patron’s that shop there. It is a real community in spite of your rude accusations.

            This group “Streets for LA” and “The Silver Lake Improvement Association” did not RECLAIM this street but what amounts to a HOSTILE TAKEOVER of this block. NOBODY asked them to RECLAIM this block because it was already CLAIMED by the hundreds of us who use it every day.

            Local shop merchants did not know that this was happening, residents did not know, farmer’s at the market did not know. Nobody is against IMPROVEMENTS but this is NO IMPROVEMENT!
            There was no vote or consensus from the citizens that are actually impacted just some ARROGANT IMPOSITION on all of us!

            I know that there are hundreds of senior citizens that frequent this farmer’s market and that used the parking. Did anyone take the time time to inquire about the impact on seniors? No because these groups were busy rushing these plans through so no one could stop them.

            No one is against more public space. But who are these groups to inconvenience all of us in the ACTUAL community with this aestetically hideous experiment. This was not an abandoned block or building or an “under-used” street but is the thriving center of Silver Lake.

            I call for all of us to RE RE-CLAIM our street from these manipulative self serving fools that think they know what’s best for all of us.

            SHAME ON YOU!

            I’ll be seeing you at the next Silver Lake “Improvement” Association
            meeting to take back this street with the hundreds of us that feel the same way.

            Your’s truly,The Heckler.

  23. More work left to do...

    I do agree that the city and park planners could have done a better job of notifying the residents (there were never any flyers in the mail or at the market) and in designing the park itself. Nevertheless, they were in communication with the business owners, who liked the idea so much that some even volunteered to put away the chairs and tables each night.

    I think after the dust settles this will ultimately be successful for everyone… After the Natural Mind space is filled with yummy.com, I think the shoppers will want to check out the offerings in the area and utilize the space alongside the neighbors. Already there has been a reduction in traffic and noise on the stretch of Griffith Park blvd just past the park.

    In terms of parking, they have opened up more metered spots on Sunset to accommodate the lost spaces. Also, the city currently has a moratorium on permit parking due to the State’s budget crisis (they do a parking survey that takes over a year to see if an area truly needs it) so this is not an option until the moratorium is lifted. I’ve talked with a lot of neighbors who think at least overnight permit parking might be a better option (this is a different process than the normal permitting process)… This way, the surrounding streets remain open to shoppers and diners, but will also ensure priority parking for residents.

    I’m not a fan of the design either – especially on a hot day like yesterday – but perhaps over the year we coud come up with ideas to help improve the space? I think if the space is viewed as a success, after the one year trial is up, the planners might have the go ahead to do more work on the space and do more real improvement such as tearing up the street and putting actual green space in. I’d also like to see more trees or shady spots… Maybe a temporary wing-like shade? More bike racks? Any more practical ideas?

  24. How is it that I, as an Echo Park resident, knew about this project for months before it was happening, but you complainers, as Silver Lake residents, didn’t know about it at all? I imagine that is a case, like many city projects, of just not paying attention. Read signs – read the internet – read the paper – go to neighborhood meetings and you’ll know about these things.

    This project is AWESOME. I was there yesterday and I loved it. There is NO NEED for that road to be open. And honestly, a net loss of 5 parking spaces is no big deal. Plus, those bitching about parking for the farmers market are pretty much missing the idea of a farmers market. Local produce, sustainably grown and brought to your neighborhood with minimal carbon imprint. If people wanted you to drive to a farmers market, there would be no difference in that and going to the grocery store. WALK TO THE FARMERS MARKET, PEOPLE. I know it’s a tough concept here in LA where everyone is married to their car, but really, it’s for the best

    • clifford lecuyer

      First of all it is not five parking spaces, but all fourteen FREE spaces that were available to the market have been eliminated. Second not everyone including many of the senior citizens that frequent the market can walk or ride a bike to the market. What do you say to them? Thirdly, it is AWESOMELY HIDEOUS.

      • 8 also spaces where added so its not like there was a net loss of 14 spaces. MAYBE 7 but I think its more like 5 spaces lost, plus those paces where not free to begin with they where metered. Secondly zero spaces where lost on Farmers market Saturday because those spaces where already being used by the farmers market so In fact there is actually MORE parking on Saturday Mornings now than there was before.

        • Mark, you are incorrect. 14 FREE farmers market spaces were lost (yes, they were FREE and controlled by helpful attendants during the market). 8 metered spaces were added to Sunset. That’s a loss of 6 spaces but since the new Sunset spaces are for anyone and not just the market, good luck having those available all day for market patrons as the 14 FREE spaces were.

          • PLEASE stop bitching about parking. You live in the second largest city in the country. Walk, take the bus, ride your bike, carpool… Those are all viable options.

            If parking is the only reason people are so upset about this thing, they have no grounds to stand on.

    • PLEASE stop bitching about people bitching about parking. In case you don’t get out much, parking is a REAL problem in Silver Lake. Removing parking spaces is NOT any kind of an answer when there is no alternative proposed. It will just add to more crowded streets and a more-inconvenienced neighborhood.

      (And in case you hadn’t noticed, people are also bitching about how awful, tacky and cheap the thing looks. If it looked nice, or even “acceptable”, I would willing to give it a shot. As it is, it’s nothing more than blight.)

      • Take a look at the plaza space. The parking spots did not have to be removed, which furthers my belief that this is solely about a few misguided “improvement” members with a personal grudge who are trying to stick it to the market, and not about any concern for the community. The area where the parking was is separated from the main section by a bit of normal pavement. Other than bike racks, which could go anywhere, this is a useless piece of land as it now stands. It could have remained as parking with just a little bit of creativity. Sadly, that is what this project lacks in every single respect.

        • Yeah, parking sucks in Silver Lake, but what sucks more is no public space to speak of other than Bellevue Park. It’s uncivilized. So buck up and deal.

          • Bad design sucks as much as lack of parking and is a sign of a completely uncivilized society. There is NO reason we can’t have both. So, sorry – you won’t see me “bucking up” and accepting that in my neighborhood. People who settle for crap in their community get what they deserve.

          • Again Tom, this is a one-year pilot project so while I do agree that it could be a lot more aesthetically pleasing, it makes sense that they would want to do something affordable and easily-reversible like this. Try to see the bigger picture. We need this more than we need those few parking spaces.

      • “PLEASE stop bitching about people bitching about parking.”

        I’m glad that you’re acknowledging that you’re bitching. It’s the first step, acknowledgement.

  25. If I were a city planner, I wouldn’t notify any of you windbag whiners either. If it was up to you, nothing would ever get done…which of course you would complain about.

  26. Again, parking being removed is not a complaint on the part of the patrons. All of us walk to the Farmers Market. It’s that the vendors themselves no longer can get their vehicles near to set up their stands. Hopefully they can manage it.

    Again, arranging a pedestrian-friendly beautification project in the midst of this car-dominant city is a fine goal, and many thanks. A blocked-off triangle? Neat! Tables and umbrellas? I look forward to such local charm. But no one “built a park for us.” The park was already there. It’s the loud, light-reflective, electric snot that lies thinly over the cracked asphalt that is generating the dislike.

    I knew the project was coming, kept tabs on it (with the help of the Eastsider), saw the proposed plan, and saw the project coming out uglier than expected.

  27. Silver Lake Resident

    If we are to compare this to other embraced and well-executed public space initiatives, let’s compare this bright mess to the Silver Lake meadow. You will see that many people do appreciate the added public space. The meadow is fantastic, loved and utilized to the fullest! Unfortunately, the “Sunset Triangle” fails on just about every level that the meadow excels. Had those planning really taken the time to PLAN it, it would be well-received by most. Unfortunately, it wasn’t and because of that, this is a complete failure.

    • Well said. Yes – the Meadow is an example of how things should be done – lovely to look at and hang out in, and done with tons or input from residents. That obviously cost a lot more than Neon Nightmare, but just because something was cheap to create should not mean it has to look like junk.

      • Silver Lake Resident

        Neon Nightmare is the perfect name for it.

      • Its funny that you bring up the Meadow I can’t remember a more contentious project being proposed and fought against in Silver Lake. (and that’s saying something) People called that project ill conceived and a lot worse

        The real input was mainly just the vocal minority of people who fought vehemently against it completely in any form vs the majority of people who wanted it. The details of the exact footprint was hardly an issue at all.

  28. The complainers want to overlook the fact there was public meetings, this was paid for by a “private” grant and its only a year long “test” I’m not sure how you could compromise on a project anymore but whatever, there’s just know satisfying some people. The so called inconvenience is negligible and this really has no impact on traffic. If you had to jump through all the hoops people are suggesting and get %100 support nothing would ever get done especially in Silver Lake. Its here for 1 year people deal with it. And no a year is not that long

    I’m sure they would have loved to gone further with this park concept but being a year long pilot plus I they probably had a tight budget prevented going all out I’m guessing. Ill agree though that the green is bad though.

    • clifford lecuyer

      Thank god for the complainer’s as you put it. Silver Lake is a community of creative people. BAD IS BAD. I am going to start collecting signatures and we’ll see how many patrons of the Silver Lake farmer’s market agree.
      Maybe you should move to Portland mark and take josh with you,although I am sure that people there have better taste.

      • wow you really put me in my place. Why would I move though I like this space. If you’re not happy with where you live why don’t you move… preferably to someplace deserted where you never have to deal with people.

        • clifford lecuyer

          I love Silver Lake and I will protect it from people like you.

          • yea right, the same way people spent all that time “protecting” the meadow (from Mexican children)

          • With statements like that, who will protect it from people like Clifford?

          • He’s absolutely right. The city really first should’ve called out the Silver Lake Quirky and Artsy Arbiters of Taste Police (the SQUAAT Force) to make sure bad don’t get bad and good stays good and silver stays silver in Silver Lake. Protect us from upheaval!

    • Without the ‘complainers’, all of Silver Lake would look like this if it were up to the people that came up with this atrocity. I don’t think any of us want that.

  29. I lived near a spot where this same thing was tried in San Francisco, and it ended up being very successful and added a public space where it functionally didn’t exist before. Yeah, SF has all sorts of transit, but as someone who actually lived there (and didn’t just visit for a weekend), I can tell you that the transit was hapless at best. Ultimately, while neighbors were concerned about traffic pattern changes from the “reclaimed” street, what instead resulted was a revitalized space in a community that has benefited a lot from that.

    It’s amazing to me how much more important a couple parking spaces in a city lined with parking, or a small half-block of street in a city devoted to streets, are to people than a small public space that *could* become a centerpiece in a community that currently doesn’t really have it (at least where transportation, land use, and community space merge). Sure, Silverlake has the meadow, but that’s nowhere near retail. And until now the Junction hasn’t been anywhere near a viable public space.

    Yeah, the paint is a hideous color. The road is cracked and could use repaving. The planters are plastic and could get busted the first accident along Sunset. There are myriad reasons to complain. Heck, if the 101 was closed down tomorrow for repaving for a week, it would be a nightmare, but we’d all put up with it because we looked ahead a week to a much-improved commute. Let’s try and put the same kind of perspective on this experiment. There’s lots in the immediate lens that is unusual or difficult, but give it a couple months and see what comes of it. If we don’t like it, it does away. And if we do like it, then we can make it a much more functional space for the things we learn it can be, and what we want in our community.

  30. Your SL Neighbor

    I thought we were getting a new green space, not just a space painted green. OK, in all seriousness, the idea of more green space should be encouraged and the loss of a handful of parking spots is not a big deal at the end of the day. If people don’t like the fact that Silver Lake is being gentrified, then they should move. We all appreciate the new cafes, restaurants, shops – but don’t like the added metered parking, congestion, price tag, etc. As far as I can tell, all the new establishments are indie business and I don’t see any Cheesecake Factories opening up, so people need to take a step back.

    Having said that, what is lacking in this green-painted space is guts and creativity – the ability to figure out how to turn this space into a true green space (like the Meadow or Parkman Triangle Park). Parkman Triangle Park was done with a very small budget. Why not replicate something like that here?

    And while we’re at it, that existing fountain near this new plaza is so ugly. It would be great to give it a new skin or to replace it.

  31. I kind of like it — very Silver Lake-y.

  32. They should’ve painted the dots Brown & Tan, to match Tom M’s description. “Crap”.

  33. Grass would have been better than tacky paint. Just passed through it, only 3 ppl were there. Waste of LA’s money. But, it gives me more room to stretch and drink a 40 oz in a brown bag. Thanks Eric Garcetti!

  34. It’s fair to criticize the colors and the execution, even if this is a test, but I’m hearing mostly a lot of bitching about parking spaces being “lost.” What we should be asking is: Why is so much valuable land lost on spaces for people to store their private property on? We bemoan the lack of public spaces in L.A., but all it takes is for a few shrill cries of “What about the parking?!” to put the kibosh on any change.

    • “It’s fair to criticize” only what you say is fair to criticize? Oh, okay, my mistake. Did not know you were the overlord of Silver Lake.

  35. Wish I could move

    Nope, I’m still gonna ask it – what about the parking? We can sit here and wish for a city full of public transit and for me to be able to bike a gillion miles to work, but we aren’t there yet (if ever) and so parking is still terrible. Im sad to say tgat even a loss of a few spots is bad. I never thought I’d be complaining about a “park” but that’s the reality of the situation.

    • “We can sit here and wish for a city full of public transit and for me to be able to bike a gillion miles to work …”

      The desire for plentiful parking and the implications it has for land use is a big part of what keeps this city from becoming more walkable and accessible via transit. As long as we are satisfied with “sitting and wishing” nothing changes.

  36. parking schmarking.

    whoever put up the basketball hoop is my hero! i love it.

    …racist anti-basketball comments in 3, 2, 1…

  37. We only need look at the very first comment of this thread to see the consequences of the bubbles that are our cars. We sit in them to move from point A to point B without ever being exposed to the idea of sharing that journey in good efficient public transportation. So we don’t demand it. Instead we get to the point of private space to an extreme. We get to a point where we declare that it’s “MY” farmers’ market, “MY” Saturday was ruined, “who puked on MY farmers’ market”, “thanks so much for ruining MY farmer’s market”. And why so terrible? Because of PARKING! You say it’s “beyond me”. Yes, you’re absolutely right. It’s a good thing one can’t grow boxwood hedges around our cars, because if we could, many people here would.

    • There is legit criticism of this space but so much of the complaints revolves around “me” and “mine” I think your on the money pointing out how driving around in LA fosters a sense of isolation and selfishness.

      • Yeah, me, mine and the thousands of other people, including seniors and the disabled, who used the easily accessible spots that the farmers market created from the enclosed space that they rent every Saturday and Tuesday. It has to do with denigrating the successful and incredibly popular market that has brought hundreds of thousands of people to shop in this “underused space”, more than will ever use it as a place to hang out. There is no reason the little, now useless, triangle within the space could not have been configured to accommodate parking during farmers market hours. Somehow, these thousands of people who shop there every week have no say in how the space should be used? Someone can just come in, block it off and paint it an unfortunate color because they don’t like cars? Sorry, that’s unacceptable.

        • What about the parking lot behind the apartment building? I don’t even think it’s being used! Why not work to find a solution that incorporates that? It doesn’t necessarily have to be an either/or situation. Also, I get that if you have problems with mobility you do have to drive, but for everyone else, walk/bus/bike/find farmer’s market closer to you. I don’t know how large of a problem this actually is.

          • Great point… maybe the owner of that lot could rent parking spots to the market on Tuesdays and Saturdays… or how about angled parking to fit more cars on the side streets (might only fit on one side on some streets, but it could make up for the 6 lost spots and then some). Or maybe talk to the neighbors and get a petition going for preferential parking permits with 2 hour or metered spots for shoppers and visitors.

            If parking and aesthetics are the biggest concerns, there are a ton of solutions that could be brought up to the organization and/or neighborhood council instead of just writing off a project which many of us in the neighborhood appreciate.

  38. Not dismissing other peoples concerns just commenting on the parking related hatred of this space. This thread really reveals how connected we are to our god given right to drive and park in L.A.. I mean these weren’t overnight parking spaces and people are shitting themselves. I reality the loss of these spots isn’t going to affect anyone in a significant way but it seems just the idea of loosing parking reveals a deep seeded fear. Its actually very interesting.

    • I’m always down for a nice, safe place to store my things that cost 18,000 dollars.

      • Yo had to spend 18,000 dollars to park because of this new space? Do tell… Or really your life hasn’t changed at all has it?

        • My point was, that I would rather have more parking, as I need somewhere to put my car. Sorry that I’m FOSTERING ISOLATION but it’s more important to me than some polka dots.

          • Robert we’re painfully aware that it’s more important to YOU and lord knows its all about YOU. Fortunately in this case people who weren’t only thinking of themselves did something nice.

      • Fine, let’s put some smart parking meters there that make you pay market price to the public to store your private property. We all own the road ways, if you want to take up a scarce commodity are you willing to pay for it?

    • There’s soooooo much more to hate about it than the lack of market parking. Look at it and make a list.

      • Mark- I just disagree with you on this dude, it would have been nice if the city planners from 50 years ago thought to put parks all over the place, but they didn’t. It’d be nice if the city wasn’t so spread out, but it is. It’d be nice if we had functional public transit, but we don’t. I’ll vote for more parks, more rails and fun little bike paths and stuff, but spray painting some cement, putting uncomfortable chairs and basically giving people who don’t live in my complex an open invite to come and sit on our little stoop and litter, and something that, at least so far, has made our dumpsters overflow and attract bugs isn’t helping anything.

        • I was watching the news last night, and there was a segment on a proposed Ferris wheel in Venice. Comments from residents who opposed the project were aired: “I’m worried about traffic, parking, and trash”. LA’s Big NIMBY Three. Always. “Wildlife” probably had the night off.

          The Triangle might not be perfect. Right now it’s an experiment, and it’s a good place to start.

  39. Wish I could move

    I’m sorry I don’t have a viable option not to drive to work. Many of us don’t. And man, we’re not talking plentiful parking, there are some nights were talking any parking within blocks and blocks. This isn’t going to go away. I’m grateful I’m able bodied, young, and don’t have kids, that’s for sure. Would make it even worse. No one here is like “yay cars! I love driving, pollution and diabeetus!!” It is just the reality of the shituation that this area has crap parking and this does the opposite of help, and it us frustrsting to see it plopped down before us when im fairly sure nothing is being done to address the parking issue. When that grocery store comes in, how fast is that side lot going to fill up on a typical sunday?? I try to get coworkers to come here to eat and shop and they laugh at the idea because of parking. The one person i convinced swore “never again.” Real talk: The basketball hoop is pretty rad, I must say.

    • Fortunately, as a driver who enjoys convenient parking who is also a promoter of public space, I want to point out that there is a simple, elegant solution to the parking problem that would work beautifully in Silver Lake – it would virtually guarantee that parking would always be available on just about every block, business would thrive, everybody could park close to home, etc. Here is a website that explains it all:

      http://sfpark.org/about-the-project/

  40. For me, the parking issue isn’t a problem since I live up the hill and walk to the Farmer’s Market. I am only minorly inconvenienced in my drive to Trader Joe’s and points east. However, it is butt ugly, and probably unsafe without proper protection from Sunset traffic. I don’t really have any desire to sit on eye-searingly painted, cracked asphalt trying to foster communities whilst shouting over the Sunset traffic. But there are those that do want to do so, especially those with the anti-car agenda axe to grind. Let’s be clear about this point- this thread is full of people who would find paradise in a world where cars are rare. I like my car a lot- it is not slavery but a liberating invention, but that is not relevant to my post.

    This plaza idea was half-baked at best, and should have taken many factors into account, not least of which was the possible public backlash. And now we’re stuck with this eyesore for a year and nothing can be done about it? I just wish it had been done right in the first place, and if the money wasn’t there for it, rethink the plan.

    • Why is wanting a public space to relax in the sun equal to hating cars?? I have no idea where this notion came from. The plaza has nothing to do with public transportation.

    • I have a car and drive. I’m not anti-car. What I am is anti-bad planning. I think we as drivers both benefit if fewer people drove short distances and had better access to things without a car.

      Demanding more space for parking and not applying market economics to it makes it harder for everyone, drivers included. Congestion and lack of parking are, ironically, the end result of planning policies that gives irrational privilege to cars.

      • I am anti-bad planning, too, which is why I am speaking up about this prime example of it.

        I have not read or heard of one person demanding more parking in this debate. I personally want the market to have its parking returned, nothing more. And your market factor theories do not apply here. This was private parking for customers of the farmers market, who has rented out the space for years.

        The resulting congestion and lack of parking from the lack of these private spaces are, ironically, the end result of planning policies that gives irrational privilege to planners living in theoretical bubbles.

  41. What about the thousands of children who now don’t have to walk miles to shoot some hoops. Or the thousands ( maybe millions) of people including the elderly and infirm not to mention the insane who now have a place to congregate and relax in. Don’t they have a say!…I mean cmon that’s what you sound like. Absolutely no one is harmed by the chance they “MIGHT” have to park a block or two further down on Sunset instead of right in front of the store. As far as having a say people like you aren’t involved at all in city affairs except to post on blogs. This as well as several other developments under consideration go through the Departments of Transportation, Planning, and Public Works; the Office of Eric Garcetti; the Silver Lake Improvement Association, the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council. Those last two in particular are where people truly interested in local governance can get involved and informed on everything that’s going on around here. you can also get information from any of those other sources not to mention the numerous blogs that posted about this and several other things still under consideration. Stop being a hysterical “victim” and get informed.

    • Kids couldn’t shoot hoops at Micheltorena?

      • actually no “its private property” the grade schoolers who attend can shoot hoops if you go to school there during school hours. Other than that its trespassing as the signs posted on the fences attest.

        • When I was a kid, I just went and shot hoops anyways. Climbed a gate, you know- things kids do. Shame, that its trespassing, as that seems to FOSTER ISOLATION

          • I agree, Robert. I’m glad you finally see my point. Closing it off does foster isolation. But it’s probably the idea that it’s a bad thing to give people space to gather (whether it’s a meadow, a playground, or a pedestrian-only street) that keeps those courts closed.

          • We’re talking about kids shooting hoops, not places for people to gather.

          • huh? shooting hoops is a form of gathering

  42. Why not just charge for parking *everywhere* in LA? If it were priced right, there’d always be a parking space every couple hundred feet.

    • Exactly! But as you can see, some people have an emotional attachment to “free” parking and don’t see the hidden costs. We’d rather blame it on things like parks rather than take personal responsibility and emphasizing a rational market solution.

      • Those are two excellent points! We’ve fed into the idea that people are owed free parking without any personal responsibility. That’s how this monster was created not parks.

        Ideally people would have to pay directly for the services they use. Unfortunately the Parking and DMV fees have just become a main an easy mark to pay cities bills. As it is now any new taxes would just be seen as an opportunity to bleed us more not as an opportunity to reinvest the money from where it came.

  43. ugly paint or not. i live down the street, and i am happy to use the space.

    what makes me even more happy, is that all my neighbors/people on here bitching about it, will not be there. stay inside and make comments on eastsider all day, you wont have to move your car.

  44. I have been going to the Silver Lake farmers market every Saturday for the last 4 or 5 years. I’m local, but I don’t live directly in Silver Lake. I come in the morning and spend about $80 to buy all my produce for the week… every week. All that has changed now that this ill conceived “public space” has robbed the public of it’s practical use. I don’t want to pay to park a mile a way, I spend my money in the market. Besides, have you ever tried to carry a heavy load of apples and squash several blocks? It’s not that easy. All I know is that this WAS a great system, I could get in and out efficiently and save my money for the vendors. Now I will be going elsewhere. You’d think in this economy politicians would be making it easier for you to spend your money in the community, not harder.

    • why don’t you just park on one of the new spot on Sunset they’re the same distance as the old ones…OR park in the new loading zone …OR park in United Bread and buy a dollar pastry (there really good) then get your veggies… OR park at yummies (when it opens and buy a coke) then get your produce…Or park at the 99 cent store and buy an apple then get your produce… Or carpool with someone so you can walk three blocks back to your car while the other peerson waits with the food at the farmers market…I mean I could go on and on its really hardly a problem. The few times I drove to the farmers market I rarely was able to park at that little end lot and your chances of getting a spot next to the market are about the same now as they where before.

    • Have you tried a folding cart on wheels? There are many inexpensive, sturdy ones available. They really save the back and shoulders.

    • The Farmer’s Market is a business and should provide parking options for their customers just like a restaurant.

    • Er…one could argue that it’s maximum “practical use” would be better realized as a park that the community (ie. those of us who live here) have access to every day, than as parking spaces for a farmer’s market twice a week. I didn’t have a car for years and managed my shopping every week on the bus.
      Also, where do you live? There are so many farmer’s markets in the city, there very well may be a closer one…
      Either way, I don’t think our community should have to sacrifice the one place we can have a public space so that you can park your car. Sorry.

      • clifford lecuyer

        This is NO PARK Lauren. There is NOTHING relaxing about GIANT NEON DOTS PAINTED ON TAR! Have you stood in it in the bright sun? It is NAUSEATING! There is so much talent in LA, how about using some.

    • All the hyperbole aside, you do realize that those four “lost” spots would have been taken up by the farmer’s market anyway, right? I just don’t see what’s changed for you.

      • Ugh. These people who rail against “free” .parking at the farmers market have obviously never been theer. It’s a matter of taking away what is basically PRIVATE space while the market is going on – whatever they shell out to use the space always included the 14 spots that were overseen by attendants who made sure it was only used by market patrons. Disgusting that people are so against giving easy access to the market, especially for seniors and the disabled. It’s a good way to destroy business in Silver Lake. Way to go!

        • I’ve been there and I go there all the time by car without much trouble. Nobody’s taking away “easy access.”

    • you can park for free up the hill on maltman and effie. its only about 100 YARDS away.
      I’ve lived here for years and theres PLENTY of street parking up here on farmers market days.

      besides; all my neighbors don’t seem to have problems carrying their goods up here.

  45. And it’s the height of ignorance to suggest that 8 pay spots for use by anyone on Sunset would come anywhere close to making up for the 14 free spots that served roughly 400 patrons a week. But then, there’s a reason these people are city planners and not rocket scientists or brain surgeons…

    • Its not ignorance its just math lets say your numbers are correct. At 400 people and 14 free spots there are .o35 spots for every person. at 8 spots there is .02 spots for every person. The fact is most people (of those who drive) have always more than likely had to walk a block or two.

      • By the way I’m dubious about your claim that there are attendants overseeing the spots I think that’s bullshit. I live two blocks away go there about 3 times a month and have even parked there a few times and I have NEVER had someone validate whether I was going to the farmers market. Anyway how could they even if they wanted to, do they follow those 14 people around and make sure they don’t walk over to Casbah. What your saying doesn’t even logistically make sense.

        • Not sure if that’s a joke response, mark, as there have been several clearly-identified, wonderful attendants there every single week since day one. There was no need to validate anything, it was completely free. The whole point of the attendants was to make sure people did not go to Casbah, and to hustle hundreds of cars in and out quickly every week. It’s called customer service. There are a lot of people who appreciate that in choosing a local business to support.

          • validate meaning check whether or not I was actually going to the market. I’ve parked there and that’s NEVER happened AND unless they follow all 14 people around how would they even know whether you walk through the market over to Casbah. Also no one hustles anyone in or out. People park, shop then leave when there done. There’s no one keeping track of how much time you spend there.

          • The attendants were always professional and kept on top of the parking. They got hundreds of people in and out of there weekly, dang right I’d call that hustling. They’d help elderly and disabled drivers, make sure they got out safely. They moved traffic cones to let people out, watched for traffic as people pulled out, and guided drivers pulling in to maximize the space.

            If you were not going to the market you would not even bother trying to get one of their spaces; people snag spots at other places ( Big Mac’s/Good/Forage) to go TO the market, not the other way around. The guys would know if a car was there for a long time and they handled it, was not a problem.

          • Dude your full of it. All you gave is the generalization that “they got hundreds of people in and out safely.” and that if they stay too long they “handled it” How did they do that? People park, stay as long as they want then leave. Even if they move cones or whatever that doesn’t equate to them moving “hundreds of people” since the main obstacle to how many people park there isn’t getting people out nearly as much as its the length of time they’re parking. You also didn’t explain why someone wouldn’t park there if they wanted to go someplace else. All you said was they wouldn’t. I mean c’mon your arguments lack basic resoning

    • “But then, there’s a reason these people are city planners and not rocket scientists or brain surgeons.”

      City planning doesn’t sound like a walk in the park, either. Having to cater to nebbishes who treat a few parking spots like some kind of sacred relic doesn’t sound fun.

      • If this dude says its harder for him to get around with the loss of parking, then it’s harder for him to get around his loss of parking. Who are you to judge him for it?

        • That’s how a blog works people have opinions and people comment on peoples opinions that’s the point. Tom would rather have those spots back than have this space and he’s making hysterical claims to make his point. Just because he’s saying its harder to get around doesn’t make it true and people are just calling his bullshit.

    • Dude, I don’t freakin’ work at the place. If you want specifics, go ask them. They made it work, that’s all the thousands of customers cared about.

      • Dude you gave specifics then when pressed admitted you don’t actually have any specifics. You do that a lot, you’re willing to say whatever to make a point regardless of the facts. You don’t have any credibility.

  46. So we’re a few days into this thing and right now this spot is some 17 year olds personal bike jump practice area, and a place for Mornings and Nights regulars to stand around. Good job everybody.

    • Sounds good to me! But, then again, I’m not an angry, bitter person (yet!) The more I am exposed to the comments here, the more likely I am to follow in the angry people’s footsteps.

    • People patronizing the local business, people playing outside. The horror, the horror.

    • I’ve walked over and driven past 7 times this week at all different times of the day…0, 2 or 3 people who would be at Mornings/Nights anyway. There were 4 from M/N and me when I walked over yesterday, and a homeless woman early in the morning. So barren and cold yesterday yet so glaring and hot on Sunday. That color scheme looks bad in any weather.

      • I drive by twice a day and probably walk by as much and its about the same as it was before. Tuesday I decided to get the full experience and spend my lunch hour there. It was busier than I remember about 8 people at Morning/Nights (most outside) three kids doing tricks on their bikes. one person sitting at one of the open tables and me at another. Then three hipster kids I’ve never seen before came and started shooting hoops which was funny because they were dressed in skinny pants and jackets. about the same time the trucks started showing up to set up for the fair. I noticed hey just move the planters and let the people move their truck in so they had no problem getting in and just parked their vehicles behind their booth like they always did. Oh and there was PLENTY of parking which reminds me there’s always parking during the week especially during the day. Weekends are the only time parking its bad. Aaaanyway the point is things are fine, parking was fine traffic was unchanged people where using it. Other than ugly green point I’m not sure what the problem is.

        • The green paint is more than enough of a problem. It looks worse every time I go there.

          I’ll be trolling the farmers market tomorrow to see how the shoppers and farmers feel. Since they were never considered or notified of any of this it will be interesting to hear what they think, and what the seniors think of their easy access being taken away without explanation.

          • Today when I was there, 3:30pm…5 people, all from Mornings/Nights. Mornings/Nights has got to love their new expansive patio.

  47. Aside from a handful of angry trolls who rant like shills for Michael McKinley and the crooked Sunset Junction Neighborhood Alliance, everyone else seems to have the usual Silver Lake spirit and appreciation for out of the box thinking when it comes to pedestrian friendly public spaces. I walked thru here today and it is nice to have an open space in an urban area.

    • I wouldn’t mind the inconvenience of sitting in the congestion on Sunset to go around this “public space” but everytime I’ve looked to see how the “entire community” is using it, nobody is there. I’ll bet none of the politicos who came to glad hand each other at the pathetic “grand opening” have returned and probably one reason is that they all drove and parking is tough. I walked there and hoped to hear from all sides in a Q&A after the commendations were given out but the speakers couldn’t wait to get out of there. By 12 noon it was empty. I saw a goon ina red Santorum shirt trying to physically intimidate the guy booing. They should have allowed people to raise questions not intimidate free expression. This is a waste of time and money. Put back the street so the “public” and the “entire community” can truly use it.

      • It’s an experiment that’s been there for a week. Give it time.

      • That grand opening was the most pompous piece of self-congratulatory baloney I have seen in years. Then they gave themselves awards and went home. Thank god for the heckler.

        • Let’s face it.

          Its JUST UGLY and not organic to the community. For years, the space has been filled with murals and still IS…On the wall of El Conquistador, the walls of Enrique Auto Parts, the wall next to United Bread & Pastry- the Filipino Bakery.

          Its fine to experiment and close off the street to support more open space for the community. I, personally, can dig that idea.

          But the decision to claim that space with un-organically-created lime green polka dots and lime green painted streets is a genuinely a disrespectful act to the art and culture that our community embraces. Even the small businesses in the area have paid respect to the neighborhood facade when they joined our community: Tantra, Cliff’s Edge, Pablove Foundation, the bike shop Golden Saddle Cyclery, Fandango, KODA, Forage, Secret Headquarters, CRU, etc. They all have organic community flavor.

          This “polka-dotted experiment” was disrepectful to the businesses and community that live here.

  48. I live in Northern California, after living 15 years down there. I live in the country. one thing that that town is missing is common sense, I read this post and have to say, the problems of urban living cannot be fixed by painting a street a hideous artificial green, Green spaces are in truth places that support nature, sustainable, and have consciousness of ecology, what you have here is fake eco space, it has nothing to do with ecology, it does not address nature at all, yeah walking, and biking are great ideas and activities, but in truth, Los Angeles, will never have a public transit system that is functional for people to frequent farmers markets on foot carrying home bags of fresh produce 3 miles is unrealistic and pushes people away outside of walking radius. , historically public transit it has tried and failed many times, there are too many people and the neighborhoods are huge. I would support a plan to bring back the true nature of that land and place in small places, you will find it is desert, and dry, the balance is unresolvable, due to human population. Green spaces respect and address a sense of natural ecology. I do not feel the complainers, are off base here. The problem is huge…. Are humans more important than nature? How do we find balance between the two? Flat artificial acrylic paint is not a solution here.

    • Just for the record this was never referred to by the planners as a green, eco or intended to solve ” problems of urban living” or address nature. its intended as a public space created on a shoe spring budget for people to relax and create a “more walk-able and bike-able city.” Its goal is in part to show you can add communal value to places without spending a lot of money. Places to sit rest and play are important to communities. Its doesnt have to be expensive to have value. They got creative with the resources they had.

      • Well said, Miss Jones! Its unnatural, toxic look and feel is exactly what is keeping people away. That they didn’t even make an attempt a “real” green space just boggles my mind. People can hang out in their own street with a croissant and coffee if they want that experience.

        • Despite the fact that it abuts a little park, it never occurred to any of these “Improvement” geniuses to tie the plaza in to it. They did not touch the park, which could certainly use some TLC and would have been the obvious choice to reclaim and makeover. Nothing about this project makes sense or was done properly.

          • How do you know it never occurred to them. A lot of the things you say are just made up. They spent the resources they had which the Streets for People state is thousands as apposed to millions. Of course like anyone would they would have loved to have unlimited funds. But more importantly showing you can still do something positive for the community without a lot of money.

            Buy the way if your so hell bent on improving this public or this community why don’t you get off your ass and take the time and effort to rally the support and resources to fix this park or create more parking spaces or whatever your complaining about. OR Why don’t you create a shuttle service for all these elderly people who you say no longer have access to the farmers market…why don’t you do ANYTHING to make things better. You’d rather just complain and not contribute anything of substance.

    • Whether they considered it or not, the fact remains they didn’t do it. A small budget is no excuse for tackiness. Had they not rushed it through without letting people know and had they involved the community, they could have gotten a lot of stuff donated…including actual tasteful ideas.

      All those tacky plastic pots and cheap chairs, no doubt made in China. The plants are non-native. There’s not one single bench! With all the talent in Silver Lake, are you trying to tell me they could not have gotten some cool designs for benches and planters made out of reclaimed materials, especially since they are all about “reclaiming”? How about some potted shade trees? This is Hollywood, there are prop houses that deal in live trees that may have donated something or lent it to the space for a year. How about a solar mobile charging kiosk or some cool solar lights? Certainly they could have found some company is trying to promote their public space furnishings.

      The worst public projects are the kind you look at and after the nausea wanes, the first thing you notice is all the lost opportunities. Such a shame.

      • When it becomes permanent, they’ll build curbs, install better designed bollards, more grass, plants and trees, seating.

        They did involve the community. That you weren’t paying attention or were so indifferent that you missed the opportunity to give your input on design, “not tackiness”, free parking, and donations is really a loss to you and the community. Such a shame.

    • “Los Angeles, will never have a public transit system that is functional for people to frequent farmers markets on foot carrying home bags of fresh produce 3 miles is unrealistic and pushes people away outside of walking radius. , historically public transit it has tried and failed many times, there are too many people and the neighborhoods are huge. I would support a plan to bring back the true nature of that land and place in small places, you will find it is desert, and dry, the balance is unresolvable, due to human population. Green spaces respect and address a sense of natural ecology. I do not feel the complainers, are off base here. The problem is huge…. Are humans more important than nature? How do we find balance between the two? Flat artificial acrylic paint is not a solution here.”

      I agree with you miss jones. What we need to do there is make the space a permanent park by building curbs around the periphery and planting grass and trees to make it a more permanent mini-park. The complainers here attack the design, and that’s fair. But it’s a temporary one, done inexpensively as an experiment. If it becomes permanent public space, better, more lasting elements will be built into it.

      As for LA having tried and failed several times at public transportation, remember that a vast public transportation network was intentionally dismantled here. LA is too big and too densely populated? Tell that to Hong Kong, New York City metro, London, Paris, Shanghai and any number of large, heavily populated, sprawling cities with fast, efficient transportation systems, some established recently, some around for decades.

      • Then why hasn’t any functional public transport been successful? You are right about those large urban cities but it has never worked in LA. Why not? do you think? I like this thread because it got me thinking. I do not know or have any answers but the deep disconnect from “place” is evident in Los Angeles, and probably any city, I just question it really, It is a desert, in truth, but I think I am asking a bigger question beyond polka dot plaza, more along the lines of urban living, San Francisico is a pedestrian city, the public transport is incredibly successful, but not in LA. Anyway, It has brought me alot of thought and query which I like.

        • Like Mett mentioned in his last paragraph, public transportation has been successful in L.A. There was a vast and popular streetcar network that was unfortunately mostly dismantled by the 50s.

  49. one word, and I am done, PERMACULTURE.

  50. “a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than premature and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single project system. Bill Mollison,

  51. clifford lecuyer

    clifford lecuyer March 8, 2012 at 1:23 pm
    It is not just me it is HUNDREDS of people that frequent this farmer’s market. Which by the way is the ONLY farmer’s market in Silver Lake. I have been shopping there for a decade. I love the farmer’s and other patron’s that shop there. It is a real community in spite of your rude accusations.

    This group “Streets for LA” and “The Silver Lake Improvement Association” did not RECLAIM this street but what amounts to a HOSTILE TAKEOVER of this block. NOBODY asked them to RECLAIM this block because it was already CLAIMED by the hundreds of us who use it every day.

    Local shop merchants did not know that this was happening, residents did not know, farmer’s at the market did not know. Nobody is against IMPROVEMENTS but this is NO IMPROVEMENT!
    There was no vote or consensus from the citizens that are actually impacted just some ARROGANT IMPOSITION on all of us!

    I know that there are hundreds of senior citizens that frequent this farmer’s market and that used the parking. Did anyone take the time time to inquire about the impact on seniors? No because these groups were busy rushing these plans through so no one could stop them.

    No one is against more public space. But who are these groups to inconvenience all of us in the ACTUAL community with this aestetically hideous experiment. This was not an abandoned block or building or an “under-used” street but is the thriving center of Silver Lake.

    I call for all of us to RE RE-CLAIM our street from these manipulative self serving fools that think they know what’s best for all of us.

    SHAME ON YOU!

    I’ll be seeing you at the next Silver Lake “Improvement” Association
    meeting to take back this street with the hundreds of us that feel the same way.

    Your’s truly,The Heckler.

    • Yay! Pitchforks and torches and black paint!!!

    • Your first comments, which are also the very first on this story, really tell us more about your position than any of your subsequent ones. Did you find free parking today?

      I wonder what rhetoric, if any, was used to protest the farmers market when it was established there.

  52. Week 2 at the polka dot farmers market. I got there early and stayed about an hour to see what it’s like before it really gets hopping. Talked to about 10 random people – farmers, customers, the parking guys. Nobody said they liked it and none knew about it in advance. Everyone disliked the decreased parking and color scheme. Most just didn’t get it. The attendants made the space work for the farmers – figured out a system for moving all the plants around every week to get them in and out.

    I was unclear on the number of spots impacted. 8 metered spots were added to Sunset and 14 metered spots on Griffith Park were removed. This loss of 6 spots does not impact the market but only street parking during non-market hours.

    They relented and let the market use their old space, but they had to cut the spots from 16 to 8, and now people have to back in and literally be guided in and out by the attendants. As for the 8 new spots on Sunset, at least 5 of those were used by some of the smaller vendors who unloaded their cars, locked them up, and paid the meters. They used to have to unload and find a spot elsewhere.

    People will make do, they will have to. It means unnecessary inconvenience for customers and extra work for market employees, but what the hell. A handful of neighborhood people got what they wanted and the politicos got to pat themselves on the back, so it’s all good.

    • You pretty much insisted as fact there where 14 farmers market spots before now there where 16? You just say what suits you why should anyone believe you. Also you already stated there where attendants there guiding people in and out before so whats the difference. So if there are 8 new spots on Sunset and 8 farmers market spots there are actually 16 spots and that’s 2 more than than you said there was before. If the farmers market vendors use those 8 new spots on Sunset isn’t that actually benefiting them. It also opens up the 8 parking spots they where using nearby for other people. There is nothing lost here.

      • Garcetti and health dept.’s Margo personally told me 14, but they were speaking of Griffith Pk. Bl. spots, not farmers mkt spots as I understood. Hey, at least I keep digging and will correct myself when I am in error, and nobody else here is even trying to get this info. The figures above are correct.

        6 total metered spots were removed that affect everybody. That’s a big deal.

        There are still 16 total spots available in and next to the farmers market, but not equal to old spots. The 8 mkt spots are now a pain in the a** to get into, need help from attendants, and the daily turnaround is less because of the time it takes to get in and out. There is now a backup on Sunset getting into the space that did not used to be during mkt.

        The 8 new metered spots are used by more than market customers and people can stay in them to their limit. Vendors using the spots do not help the customers but they have the right to use them just like anyone else. So what if a few spots formerly used by vendors open up on side streets?? There is parking in Rosemead, too…what does that have to do with spots at the market?

        • so even by your own count their are no less spots for the farmers market than there where before. The absolute worst thing you have accused this space of is making it more difficult to get in and out of those new spaces which even if I bought (which I don’t) is really minor and petty. Also if the farmers market vendors are not concerned how using those street spots affects their customers what’s the difference. Oh and what those spots have to do with new parking spaces at the market have to to with this is they open up spots in our neighborhood (not Rosemead) for the market and other junction businesses for that matter. Beyond all that people have stated there is always parking 100 yards away and I can also tell you there is usually parking on my street 1 1/2 blocks away on Golden Gate. This is hardly a problem.

          • It’s a lot more difficult to get in and out. Impossible? No, but I don’t see it as good planning when something is made more difficult for no reason. Stupid.

          • Again, its false to say it’s not for a reason. You just don’t like the reason

  53. Great idea. Not the best choice of colors. Spare me the polka dots. In the bright sun it all hurts your eyes. Needs some shade and relaxing tones.

  54. archie d March 10, 2012 at 8:48 pm
    “Great idea. Not the best choice of colors. Spare me the polka dots. In the bright sun it all hurts your eyes. Needs some shade and relaxing tones.”
    ———————————————————
    I’ve been talking to random people (15-20) about this all week and Archie’s comment is the general consensus I’ve gotten, along with annoyance that they did not know about it, and decrease in parking. People like it in theory but not as constructed. Here are results of my informal survey; take it as you will:

    Color: 100% disliked and hated by about 85%
    Quality of work: 100% dislike
    Design: 0% like, 15% “whatever”, 85% dislike strongly
    Makes you want to hang out there – 10%
    Had heard of it in advance – 10% (100% of those heard about it when final plan and construction date announced)
    Metered parking being taken away- 100% dislike
    Market parking reduced/reconfigured – 100% dislike
    Griffith Pk being closed off – 25% dislike, 75% willing to give it a try
    Like the concept in theory – 90%
    Don’t get it – 25%
    Should not have been built as is without more community input – 90%

    • haha this is the most bias pole ever, even if you just counted the people posting here there wouldn’t be %100 consensus on anything. I can tell you it was really busy every time I went by today so in reality people are using and enjoying it or at least they where today I expect that will continue.

      • It was a poll, not a pole. This is based random people I spoke to, not people who posted here as their views can be found here. Yep, I have yet to find one person who likes the colors or design.

        I was there twice yesterday…around 1PM (5 people) and between 4-5PM (2-4 people, even the tables were empty. First day of daylight savings time….I’d have thought there would be people out and about. The streets were packed, the plaza not hardly.

  55. Well you definitely have at least one person who could care less if those metered spots are gone so that makes your %100 claim false. Last time i drove by yesterday at 5:15 there was at least 20 people in the plaza and in the park including all but one of the outside tables. I was surprised to see how busy it was. So people are definitely using it and that’s the real neighborhood vote.

    • You make no sense. Nothing false about it. Never said there may not be people who LOVE less parking, but I have not run across any.

      • well you ran across me and I don’t “dislike Metered parking being taken away” in this case. so that IS false But I guess your “results” don’t take into account people who disagree with you.

        • I made it clear this was based on people who I spoke to out and about in the community. If you want to count up responses from this site, feel free.

          • and If you want accuracy feel free to include responses you already know differ from what you hope is the answer.

  56. BTW, I wrote a blog post about this on the EPP site. Feel free to comment!

  57. The Bottom Line: Silver Lake is home to LA’s “first” pedestrian plaza.

    P.S. Silver Lake hotties + plaza = WIN!

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