Metro moves forward on Echo Park-Silver Lake freeway project

Source: Metro

After more than a decade of planning and often contentious public debate, the job of remaking the southern tip of the 2 Freeway on the border of Echo Park and Silver Lake will finally get started early next year. The L.A. County Metropolitan Transit Authority, which is overseeing the project, will tonight provide an update during a community meeting and open house in the auditorium of Mayberry Elementary in Silver Lake. The first phase of work is relatively modest, with the installation of electronic feedback signs and new lighting as well as lane striping where the freeway meets Glendale Boulevard, according to a Metro status report.

The second round of work, which won’t take place until 2014, will be more extensive, including the installation of ramp meters to control the flow of southbound traffic before it travels on the so-called “flyover” bridge that crosses over Glendale Boulevard and the construction of sound walls along the freeway.

Silver Lake blogger Diane Edwardson notes that Metro’s plans to build sound walls and cut down some mature trees might  create more noise for residents who live in the hills on both sides of the freeway.

There are also plans to realign traffic lanes and ramps that would, for example, move the ramp leading to northbound Glendale Boulevard to the Echo Park side of the highway. However, this part of the project has not yet been funded, Metro said.


  1. Why don’t they just work on putting in an underground subway system for that area? That would be so much more effective in the long run.

    • I wish EP had a subway stop, it makes sense for the neighborhood.

    • Man, I wish Echo Park had a DASH line that goes directly to DTLA. That would be a complete win for democracy.

    • A train there would do NOTHING to address the issue. The issue is not coming from the local people! It is all the people commuting and otherwise coming through the area to go elsewhere, mainly to downtown and the Wilshire area.

      Those people come from north, from south, and from east. Those are the people, and in their areas, who need a train stop in order to address the issue, not one here in Echo Park-Silver Lake. That is to say, you need maybe 10 train lines all over everyplace EXCEPT here in order to address the issue!

      Underground subways aren’t likely to be built — Angelinos pretty well nixed that idea when they voted against it and in favor of going to ground level light rail, rather than underground heavy rail as the Red Line. Angelinos didn’t want to spend the greater amount of money and time to drill — they wanted instant gratification, instant rail lines (New York has taken much more than a century to build its system, and, for instance, is only now getting to a line for the Upper East Side — but Angelinos don’t want to wait, prefer a fast, cheap half-assed system that will never be able to handle the volume that New York’s system handles).

      • Echo Park used to have about 10 streetcar lines that went through here to somewhere else; Glendale, Sunset, Douglas, Echo Park Avenue, Temple, etc.

      • The ban on underground drilling from the 90’s was unfortunate, but thankfully it was repealed a couple of years ago (largely because of the Mayor).

        I agree that we need 2 grade separated light rail lines on this side of town. The first connecting Burbank to 7th St Metro Center via Glen Oaks/Brand/Glendale Blvd. The second connecting West Hollywood with Union Station via Santa Monica Blvd and Sunset (after the junction). Both of these corridors are outlined in Metro’s long range plan, but they aren’t yet funded so there’s 20 or 30 years of projects ahead of them.

        Vote for Measure J in November if you want to see any of this happen in our lifetimes… it will accelerate the construction of all the lines we’re currently working on (http://la.curbed.com/uploads/2012_06_measurer2.jpg) so we can move on to the next batch in 10-15 years instead of 20-30.

    • I so agree with you. We are so behind on transportation its sad.
      Hopefully it will be taken in to account all of the congestion in Silver Lake currently (even though this respective project it says has been on going and in the works for a decade) also the face that Ralphs Market Plaza and that entire lot has been sold and talks are to build condos. Same owners as the GROVE & THE AMERICANA. As you have noticed all the small business owners were run out. We will need a lot of off ramp work then.

  2. When I saw the word METRO I got excited thinking they were talking about the train coming this way. Sadly it’s just more car talk.

  3. Call me crazy but I dont see a traffic problem at that ramp.. I feel like until la can do something about the 110 through downtown and over to the 5 transition, everything else should be second priority!

    • I agree. Personally I think the only thing that will help LA’s traffic problems is to catch up with the times and put together a real legit public transportation system. LA has to be the only major metro city in the country that charges full price for a transfer.

    • Huh, I live right there and every morning it’s a disaster southbound towards downtown, starting at 7am and sometimes past 10 a.m. I’ve headed up the 2 and seen the traffic backed all the way up to the 134.

      The bit about walls creating more noise for hillside residences is balderdash. I can barely talk on the phone with my doors open — the freeway is so loud. The walls can’t come soon enough!

  4. This is terrible.
    It’s focus is to push more commuter traffic through a neighborhood. Echo Park is just being used as a surrogate freeway- with no benefit to the neighborhood but traffic and pollution.

  5. Everyone should attend this meeting to let Metro know how they feel. This will tear down trees, build walls and speed traffic along Glendale; with no interest or focus on the neighborhood, walkability, local safety, or ecology. This is just Metro spending allocated funds for a project no one wants.

  6. I wish their was some level of give and take on this to add traffic calming elsewhere in Echo Park (in exchange for the freeway design they’ve imposed on Alvarado/Glendale). How about a road diet by the lake to add a bunch of angled parking spots and some bike lanes to downtown? And I agree with what a few others have posted… Sunset and Glendale need rail lines, why waste 100’s of millions on these ramps when we could be doing the EIR’s on those lines and getting the ball rolling?

  7. I’m confused – will I finally be able to enter the northbound 2 from southbound Glendale Blvd.? There’s currently no (legit) way to do that.

  8. As far as I can tell, skeeter, it won’t create a legit way to get on 2 north from Glendale South, but it WILL make it NOT possible to get on northbound Glendale from southbound 2. Terrific!

    • actually if you look closely, they are decommissioning the existing off ramp that has both north and southbound exits and creating a new off ramp on the other side of the 2 next to the existing on ramp. This will not permit southbound exiting but will allow northbound exiting.

      • Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t this plan leave people who live off Allesandro right there, like me, no easy way to get home? I drive south off the southbound part of the “northbound” exit daily, as the flyover ramp dumps out just past Allesandro.

  9. One of the worst elements of this plan is tearing out the mature trees lining the west side of the 2 Freeway (around Oak Glen Place) and replacing them with concrete walls. These walls permanently blight any neighborhood and quickly become covered with graffiti, which the city already lacks money to clean up.

    The existing trees improve our air quality, beautify the environment, quiet the freeway noise, and provide habitat for wildlife (yes, even in a freeway corridor). Concrete walls line the pockets of the contractors who install them; no one else benefits when they appear.

  10. If its going to get me to my Craigslist dates faster then go rite ahead if u build it they will come I mean ride just don’t charge a lot bad economy is Obama creating these jobs or is it the Mexican Romney…

  11. What happend to the bike lanes?

  12. Traffic aside, it’s amazing that this plan makes no mention of the LA Bike Master Plan (http://goo.gl/wSs2V — huge PDF). Metro wants to upgrade the intersection, fine, but they should probably notice that Glendale Boulevard is marked as part of the bike backbone through the onramp to the NB 2 (pp147 and 161). As to how any cyclist is supposed to navigate the potholes, speeding cars, narrow margins, and two-lane exit is apparently beyond the planners’ foresight. I would be angry if I wasn’t so persistently underwhelmed.

    Show me a plan that can safely get a bicycle from Echo Park proper to the Red Lion (without diverting down Sunset and back up past SL) and I will be pleased.

  13. Been there and seen that. Terrifying no matter what side you’re on. Excuse my paint skills, but this is what the intersection should legitimately be: http://i.imgur.com/zbXVm.png

    Notice on the satellite snap above that there is plenty of room to divert SB Glendale to create a sufficient median. Can’t we all just get along?

    • It’s true. If the freeway lanes entered to (and from) the far left side of Glendale Blvd, rather than the far right, you could have bike lanes and sidewalks and all kinds of things. As it is, they’re proposing to remove the sidewalk on the east side of Glendale entirely.

      But the larger problem is that the 2 southbound is ALWAYS going to back up badly in the mornings — spewing noise and pollution into the surrounding neighborhoods — since there’s no way southbound Glendale and Alvarado can handle that kind of traffic being dumped onto them.

      One way to improve this might be to add a lane or lanes on the 110 — since it’s the sluggish traffic through downtown that partly pushes people onto the 2.

  14. I have been consistently surprised by the amount of AM/PM traffic being dumped through EP via DTLA, whether Stadium Way to Sunset, or the 2 to Glendale. How many people, in other words, could possibly by using EP as a conduit to downtown? Sounds naive, indeed, but countless urban theorists have claimed that LA has multiple centers, and therefore no central, gravitational core. Is DTLA a secret center, or simply a massive logistical failure whose consequences have blighted everything for miles and miles?

    • DTLA has been a failure for decades upon miles.

    • Downtown is by far the largest employment center in the region. It was on the decline for decades after the city completely demolished entire neighborhoods to build the freeways and relocate the financial district. But the area is rapidly improving with huge amounts of private and public investment… I suspect much of downtown will be completely unrecognizable in 20-30 years.

  15. Not a very impresive presentation by Metro tonight. Many were not impressed. They need more work on this project. Looks like they are spending millions for some signage and landscaping.

    • Any more details from the meeting?

      • The main criticisms are the improvements are all for the traffic but none for the residents.
        They are going to eliminate the ability to exit the SB 2 on to Glendale Bl and turn on to Allesandro. No access to the local neighborhood.
        There will be a divider to prevent U-turns from SB Glendale BL onto the NB 2 ramp. Most of this traffic does an illegal U-turn in the Allesandro Glendale Bl intersection anyway. How about an entrance for SB Glendale traffic to NB 2?
        There are no provisions for bike traffic as planned in the LA City bike plan.

        It’s all about keeping the traffic moving. Lord knows local residence can’t interfer with traffic.
        “The Staker” says she will post a video of the meeting on Youtube.

  16. Why don’t they just build a big bridge that connects the 2 to the 101 ? That would free up Glendale Blvd. and connect those going to DTLA or Hollywood via the bridge/freeway.

  17. For starters, they should (and could easily) change the traffic light on Glendale south at Allesandro to enable a legal U turn, thus giving quick access to the 2 freeway north.

  18. They just need to leave the area alone, i lived there for 30 years, and my family has lived there longer than that, nothing is wrong with Echo Park, so just leave it.

  19. Nine Double Oh 2 Sixxxer

    I already avoid Glendale Blvd North during my morning commute because of the toll booth there at Alvarado(panhandlers).

  20. Slightly off topic… I’d like to see a trolley on Sunset from Union Station through Echo Park to Sunset Junction.

  21. It would be great to build an interchange between the 2 and the 101 that cuts through somewhere North/West of Alvarado so Glendale Blvd could become more pedestrian and bike friendly. Especially now that Echo Park is reopening. You’d have to cut through some neighborhoods, but there’s allready a lot of vacant lots in the area North/West of Alvarado. Downtown and Echo Park/Silverlake needs to have a human/pedestrian/bike connection.

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