Councilman LaBonge takes a spin on new Silver Lake bike lanes

Fourth District Councilman Tom LaBonge and a young entourage  celebrated the opening of new bike lanes on Rowena Avenue  this morning by taking a short bike ride down the Silver Lake street.  After a new water line project was completed,  Rowena was re-striped to add bike lanes and remove two lanes of traffic as part of a “road diet,” which is intended to reduce speeding traffic and create a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists. The road diet on Rowena between Hyperion Avenue and Glendale Boulevard will be tested for 90 days to determine if any changed need to be made.

“It doesn’t take much paint to make a big difference,”  LaBonge said said in a statement. “Rowena Avenue is now a better street.”


  1. That’s our Tommy Boy! Never misses a Photo Op!
    All I can say is, thank God for term limits.

  2. That’s our Tommy Boy! Never misses a Photo Op!
    All I can say is, thank God for term limits.

    • And we all know the Huell Howser memorial staged by LaBonge a few months ago was definitely a photo op too. A large one too with lots of people and definite local media exposure for you know who. Had to be, considering Huell’s wish that there be NO public memorial. If LaBonge was such a “close friend” of Huell’s as he said he was, wouldn’t he have known about Huell’s wishes???

  3. Thank you, Tom LaBonge, and LADOT!

  4. Thank you, Tom LaBonge, and LADOT!

  5. Coolness. Now we just need to convince motorists in LA that driving isn’t a competition.

  6. regularjosephine

    Photo op or not…kids were riding their bikes to school today. What’s wrong with that? We all complain about traffic, kids not getting enough exercise and road congestion around the schools. I saw four families that normally drive to school riding bikes. That’s four cars off the road so that commuters and others who don’t live in the area can travel. Maybe people will have to wait two minutes more to drive down the street. That’s ok. It won’t kill them.

  7. This is a welcome change for this street and the businesses nearby as well as the school. I welcome them as a driver who uses this street often: Time and again road diets have been shown to make actual travel times faster because of the turn lanes.

  8. As someone who lives right off of this street this is most certainly NOt a welcome change. The ridiculousness of forcing in bike lanes for a specific few over the needs of many really is garbage. It’s too bad I wasn’t home last night. Had I seen this little scene on my morning commute from home to the office, I would have made sure to show that camera whore LaBonge what’s eventually going to happen when a tax-paying car commuter needs to get to work and a handful of hipster sheep slowly pedaling to Trader Joe’s meet on Rowena.

    • What is going to happen – you’re going to run them down? Nice way to live, sir.

    • Hipsters don’t pay taxes?

    • You are such a joy to the neighborhood. Please, continue to share with us your warmth.

    • To paraphrase a comment I saw elsewhere:

      Pedestrians, transit users and bicycles are not the cause of congestion– too many people choosing to drive is the reason for this. The obvious way to get more people moving along this corridor is to encourage more walking and cycling to businesses or to the transit stops. People who oppose such measures are determined to keep encouraging people to make driving their first choice by making it difficult to walk or ride a bicycle anywhere– even though more cars during peak hours is a bad thing.

      • Yea, I’m going to walk 15 miles to work.

        Look, if you never go more than a half mile from home, your approach is wonderful. But in the real world that most of us live, it is idiotic.

        Oh, I think riding a bike or walking is great — and I get out and walk nearly daily. But I also drive regularly — because real life and real situations and real age and real health status and real time demands call for real transportation to get around and in a timely manner. It just reality.

        • Do you think everyone in Silver Lake has a 15 mile commute? Ok, fine– drive your splendid 15 mile commute but how about we get people who commute within 7 miles to switch to walking, cycling, transit or some combination of the three. How about we make streets safe for children to walk and cycle to school so that their parents don’t feel obligated to drive them?

        • Nobody is asking you to ride 15 miles to work. The bike-haters always make it sound like it’s all cars or all bike, nothing in between. Why is it so insane to make short trips by bike easier?

          The “reality” of it is that if fewer people saw the need to drive a car a half mile to go to Trader Joe’s it would make more room for drivers and that parking lot would be less crazy.

  9. Bike lanes on this street without any type of barrier or guide bordering the lanes is asking for tragedy. Particularly today with so many drivers focused on their latest gadget rather than the road. I own a road bike and a mountain bike but would never trust your average driver with my safety. I’m consistently startled by distracted drivers drifting into my lane as it is.

    • Actually, your point is valid. Oh, I actually favor accommodating bikes — but safely. This city and its roads were not designed for that.

      To provide for that would call for much wider roads, as many other cities have. But in this town, we yield to developers the maximum, so there is no ability to widen roads and make this mix safe. We do not make commercial property have a setback from the sidewalk. Even in Midtown Manhattan the buildings are at least double the distance from the curbs as they are in Los Angeles. At least some of that could be taken for a bikeway if it existed here.

      But because it is not there, an aggressive minority is saying a lot of false and dishonest things and villifying drivers — and frankly, causing a lot of bad feelings around this neighborhood.

      If I saw an actual interest in the bike lanes — as in them getting a lot of use — maybe it would seem different. But in reality, hardly anyone uses them, they simply impact the drivers without bring more bicyclers. In fact, I have heard some of the bicycle activists flat out say that that is the point, do everything possible to interfere with cars, raise gas prices as high as the moon, and parking fees too, close streets, raise ticket prices, do everything possible to thwart cars. This seems to be the real goal, an extremist one, not some nice attitude of sharing.

      I know people will say there are a lot of people bicycling — but I am out there all the time, so I know those assertions are just bald faced lies — see the above paragraph as for why. All that is being accomplished here it to negatively impact drivers in order to benefit bicyclers who are not bicycling. I see maybe 10,000 cars out there every day, and a handful of bicyclers. Maybe we will be able to change that to 9,995 cars, and two handfuls of bicyclers.

      Its like my next door neighbor, who was all hot about this push for bicycling and in favor of it all a few months ago. She got a nice, beautiful bicycle. She took it out once, rode it about five blocks to the triangle park, came back — and it has been parked in her living room ever since never to be seen or heard from again, back to reality and her car. This is what we have, a bunch of shallow mindedness in favor of some Disneyland idea that everyone will be riding a bicycle, but when the rubber hits the pavement, its just a matter of never mind, in reality, nobody wants to bicycle.

      • Sounds like you’re totally OK with that Catch 22: “Let’s keep our streets unappealing to bicyclists because nobody wants to ride bikes.”

        • I haven’t seen any uptick at all in bicyclists on the many, many streets that have need restripped for them, or those streets where a “road diet” has been put in. The reason people are not bicycling is NOT because cars are driving down the street. Going on the attack against cars in order to encourage bicycling is simply misguided at best. But the whole disagreement over this is because there is an outright attack being made on cars.

          With cars now being changed over to non-polluting electric and other, there is no reason to be fighting cars — that fight is now an anachronism. Just think of a car as an enclosed bicycle. Why such an attach on cars, why vilify cars? Cars are not your enemy — they are nothing but an enclosed bicycle that get you around a lot better.

          • jeezus people there are literally over 2o million miles of streets and roads in L.A. we are taking a tiny fraction less than .001 percent and making them bike friendly. Yes not nearly the amount of cyclists use the roads as motorists that’s WHY we are creating more bike friendly roads. Sunset between hollywood and downtown has more bike traffic than Rowena does now and tons more than it did ten years ago simply because its been around longer.

            The idea that were close to transitioning to electric vehicles is ridiculous and even if it was true its totally misguided. Electric cars use resources too. The world simply doesn’t have the resources, infrastructure or space to support an ever expanding car base. WE NEED A NEW PARADIGM and that means experiments and possibly even some discomfort sometimes.

            It seems like the only thing that really gets peoples attention around here is when they become slightly inconvenienced. Its really disappointing to know how hopelessly selfish people are around here. ME ME ME. People need to get out in the world, help someone besides yourself and get some perspective.

          • You only haven’t seen the uptick in bicyclists because you haven’t counted. When people actually counted, they found that ridership doubled on streets where they installed lanes, and went up by 20% on other streets:


          • Mike, your argument is that we should revert back to the stone age. If we eliminate all use of resources, that is what we have. Your argument is illogical and ridiculous. More renewable sources if what we need, not simple minded elimination of resource use.

            And Kenny, your arithmetic needs some reconsideration. You see, 2 x 0 = 0. You are talking about 20%. What’s that, three bicycle riders?! Using a percentage number there merely hides the real facts. And quoting it from that aggressive and extremist bicycle coalition doesn’t do anything to give event he 20% figure any legitimacy.

            My eyes tell the reality: I go down Sunset and all the other streets around here all the time, all the time. It is rare to see bicyclers. Maybe there are six now instead of three, but that 50% increase would not mean a damn thing. Simply asserting fake facts doesn’t make them real.

          • “enclosed bicycle”

            Cool, I’ll just try to pedal my car. Do you think it will fit in my living room if there’s no parking out front?

      • Wider roads don’t help bikes – they just increase the distances between buildings, so people have to drive for even more trips. (And we would also have to pave more parks and deserts to make up for all the displaced buildings.)

        Also, it would be easy to accommodate bikes safely without changing the amount of street space needed – just switch the bike lane and the parking lane, so that cyclists are just as protected as people on the sidewalk are.

        • Susan your interpretation of what i said is wrong and dumb frankly. Just to clarify we need a combination of things. better public transport, carpooling, encouraging people to walk or ride when possible. Encouraging conservation and convincing people we can live quite nicely while using fewer resources is just as important if not more than just renewable energy. believe it or not renewable energy costs us resources too. We can’t just continue to expand consumption at this rate. America is 2% of the world who uses 25% of the energy resources.

          As far as simple minded elimination the city does surveys and studies before they eliminate car lanes. The only simple minded conclusion here is yours.

      • @Henry…true. For better or worse, L.A.(and Southern California)will always be car country People are too much in love with their cars and that will never change in regards to ditching their cars for alternatives such as bicycling or public transportation when they go to work or go shopping(unless of course they can’t afford a car or don’t drive, then they are forced to take public transportation, or bike ride or walk).

  10. Rowena Avenue is greatly improved by this re-striping. Traffic is flowing smoothly at all hours of the day, and bikes have a safe lane to ride in.

    Many thanks to Tom LaBonge and city road planners for showing that road diets make life better for neighborhoods.

  11. This is the best photo Op Tom La Bonge has been in! I’m delighted with the road diet and thank him for his efforts. Seeing happy kids riding their bikes to Ivanhoe makes my day. I’ve driven this route the entire week to and from work and the traffic moves just fine…except now at the speed limit not way over. It’s not perfect (nothing is ever perfect) – but it is BETTER…a whole lot better. It’s nice to see good things happen for a change with the city when we are so used hearing only negative.

  12. I’m for the bike lanes but encouraging kids to ride in these lanes lanes even with supervision seems insane. Maybe in the future when there are more cyclists and drivers are more biker savvy it will be safer but right now biking on busy LA streets takes extreme defensive cycling and an awareness level that children just don’t have.

  13. Geesh…I ride that stretch of road 4-5x a week and no one ever takes my picture…and I even ride much faster and closer to the curb as well.

  14. LaBonge is a tool who is catering to a small group of selfish morons. I wish the city council didn’t have term limits, just so I could have the pleasure of once again, not voting for him.

    • Margee Davenport

      “LaBonge is a tool who is catering to a small group of selfish morons.”

      This is pretty much the perfect summation of Tom LaBonge’s tenure as CD4 Council member.

      He does and will always do whatever is most politically expedient for him over what is in the general best interest of the constituency at large.

      If he spent half as much time working on the people of CD4’s business as he does relentlessly pursuing “photo ops” we’d have a much stronger district.

      But what better Photo Op can a politician have than appearing to care about children on bikes? Good one!

    • Even a broken clock is right twice a day. This is one of those times.

  15. Like bitching on here is going change a thing. Sorry, road diet haters…. it’s here. Deal!

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