Quantcast
Thursday, September 29, 2016

Silver Lake board walk runs into resistance

Earlier this year the Department of Water and power built a mock-up of a proposed 550-foot long boardwalk on the north end of the Ivanhoe Reservoir. The elevated structure would run along Tesla Avenue and close the final gap in the walking path circling the  Ivanhoe and Silver Lake Reservoirs. Councilman Tom Labonge is a big fan of the boardwalk but many other residents have their doubts about whether the boardwalk will keep improve safety by keeping walkers and joggers off the narrow street.  On Saturday afternoon, the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council will hold a town hall to review the pros and cons of the boardwalk.

Neighborhood council member Susan Hutchinson,  speaking for herself and not the council, summarized the concerns this way:

“There are concerns about whether all pedestrians will use the boardwalk and what, if any, other options might provide safe passage for all pedestrians and bicycles too.

The boardwalk is very narrow for a walkway that is elevated and fenced on both sides. Access is at either end of a 500′ stretch. It is difficult to imagine all pedestrians sharing the boardwalk safely when foot traffic is heaviest. At such times the street is currently full of people moving at different paces, joggers sharing the street with strollers, the elderly and people walking three dogs. It is logical to assume that not all of these folks will commit to getting up on the boardwalk. Some will opt to stay in the street, particularly at 5 p.m. on a winter evening when the street is dark.

My biggest concern is that if the boardwalk is built the street would become more of a highway. Traffic could speed up, making street conditions more dangerous. People who opt not to jog, take their dog, or take their chances in the dark on the boardwalk in December will be sharing the street with faster cars and actually be more at risk than they are now.

Alternatives that provide safe passageway for all pedestrians, bicyclists and cars and that also calm traffic should be considered.”

Hutchinson said Saturday’s town hall at the Silver Lake Recreation Center will provide other residents to share their views on the project.  “I hope that everyone uses this opportunity to participate in the discussion.”



Eastsider Advertising

20 comments

  1. why can’t they just make Tesla one way?
    this ‘boardwalk’ is a CRAZY idea !!!!!!

  2. When it comes to issues important to the wealthy (north) white areas of Silver Lake like the reservoir, the SLNC holds town hall meetings. When it comes to issues of importance to the working class area (south) of Silver Lake … nothing. Nada. Zilch.

  3. Sounds like the “working class” needs to step it up, right? People will naturally represent their own interests and should not expect that someone else do it for them. I am all for proactive community involvement and organizing!!!

  4. Aldo, I encourage you to convert your anger into activism.

    First, I did a quick search of the SLNC’s website concerning the Parkman Triangle Project, which is in the south part of Silver Lake. There are several hits, including mentions of a public meeting that the SLNC scheduled concerning that project and a large amount of money the SLNC gave the same project, all of which went to an area far from the reservoir and in the southernmost reaches of the SLNC’s jurisdiction.

    But more importantly, I challenge you to find that one issue that irks you the most and engage the community over it. I’m sure you have one, let it out into the world. You’re right, we need to be advocating for safer, healtheir streets all over this city, and it sounds like you’d like to help.

  5. @DearAlDo-
    In working class families both parents often work 2 (or more) jobs and do not have the time to volunteer for community work. The point is that the SLNC represents ALL of Silver Lake and not just the well off areas. The SLNC’s record of engagement with the southern half of Silver Lake is piss poor and that is a fact. (While some boardmembers advocated for opening the SLNC office in the low-income area by the freeway, the SLNC instead rented out a lux office space on Rowena. Rowena! Contrast that with City Council President Eric Garcetti who moved his office to the corner of Western Ave across from a porno peep show.)

    When folks run for the SLNC Governing Board they are all about “I will work night and day for ALL the people of the neighborhood” and then when elected its all about the upscale gentrified areas.

    @ramonchu – The Parkman Triangle was NOT an SLNC project. And it is not in the “southernmost reaches of the SLNC jursidiction.”

    The SLNC jurisdiction extends well beyond Parkman – all the way to the freeway. It is this area along the freeway that is under-represented and ignored by the SLNC. In fact, the newly elected Co-Chair has tried for years to get rid of the (low income) flea market that occurs next to Parkman Triangle on weekends – because it attracts the “wrong element”. Sad.

  6. Aldo, please contact your area representative, the one you elected to represent you, and demand he brings to the board the issues that your area cares for. Also, the SLNC has no offices as of las year, conducting business in different free locations as they become available.

  7. lol….this “working class” wealthy debate will never end. So much inaccuracy here it’s ridiculous.

    1. The SLNC doesn’t have offices anywhere anymore. The council dropped the offices last year, saving over $10k a year to be put back into the community. The SLNC uses virtual offices and a storage space.

    2. The Parkman Triangle is in the southernmost part of Silver Lake, approximately 3.5 blocks from the freeway. Silver Lake is a long narrow neigbhborhood about 2.5 miles long from end to end. 3.5 blocks from the southern most boundary counts as in the south.

    3. No the Parkman Triangle was not a SLNC project BUT the SLNC did contribute $2000 towards the project and many of the SLNC board members were out there volunteering to build it. In the last year there were almost no other capital/community improvement proejects similar to that ANYWHERE in Silver Lake that the SLNC contributed to.

    Before you go off ranting about this, that and the other get up to speed with what’s happening now – not 3 or 5 years ago. The biggest challenge at the SLNC is getting people to live in the present and not the animosity, vitriole and hatred from the past that, honestly, most people don’t give a crap about.

    Yes, areas of Silver Lake have been neglected by the the council office, the SLNC, the SLIA, etc but attention is turning back to those areas and there’s an opportunity to put words into action. At the same time it doesn’t mean you ignore important issues just because they happen to fall in an area that has been historically well represented. The boardwalk is an important issue and deserves some attention.

    And, yes, I live (happily) in the southernmost part of Silver Lake.

  8. I hate to be Debbie Downer/Admiral Ackbar here, but there’s just nowhere to “run” in case you’re up there alone and trapped.

    I walk/run the path regularly, and it seems to me that using this “boardwalk” could put a runner/walker into a potentially dangerous situation, especially at night. I would be afraid that because of the height and the narrowness, if two coordinated knuckleheads wanted to trap somebody up there and take their lunch money, it would be pretty easy. Heck, even just one knucklehead could corner you if you were in the middle of this thing, it’s a pretty long span, unless there’s going to be several other “exits” so that you can scram.

    Jumping over the rail down to the street to try to get away would be treacherous. And jumping over the rail on the lake side might put a person in more peril by taking a victim even further from the safety of the neighborhood into the desolation of the DWP’s property. Wasn’t there just a daytime cell phone mugging right by the preschool a few months ago?

  9. Dear AIDo,

    If you take a look at the attendance on the path around the “North of Sunset” Silver Lake Reservoirs, especially after work hours and on weekends, what you’ll discover is that lots of working class people go there to get their exercise, just because they may not be able to afford the gym…! That may give you a bit of a different perspective, I hope… And if you are willing to make an educated criticism remarks in the future, please take some time off and read the posted SLNC Board and Urban Design Committee minutes on http://www.silverlakenc.org. I hope it will change your opinion about SLNC not taking care of the “South of Sunset” part of Silver Lake. And perhaps it will help also with your anger management – it will be good for you personally too.
    My sincere best wishes!

  10. @Leonardo-
    “Aldo, please contact your area representative, the one you elected to represent you, and demand he brings to the board the issues that your area cares for.”

    Actually, I have on numerous occasions – BOTH of my reps. Never got a response. And now one of them has just been elected Co-Chair – so I don’t see change a’happening since a fish stinks from the head.

    @Anthony-
    1. “The SLNC doesn’t have offices anywhere anymore. The council dropped the offices last year, saving over $10k a year…”

    Which means, of course, that until last year the SLNC spent just about $90,000. on rent for their office – on Rowena. Of course, you neglect to mention that some Boardmembers argued against closing the office … and you guys elected one of them Co-Chair! This is the Boardmember who memorably described local community groups who asked for contributions as “pigs feeding at the trough”.

    2. “The Parkman Triangle is in the southernmost part of Silver Lake, approximately 3.5 blocks from the freeway”

    Actually, from Parkman Triangle heading to the freeway, one would pass:
    1. Marathon
    2. Vendome
    3. Dillon
    4. Bellevue
    5. London

    3. “No the Parkman Triangle was not a SLNC project BUT the SLNC did contribute $2000 towards the project … In the last year there were almost no other capital/community improvement proejects similar to that ANYWHERE in Silver Lake that the SLNC contributed to.”

    So – out of the SLNC’s $50,000. annual budget, the $2,000. Parkman Triangle contribution was the ONLY major investment the SLNC made this past year. And you are proud of that? Wow.

    “… The biggest challenge at the SLNC is getting people to live in the present and not the animosity, vitriole and hatred from the past…”

    Unless, of course, you continue (re)electing the same Co-Chair from that period who created said vitriol and animosity. (And who – as then Co-Chair – memorably cancelled elections so they could keep their seats an extra year against the vocal, express wishes of the community.)

  11. @Elizabeth-
    “If you take a look at the attendance on the path around the “North of Sunset” Silver Lake Reservoirs… what you’ll discover is that lots of working class people go there”

    You’ve got to be kidding me. You need to look up “working class” in the dictionary. The community remembers well the battle to open up the reservoir meadowlands because some Boardmembers did not want exactly this “working class” frequenting the area. (In fact, the SLNC elected that slate leader as Co-Chair or have you forgotten the whole ‘save the blue herons’ nonsense. Actually, it was the CSSLR (Community to Save Silver Lake’s Reservoirs) who led the way on the pathway – congrats to them. This is another example – like Parkman Triangle – of the SLNC attempting to take credit for the actions of other community activists/groups.

    “And if you are willing to make an educated criticism remarks in the future…”

    This is not a proper sentence, so you will understand if I don’t accept your advice on education. This would be a case of physician, heal thyself.

    “read the posted SLNC Board and Urban Design Committee minutes on http://www.silverlakenc.org.”

    I would if the SLNC actually posted their agendas and minutes in a timely fashion, which they don’t. The monthly Governing Board meetings are barely up within the required 72 hours notice (and let’s be clear, posting Monday morning for a Wed. eve meeting is NOT 72 hours!) The Governing Boardmember bio information is either incomplete or links to other pages. The website is a joke.

    “And perhaps it will help also with your anger management”

    It is telling that SLNC Boardmembers like you dismiss ANY factual feedback as “angry”. I’m very happy. I just don’t have a selective memory as you do!

  12. I can understand Aldo’s angst. Unfortunately, it seems to be the way of things when you have wealthy enclaves abutted with the “working class” which I sense from Aldo means non-whites, and let’s be honest, it really is referring to Latinos. Perusing through the SLNC board I see only 1 with a Spanish surname and no Blacks. I think if the board is made up of sensitive, caring members they should strive to do outreach to the groups not likely to get involved for various reasons including, as Aldo pointed out, are too busy working or exhausted as a result of it. Regarding the boardwalk, it seems like a pretty lame idea. I’m with Susan Hutchinson on this one, they should make the walkway street level. Tear down the fence, carve out a few feet into the slope and put a cement barrier between exercisers and cars. You know, I love all animals with the possible exception of humans, but I don’t understand why dogs are allowed anywhere around the reservoir track. Dog owners already have the dog park. The perimeter of the reservoir should be exclusively for exercisers because the track is just too darn narrow and if you want to go faster than walking you have to maneuver your way around the dogs, the leashes and the dog’s owner. Just no room. I joke with people that if you want to move to Silverlake, it is a local ordinance that you must own 2 or 3 dogs.

  13. The reservoir path is for all that want to se it, and all should have a voice in shaping it.

  14. The forum for an open dialogue to build a better Tesla Ave this Saturday is exactly where the above conversation should continue. We obviously all need to be at events like this weekend’s so that we can together advocate for the places and spaces we know best, and the goals and visions we have for them. Everyone please come out from 3-5pm and help us make sure the project on Tesla supports safe streets over increased traffic speeds and the futile attempt to remove people from the streets of Silver Lake against their will.

    Aldo, I commend your efforts to advocate for the neighborhoods of south Silver Lake, but I again challenge you to make a specific “ask”, as you have yet to mention even a single constructive idea. I’ll give you one I’ve been thinking of; anyone who rides a bike in the SL/EP area knows Coronado is an excellent bike street to get to Westlake and Koreatown, connecting the bike lane on Sunset and the bike route on Rampart. We should work on ways to improve Coronado to make it a safer, healthier street that serves the people who live there, the buses and bikes they ride and the streets they walk, over the single occupancy cars cutting through.

  15. Leonardo Chalupowicz

    @aldo
    or even better come to a board meeting, first wed of the month 7PM at micheltorena elem. or check schedule at http://www.silverlakenc.org
    we’d love to hear from you. From everybody !

  16. I agree with Pathwalker about the potential safety issues of the boardwalk. As a female who regularly walks the path at night, the thought of not being able to easily run away out into the street or towards houses in a dangerous situation scares me. I would never use that thing at night.

    I love the idea mentioned above of tearing down the fence, carving out a few feet into the slope and put a cement barrier between exercisers and cars. That seems like the perfect solution although I am guessing that it is cost prohibitive.

    And while were on the subject, why haven’t they put any sort decent lighting on the dark part of the path on Armstrong (near SL Blvd) where the hill is. Not to sound like a Nervous Nelly but that part is a little scary too. At least you can escape from it though. 🙂

  17. ramonchu – super good idea on cornado – I totally ride that street a bunch

  18. The boardwalk poses the safety concerns listed above at night. But also during the day if someone gets injured (sprained ankle, bee sting, etc). How would public safety reach them from one end or the other? If the injury was life threatening – heart attack? But other concerns include the size of the platform. Living very close to the Tesla side, I often see families (3+) walking with strollers and dogs. It is proposed that the platform would be 8 ft wide. The current walking path on both Silverlake and W. Silverlake is 12 ft across, which allows for some passing. That is why people probably won’t really use it. They feel the freedom to walk into traffic’s path on
    Tesla, when walking with friends, dogs or strollers. Not to mention dog poop and urine issues on the boardwalk. The wood material will absorb the smell. Look at the stinky dog park and I love dogs. The better solution is to continue the path at either end and provide cement barriers on Tesla that will block off the path of cars, just like on Silverlake. Then our creative community could go about decorating the cement with painted murals or plantings.
    But, probably the biggest issue is the cost. It was estimated to be around $175,000 four years ago. But with inflation and LADWP’s salary increases and rate increases that cost as probably tripled or quadrupled. What about future maintenance cost? I am really tired of Council pet projects that entail behind the door sweetheart deals that the public has to pay for. This project is one of them. Quit passing on the cost of these expensive projects on to the public or spend that money on 1 to 2 dedicated cops in the area. Crime has risen in this area lately. Let’s come up with creative and economical solutions that the public contributes to their own community living….

  19. That is an excellent point about the dog pee on the wood boardwalk.

    Yeah… this idea is sounding worse and worse…

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *

*