Silver Lake prepares to stop*

A new pedestrian crossing signal and mid-block crosswalk is being installed on Silver Lake Boulevard near the new Silver Lake Meadow.  The signal and pedestrian crossing, located between Earl Street and Armstrong Avenue, is expected to be operating by the end of the month, said Christopher Rider, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Transportation. Rusty Millar with the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council said the idea of installing a pedestrian crossing light came up during the planning for the Silver Lake Meadow.  Since street parking is not allowed on the west side of Silver Lake Boulevard next to the meadow, there has been an increase of people darting from the east side of the curving street, where parking it permitted, to get to the meadow and the walking path surrounding the Silver Lake reservoirs.  A section of the wall separating the walking path from Silver Lake Boulevard has been removed as part of the creation of a mid-block cross walk.

* Update: Not everyone is happy with the new crosswalk and signals, notes Curbed L.A.  Architect Dion Neutra, son of  Richard Neutra, said the crosswalk next to his father’s VDL Research House is not only dangerous but one of signal poles mar the view of the property. Said Neutra on his blog:

So here we have an example of community based planning gone wrong. Would you install a pedestrian crossing in the midst of a freeway? That’s what this will do. But in addition to a wrong headed scheme, they’ve managed to erect an incredibly ugly POLE in the middle of the favored view that everyone wants to catch when they view or photograph this building.

Neutra said the pole should be moved 45 feet down Silver Lake Boulevard to blend in with some tall trees but the crosswalk -since it is being installed anyway – should be widened  in the direction of the VDL house since so many visitors cross the boulevard to take photos from across the street.

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  1. Yay! I won’t have to feel like I’m playing Frogger now when I try to get to the meadow. Safetyfirst!

  2. How about we treat an older problem on Silverlake Blvd.: the crosswalk by the basketball court – continuous accidents and lack of any consideration for pedestrians by most speeding vehicles ….

  3. Yo like, I saw this the other day while driving down SL blvd and I was like, “Damn. now I understand what republicans mean by less government.” Dead serious.

  4. “Yo like, I saw this the other day while driving down SL blvd and I was like, “Damn. now I understand what republicans mean by less government.” Dead serious.”

    I’m not sure where to start on this, but I’ll try, first off have you ever tried to cross that road? Okay have you tried to cross it with children? yeah I’m guessing probably not.

    Now I’m not sure where the big government comment comes from, but seriously try and cross that street with two small children and then get back to me.

    It’s simply a matter of time before someone or some family gets wiped out right there, probably by someone in a Suburban who supports less government.

  5. Cool. Bring this crosswalk thing to Rowena Ave. As for a pole in front of the house, I hope there is a way to talk to someone in the city to move it. Good luck

  6. The crosswalk by the basketball court is pretty terrible. When you’re coming down the hill, it’s easy to see people walking across from the right, but anyone coming from the left is in a blind spot. And even when cars do stop, it’s common to see other cars passing around them on the right side.

  7. Completely agree with previous posters re: the crossing by the basketball courts. I’ve seen too many close calls there.

    I have always thought they should have a cross button on each side and those flashing yellow lights on the ground that line the crosswalk – like they have in parts of Glendale. Often there is a yellow street sign (not signal) by those that flash too when activated. Those seem really effective.

    And it’s obviously too late but one of those might have worked for the spot by the meadow too.

  8. Years ago I inadvertently caused a fender-bender at the crosswalk by the Silver Lake Recreation Center. I was standing on the sidewalk, close to the crosswalk (across the street from the basketball court), and I was waiting for the cars to pass before I crossed, but a car saw me and came to an abrupt stop at the crosswalk. The car behind him also stopped, but the third car hit the second car. It wasn’t my fault, and there was nothing I could have done to prevent the accident, but I felt bad.

    There’s a stoplight just up the street, where Silverlake Blvd. meets Duane, so maybe the solution would be to get rid of that crosswalk altogether and encourage pedestrians to walk the 1/2 block up the street to the stoplight and cross there.

  9. James, the accident was not your fault. Tailgating was the cause and is a problem on that street. When I get tailgated I purposely slow to 33-35 mph and if they don’t like it, tough. Everyone wants to go 45 mph. Around that curve the limit is posted at 20 mph and I always slow to that. That is why I really appreciate the Black motorcycle cop who tickets a lot there. People are such idiots. Also, the comment by Nuetra about the post obstructing the view of the VDL house is a selfish sob. Who cares about that house? That stop light is a very much needed there. In fact, they should put another one at the basket court intersection. I cross that one when I barefoot run/walk and it is very dangerous.

  10. “Would you install a pedestrian crossing in the midst of a freeway? ”

    The last time I checked, Silver Lake Boulevard was not designated as a freeway, but maybe at least part of the problem is that drivers are treating it as if it was one. In fact, it’s an urban street lined with residences on one side, a park on the other, and with a variety of users: drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Maybe we should make an attempt to accommodate all of them in a safe manner.

  11. Dion Neutra may be the son of a famous architect, but his actions in the neighborhood have been erratic. At a community meeting to discuss this traffic signal, there was much opposition to the city’s desire to place the signal at Earl St. (presumably mostly because of increased cut-thru commuter traffic). Mr. Neutra’s friends, many of whom have been opponents to the wildly popular Silver Lake Reservoir running path (which he also opposed) and the Silver Lake Meadow loudly demanded the signal location be moved. And the suggested new location was : you guessed it, right across from the Neutra VDL house. Mr. Neutra seemed mostly interested in converting the Meadow to a shrine honoring his father.

    Of course, one could easily suggest that having a crosswalk in front of that house is an asset to its significance, and makes viewing it more accessible. But that wouldn’t have as much histrionic value, would it?

  12. My wife and I walk by that spot nearly every evening. It seems like the perfect spot for the crosswalk. There is a straight section of the street in both directions making visbility for the crosswalk optimum. Given the number of people using the park on weekends and the quantity of traffic on the boulevard, it is only a matter of time before someone gets hit going across there. At least with the addition of the crosswalk, the pedestrians might stand more of a chance of making it safely across that very busy street.

    The Neutra VDL house, as far as I can tell, doesn’t attract all that many viewers/photographers, and there are certainly a great many more attactive and interesting buildings in Silver Lake. I suspect that it is only Mr. Neutra’s opinion that so many people are drawn to that building. His complaints sound a lot like an old man standing on his front porch yelling at everyone to get out of his yard.

  13. Silver Lake Resident

    Not everyone thinks modern architecture is beautiful or cares about it. Personally I would place parks and access to them above Mr. Neutra’s building in terms of community importantance. Perhaps there is a compromise though.

  14. Dion Neutra should get no attention on this. He is just one of a handful of NIMBY’s who delayed the opening of the meadow and any attempts to complete or improve the very good work that’s already been done. It’s remarkable to see how popular this new public space has become.

  15. “It’s remarkable to see how popular this new public space has become.”

    It just shows the need and demand for public park space in Los Angeles. Years from now, no one will understand how there could have ever been opposition to such a thing.

  16. People have such low expectations when it comes to pedestrian safety in LA… there should be a light at Earl AND by the basketball courts. I can’t imagine why anyone living in the neighborhood would disagree. Cut-through traffic is already a huge problem, so why not advocate for speed bumps on Earl instead of sh***ing on all of us who live in the flats?

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