Silver Lake council wants to ban cars – not people – from walking path construction zone

Flagman directing pedestrian away from Tesla Avenue

It’s been about a week since Tesla Avenue on the north side of the Ivanhoe Reservoir was closed off to pedestrians and turned into a one-way street as construction began on filling a 500-foot long gap in the walking path that circles the Ivanhoe and Silver Lake reservoirs. But it was soon clear that many Silver Lake walkers and runners  were going to ignore those signs, a recommended detour and even flagmen, creating what some residents say is a dangerous situation for pedestrians.  On Wednesday, the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council adopted a recommendation to close Tesla to vehicle traffic  while the pathway is under construction to help protect pedestrians.  “It’s an accident waiting to happen – and it’s not going to be pretty, said council member Renee Nahum.

The construction to build a new pathway is intended to improve safety for pedestrians along Tesla, a narrow street without sidewalks. The lack of sidewalks means pedestrians are forced to travel and share the street with vehicles if they want to complete a loop on the popular walking path around the Ivanhoe and Silver Lake reservoirs. But the construction has temporarily made Tesla even narrower and possibly more dangerous for walkers and joggers.  Now, pedestrians have even less space to maneuver around cars and trucks, which for now can only travel westbound down the street during construction.

Some residents at Wednesday night’s meeting said the Department of Water and Power, which is overseeing construction of the path, and the city’s Department of Transportation, complained that a detour created for the project should have been applied to vehicles – not pedestrians.  The path is expected to be completed by mid-October.

The motion adopted by the neighborhood council would keep Tesla open to vehicles owned by residents who live on the street in addition to trash trucks and emergency vehicles. The council’s recommendation will now be referred to the city’s Department of Transportation, which has the authority to close the street.

Runner heading past road closure signs on Tesla


  1. come on people, just follow the rule. it’s a nice little detour, and considering most of us are likely out running and walking to get exercise, we should appreciate the little extra distance.

    • Anna, Couldn’t agree more! 🙂

      • Yes, I agree. This is yet another fake excuse to try to thwart cars — too many fake excuses to find any reason to thwart cars no matter what. Get real, this is Los Angeles, not the boondocks. There will always be plenty of cars no matter what you do. Even in New York, with its storied subway system, there are always tons of cars on the streets, wall to wall.

        But I will also say, why in hell does it take four months to build a little path!? This would not even be an issue if they just did it in a couple of weeks, as is all it ought to take!

  2. This is a classic LA response to street signs, which may be there for very good reasons; if obeying the signs is not convenient people simply decide to ignore them, apparently reasoning that the signs may apply to other people, but not them . . .

  3. The reservoir is not a private park for local residents. Obey the posted rules!

  4. Sometimes rules may need to adjust to human nature. For people on foot, it’s pretty normal to take the shortest and most direct path. An extra half mile or quarter mile is nothing in a car, but a bit more substantial on foot.

  5. Why does Silver Lake get everything they want almost immediately?

    • Because the people in SL are so actively involved in their community (like it or not….for some it drives them crazy). Squeaky wheel theory.

  6. What are the point of rules? I’m gonna assume it’s to create order. That’s the ultimate goal right? Well why would it make sense to turn Tesla into a ONE way street for cars and have pedestrians and cars going the other direction go around. This is so dumb. Put in those barriers and permanently make the street a pedestrian walkway. Local traffic (the 8 houses that use tesla) can enter in the middle down rokeby. It’s not like they’re gonna be bummed their drive way is now void of cars driving through the narrow road. It saves money and is intuitional. Why hasn’t this been considered?!

  7. So some self appointed jerks got together and agreed on something. Big whoop.

  8. Makes a lot more sense to inconvenience a few dozen cut-through commuters, than to have city workers redirect 100’s of pedestrians every day.

  9. I still don’t understand why Tesla will be open to cars at all after this. Put a barrier down the middle and make it peds on one side, one way for residents cars on the other. It’d be done in two days. And no I didn’t wait until now to suggest this. I wrote to LaBonge months ago. Why we have to spend a bunch of money to let cars go down a street that is totally unnecessary is ridiculous.

  10. Good idea. Gotta wonder why they didn’t do this to begin with.

  11. This is the typical bureaucratic nonsense that happens everywhere. Someone local comes up with the idea for a safe pedestrian path around the reservoir and government officials with no knowledge of or connection to the area make decisions that override the local representative and ignore the intent behind the original idea. It’s very likely that LaBonge suggested something along the lines of a vehicle barrier and re-routing traffic completely around Tesla, but it’s equally likely another city council member had already made an agreement with the construction company to perform the work and signed the bond to initiate work, circumventing common sense because recalling the bond would require too much paperwork and keep the kick-backs from their cousin’s next door neighbor’s best friend’s construction company from reaching their pockets.
    Not that I’m cynical or anything.

  12. While everyone is arguing whether or not this is a good idea (it’s too late now!), Renee Nahum (SLNC) is right……this is an accident just waiting to happen. Pedestrians are now blithely strolling down the center of Tesla. At least drivers can see them in the daytime, but at night? It will be very sad when someone gets hit!

  13. This is a good. It’s good to see the Neighborhood Council flip-flopping in favor of the community here when it comes to pedestrian safety around the Reservoir, considering the Neighborhood Council recently voted NOT TO FUND, CONTRIBUTE TO, AND SUPPORT maintenance of the walking paths when both Councilmen’s Offices and the the Reservoir Conservancy dedicated funds to it.
    Of course, this is just my opinion.  

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