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.