Silver Lake’s Polka Dot plaza takes a bashing

The plastic barrier that protects the eastern end of  Silver Lake’s polka-dot themed pedestrian plaza, was left twisted and damaged after a car slammed into the plaza last night.  No word yet if anyone was injured during the midnight crash but a woman who lives nearby said the driver of the vehicle “seemed to be slightly injured” after the car hit the barrier, which this morning was shoved up against a light post and sidewalk in front of a new market under construction.  “The sound and impact was huge,” said the woman, who joined two other neighbors who had come out of their homes to take a look. ” We could see smoke pouring out as we walked up to the scene.”

The water-filled plastic barrier replaced a row of large planters after they were destroyed a year ago when a car involved in a hit-and-run busted through the plaza.




  1. This is why we can’t have nice things.

  2. I think it’s time for steel beams or concert beams so that a car wouldn’t be able to fit through the greenish dot area.

  3. danica patrick?

  4. Just make is like 3rd street promenade, peds only. Too dangerous for traffic. Or remove this ridiculous ped plaza’s before someone gets killed. Seemed like a nice idea, but like bicycles causing road hazards, makes no sense.

  5. This is at least the second time in the past six months. Not a good sign about that location.

    Sunset curves to the left-West right at that point. If a car were to go straight instead of making the turn, it goes straight down this street. That makes it a design and position that’s asking for trouble. And so far in the short life of this plaza, this trouble or a car crashing through has happened at least twice. Its not an isolated occurrence.

    Good thing this was late at night. If it were midday, some people might have been hurt. Not good to mix “parks” into streets — bad combination. Never step — or sit — in a street without looking both ways first.

    • Let’s remember that this happens everywhere a street has a turn (Mohawk Bend, anyone? Happens every so often) – so it’s not a sign that this parklet shouldn’t be here. What it might need is better signage or protection.

    • The problem is that when the street did allow cars, the gentle curve of Sunset to the left made it really dangerous to bike along the bike lane – cars who were going straight often didn’t even think about signaling, and would suddenly cut bikes off. This way at least it’s only drunk drivers and night-time collisions, and there’s not very much you can do about them.

  6. The City will wait til a driver loses control at high speeds killing a few hipsters, injuring dozens more as one did at the Santa Monica Farmers Market. It will result in years of litigation, millions in legal settlements, during which time the City will take its time studying a solution to the problem. Here’s a thought- concrete k-rails. They can’t all still be in use in the hillside burn areas (wasn’t that the original excuse?)

    • You mean if we keep this plaza, we can kill off the hipsters? Wow, great, let’s keep it after all! Now I understand why this came to be.

      But really, concrete K-rails or walls don’t make for very nice ambience.

      • Expand your horizons. What about green polka dot K-rails?

      • I agree, let’s keep it until there is a large bloody smear of beards and skinny jeans across the faux plaza. The red of blood will contrast nicely with the chipped green polka dots.

    • To everyone who jokes about killing hipsters – what is wrong with you? I’m a woman of a certain age, certainly not a hipster myself, but I’m really struck by all the derogatory comments I read in these comments (and others) about hipsters. You guys sound like my parents in 1962 condemning hippies and whining about “kids nowadays” not having any respect, etc etc etc. Why are hipsters so threatening to everyone, anyway? Get a grip, they’re just young people, they will grow out of it, and then their kids will adopt some way of looking or behaving that they don’t like, and they’ll complain about it just like every single generation complains about young people.


    Unbelievable. It had plastic planters. It has big reflective << << << signage. It's got plastic K-rails.

    I say we go full-tilt. Concrete planters. K-rails covered with decorative wood paneling (or something). I don't want to see cars careening into Yummy after (someday) it opens.

    I would be curious to know the traffic issues of several years ago… did the drunk/foolish drivers merely soar onto the side street? Did they grind to a halt in the triangular park?

    I'm also curious to know how much more traffic is coming westward from the Mohawk Bend.

  8. This stretch of Sunset has a long and sordid history – speeding drunks can’t handle the curves. We used to live just up the hill from here; a couple of times we lost power because of cars knocking over power poles. And here’s an infamous accident from ’94 that took the life of a local musician:


    Let’s keep the plaza and protect it properly!

  9. Street porch? Street park? The deal is that it is NOT a good idea to have a meeting place that a car can run into! We need REAL community spaces that are safe and FREE from cars. Ridiculous! How about closing off street ENTIRELY from cars? Other cities have done this successfully, why not LA???

    • Should the city also shut down Lucy’s Laundry since cars crash into it several times a year?
      I don’t want my city to bend over catering to drunk drivers. Screw them.

  10. CONCRETE K-RAILS ARE WHAT IS NEEDED. Plain and F’in simple.

  11. Who thinks that the park is a lame idea?

  12. Like taking a drivers exam and passing it makes great drivers?
    Even if the driving exam was close to rocket science and only 3 % of the population passed it there would still be accidents !
    And what is to stop people from driving unlicensed ? There are THOUSANDS of unlicensed / suspended licensed drivers on the road .

  13. That turn was dangerous before and now its even more so. For gods sake weve had two close calls, with or without the park please put up concrete barriers and shut that turn off down now before someone gets killed.

  14. FrameMonsterMike

    how about a row of GIANT solid steel moustachioed robot sentinels with signs that read “Slow The Heck Down!” Hummmm… i wonder if the new District 13 rep would go for this…

  15. Yum agreed to provide new tables and umbrellas for the plaza — most sensible place for those would have been right about where the car bent the barrier.

  16. Nobody has asked what the ethnicity of the driver is

  17. Does anybody bother to update Google, Apple and all the GPS maps when they close off a section of street? Or do we just expect drivers are paying attention to the green polka dots?

  18. Make it a real park already – put up some curbs to permanently close the street spur and get some trees in there. Ain’t nothing like a nice big California Oak to stop a car.

  19. Perhaps some hefty but tasteful bollards can be installed into the street? Would hate to see this public space disappear because of bad drivers…

  20. a curb with trees would be nice.

  21. Does anybody know the ethnicity of the driver:?

  22. I’m sick of this “protect the driver” bull crap mentality in LA. If drivers are crashing into our barriers. If pedestrians vandalize a public road, no one proposes getting rid of the road. So why is it okay to throw pedestrians in the trash all the time.

    I say use whatever barriers will decimate any cars that crash into them. That way we’ll get rid of the unsafe drivers one by one.

  23. Wow, what is wrong with drivers everywhere. Seriously, it seems like everyone is getting worse and worse at driving lately.

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