Silver Lake council says Glendale-Hyperion bridge project needs to make more room for bikes and pedestrians

Rendering of Glendale-Hyperion bridge after project has been completed/Bureau of Engineering

By Tony Cella

The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council aligned itself with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s position on the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge project, with the board council members voting  unanimously Wednesday night to approve a letter to the Caltrans  that criticized the lack of accommodation for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The council took the position that a proposed median barrier between car lanes was “unnecessary” and could slow down ambulances rushing to collisions.

“We feel that the project needs to comply with the Complete Streets aspect of road redesign and safety for all modes of transportation,” wrote the council.

Cyclists as well as pedestrian advocates are pushing for the addition of bike lanes, which were included in the city’s 2010 bike plan, and other changes to the long-awaited renovation of the Glendale-Hyperion bridge linking Atwater Village with Silver Lake and Los Feliz.  But Atwater Village activists contend such changes may force alterations to the historic character of the 84-year-old span and stall the $50 million project past deadlines for federal funding.

City engineers say the Glendale-Hyperion Viaduct, a 1,200-foot-long span that consists of three bridges over the Los Angeles River and 5 Freeway, fails to meet modern seismic as well as highway standards.

The council’s Transportation and Public Works Committee offered to host an information meeting on the bridge project.

The public has until Nov. 7 to submit written comments in response to the proposal and the finding of a preliminary environmental impact report.

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Tony Cella is a freelance reporter who has covered crime and grime in Los Angeles, New York City and the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. Click here to contact Cella with questions, comments or concerns.


  1. “City engineers say the Glendale-Hyperion Viaduct, a 1,200-foot-long span that consists of three bridges over the Los Angeles River and 5 Freeway, fails to meet modern seismic as well as highway standards.”

    What a telling quote! “Highway standards”?! This is a surface street, boys, not a freaking highway.

    Every meeting held by the Bureau of Engineering & CalTrans on this bridge has come back with community sentiment that the bridge needs to keep its look and the car speeds need to be reduced.

    • I don’t see why car speeds need to be reduced on the bridge. There are no intersections on it. There is no residential or commercial. Bicyclists prefer Los Feliz or Fletcher because the bridge is too steep for them. Who are we slowing down traffic for?

      • Well, my car slows down on the bridge now – ever since I got a speeding ticket there last year. The motorcycle officer was waiting on Ettrick, just south of the Glendale-Hyperion bridge, and a block north of Rowena. It was an expensive lesson – close to $500 when I include the cost of traffic school – but since then, I’ve been more careful on that bridge, which is a good thing.

      • “Bicyclists prefer Los Feliz and Fletcher.”

        The comment section on the Eastsider is chock full of bullshitters. The truth doesn’t matter at all, really, it’s just what serves your personal emotional needs best, eh?

        Bicyclists prefer to see a bridge that is safe for car drivers, pedestrians, and bike riders – none of the bridges in this area (not Fletcher, not Los Feliz, and not Hyperion) are “preferred” by bike riders because they are all death traps.

        Good luck with having the LAPD enforce the speed limit 24 hours a day for the next 50 years. That strategy has been working really well for us as a society – as evidenced by the hit and run crisis we’ve been living in continuously for the last 20 years.

      • You have never talked to a bicyclist about crossing between Atwater and Los Feliz/Silver Lake if you think that bicyclists prefer Los Feliz Blvd over Hyperion Ave. Los Feliz Blvd is marginally less steep, only because the hill climb is pushed about half a mile west (and you still have to climb that hill if you want to get to any of the businesses, or 90% of the residences, in Silver Lake or Los Feliz). And the hill climb on Los Feliz has narrower lanes and really ferocious traffic patterns (as I’m sure anyone who drives on Los Feliz Blvd has also recognized – jammed one way and flying the other).

        Fletcher has some advantages, but it’s still not great. Right now my solution is to use a car to go to Atwater or Glendale, even though the distance is totally bikeable and so driving this short distance is just a selfish way to impose congestion costs on others. Sometimes I’ll bike east, and then catch a bus to get back home afterwards.

      • bum, who do we need to speed up traffic for?

  2. Glad to hear it… hopefully common sense prevails!

  3. Honestly, I don’t see why they should bother? Bicyclists already have this spirit of entitlement and ride all over the street lanes anyway? The other day a bicyclist was in the center of the street at a red light, I was thinking ok, he’s making a left turn, nope, light turns green and he went straight on as if he was driving a car! AND there was a bike lane already on that street.

    • Last night I saw a SUV plow into a bus stop hitting people and even pinning someone between the car and the bus shelter, and then the driver grabbed his kid from the back and ran away. But yea that guy riding his bike on the street is same-same.

      • Bottom line both motorists and cyclists need to obey traffic laws. I’ve seen too many cyclists roll right through red lights, not caring about their own personal safety nor the safety of motorists who need to make dangerous avoidance maneuvers to avoid hitting them. I’ve also seen motorists who’ve had blatant disregard for bike lanes and for cyclists attempting to make left turns. None of this by the way has any bearing on the Hyperion bridge project. The engineers should take into account the concerns of all the community members. Personally I doubt that the bike lanes would be particularly well used, but would happily be proven wrong. I do like that the original plan provided access to the river front bike lines – I do think that would get a fair amount of use.

        • “None of this by the way has any bearing on the Hyperion bridge project.”

          Bingo. Can we talk about the actual issue instead of venting about bad drivers/riders?

    • Can we get the name of the street you were traveling on and in which direction?

      • Maybe it was eastbound Santa Monica Blvd at Virgil? There’s a bike lane there, but just a block later I’m often trying to make a left onto Myra. It’s really hard to pull into the left lane while traffic is flowing, so often at the red light I’ll get into the left lane a block early.

        Another place where I’ll take the left lane a block early is on Sunset heading east between the Children’s Hospital and that messed up 6-way intersection (I really wish I didn’t have to ride this route, but I live two blocks east and it’s the least bad way to get to the buses and trains at Vermont/Sunset). But there’s no bike lane here. I also do it when heading eastbound on Fountain between Virgil and the Hoover/Sunset five-way intersection, but at least here there’s a center/turn lane.

    • You saw a bicyclist? Guess he must have done something right then.

      Also, you are a troll.

  4. It is a “highway bridge” and part of the National Bridge Inventory (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/nbi.cfm).

  5. I have commuted by bicycle and motor cycle in the past. For a good many years I might add. I would have never ridden in the manner I see everyday in Silver Lake Los Feliz etc. These people are suicidal. Having been whacked on a motorcycle while observing ALL the rules of the road, wearing all the gear and ridding in a very conservative manner. In front of the EMTS of the fire station who were shocked that I was alive. Who saw me go ass over head 60 feet down the pike after some one had a whoopsie. Every evening I see two wheelers with no lights who never signal never telegraph intentions violating every vehicle law in the state statute ( as Joe Friday would say). Bottom line you want respect, show respect. Demanding bike lanes and more concessions only makes me say GO BACK TO GROSSE POINT

    • @tom: Well, I’ve commuted by car in the past. For a good many years I might add, but I would have never droven in the manner of most drivers in Los Angeles. Every evening I see drivers run red lights/speed to make the red, roll through stop signs and merge lanes without signalling. If you want respect, show respect. Demanding wider vehicle lanes and crash barriers to make it safer to drive at excessive speed makes me say GO BACK TO DES MOINES.

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