Rowena Road Diet traffic and anger spill over into side streets

SILVER LAKE — The biggest complaint about the Rowena Road Diet heard at a recent community meeting was about the drivers who now jam side streets looking for a short cut. A video posted by LAist shows how jammed and heated things get on one of those narrow side streets, Angus Street, where drivers are shown getting out of their cars and screaming at each other.

City officials said they would look at ways to shield residents who live on side streets from cut through traffic.

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  1. “City officials said they would look at ways to shield residents who live on side streets from cut through traffic”

    lol keep us posted!

    • friendly tuxedo cat

      It’s laughable that those who live on the Rowena cut through streets are completely unaware of all the side streets in LA that are now being used as commuter detours during peak commuter hours. This has nothing to do with bike lanes or cyclists. It’s about mobile traffic apps and rude commuters. Do you think Silver Lake residents who live adjacent to Fletcher, Glendale Blvd., and Silver Lake Blvd. aren’t contending with re-routed commuters raging through their streets? But are they complaining about a few hundred feet of freaking bike lanes? Of course not. The loudest couple of whiners on Angus/Kenilworth have too much time on their hands to vent a misguided, cynical grudge against cyclists on social media . Their ignorant, myopic bias is utterly cringe-worthy.

    • Angus doesn’t make a lot of sense to me as a time saver. Too long and windy. I think people would make better time just staying on Rowena.

    • Ha the app jerks are using Baxter ST. in EP. They sit at the top of the hills with fear in their eyes and then run the stop signs at the bottom,.

  2. What’s that dude trying to do?

  3. A post about drivers arguing on Angus, but no coverage of the 200 or so people that held a demonstration in Highland Park on Friday, demanding a safer North Figueroa Street in the wake of the latest pedestrian death? Sounds about right.

    • What are you talking about. You little bicycle whiners are always getting coverage.

      • Seems to me that both the Rowena road diet, and the Figueroa hit-and-run protest were about pedestrian safety, first and foremost.

        I don’t see any bikes in these photos, do you?

      • Whiners? The whiners are the ones losing it over imaginary traffic issues. Is travel time really affected? Are you butt-hurt that you can’t speed between lights at rush hour? Was that ever possible? Not a single person can prove that it’s any worse than it was before. Nobody seems to know what confirmation bias is.

        As far as the cut-through traffic, this would have happened regardless since it’s mostly a byproduct of Waze. Also no one seems to mention the construction on Glendale either. But yes, keep whining about bikes, even though this isn’t really about bikes.

  4. Nothing gets traffic moving faster than getting out of your car to scream at people.

  5. It’s interesting that both this video, and another uploaded by the same person, are intended to give evidence in opposition to the traffic-calming (“road diet”) implemented on Rowena. If anything, the videos simply show that there are too many cars on our streets — often with drivers that have a cavalier attitude toward safety — and we have to take a more livable and sustainable approach to communities and transit in our city. The car culture that arose out of the 20th century is a dead end, and a threat to lives in terms of road fatalities, air quality, and climate change.

    In the other video uploaded by the uploader, “Jay Jay”…
    …he states: “And if it needed to be pointed out, we do have a lot of pedestrians around here.” That’s right, Jay Jay. And do you think Rowena is any different? It was the death of a pedestrian, Ashley Sandau, that cemented the impetus for traffic-calming on Rowena.

    If Jay Jay wants a street in his community to be safer, that’s very admirable. But rather than pointing a finger at a project that brought a safer street to another area of the community, he should join the movement that wants safer streets all across our city. Because the answer truly lies with more safer streets, not less. Let’s look at ways to calm the rest of the streets of Silver Lake that need calming. This could include increased traffic enforcement, speed bumps, improved public transit, and other measures.

    It should also include more bicycle lanes. The more people are using bicycles, the less cars there will be on streets like Jay Jay’s. If you work downtown and want to get home to Silver Lake in the vicinity of Hyperion and Rowena, you’ve got bike lanes on 2nd Street and Rowena, but nothing on Glendale Blvd, and a very scary freeway on-ramp at the 2. Let’s change that situation so that people aren’t putting their lives at significant risk to make what would be otherwise be a relatively easy and enjoyable bicycle commute. Let’s move beyond the hegemony of car culture to a more livable approach that other cities around the world are already enjoying.

    • You certainly like to ignore reality when you make your case.

      The fault of all this extra traffic on the side streets that is trying to get to the I-5 freeway — and Rowena is the ONLY route to it from the Hyperion corridor — is that the main street that was designed for handling that traffic has now had the volume it is able to handle cut in half. You blame the drivers; the blame goes to undemining the good plan that already was in place. AND undermined for bike lanes that are hardly used at all, it is uncommon to drive down there and see people bicycling.

      You are been overwhelmingly outvoted about this newspeak of “calming” traffic. You have been outvoted by reality. There are at least 500-1,000 cars out there for every one bicycle — people have voted by their choice. They don’t want to ride a bicycle, and they don’t want you trying to bludgeon them into it like a dictator.

      And the traffic was not in need of “calming.” It already was calm. The speed limit — which by law must be a safe speed limit as determined by a scientific study — was 35 mph, about the speed traffic was going on that road before. 25 mph,. or 15 mph, is not needed for it to be perfectly safe.

      I note, the traffic accident you cite for why Rowena needed to have a road diet — the woman darted out in the dark of night from between parked vehicles in midblock jaywalking and did not look, and darted out right in front of a car. It is a tragedy, but it was not the driver’s fault, it was not because traffic needed to be “calmed,” as you like to newspeak.. Traffic was already calm. It was the pedestrians who needed to be calmed.

      • all very well said. I was at that meeting and spoke about the disastrous Rowena Choke (I love the use of the word “diet.”). When viable mass transit options are ready (shuttle bus, metro) and working, people will choose them. and watch out when whole foods opens up down the road. Make sure your elected officials don’t make this same mistake on Hyperion!

      • blah blah blah how much BLAME THE VICTIM are you?

      • You are speculating when you say the woman didn’t look, and yes, you’re blaming the victim..

        Anyway, I find it extremely dismaying that the collision in question occurred at night in a poorly lit area with no mid-block crosswalk, and that after the road diet it’s still a poorly lit area with no mid-block crosswalk. I consider the infrastructure modifications a failure because of this. Check out Rowena at night – it’s pitch black, and people are still hardly visible as they cross the street in front of Edendale. If improving safety is the goal, the city did a half-assed job of it.

      • What are you even talking about when you say that Rowena is the only way to the 5 from Hyperion? You go straight over Hyperion Bridge and U turn at Glen Feliz.

        The reason Rowena has crappy traffic is nothing to do with the road diet. It’s the phasing of the unneeded left turn signal at Glendale Blvd that holds up traffic. The road diet makes no difference what so ever, to pretend it does is just amnesia about what Rowena was like before the diet.

        • Clearly you don’t know what you are talking about. The I-5 entrance south is on Riverside just north of Glendale Blvd. by way of Rowena. You would have people go to another neighborhood, dumping all that traffic on Atwater Village, only for it to then turn around and come all the way back again — yes, that’s smart, that will take cars off the street by making them drive more miles on the street.

    • Not everyone has the luxury of living close enough to their work or school to make bicycle commuting a viable option. whether you like it or not, this is an auto dependent city.

      what is the point of the road diet? obviously it’s not to reduce traffic. if there are kids crossing, have a crossing guard. I’m sorry that someone got killed jaywalking at night, the solution is not further jamming up the roads. Has there been a study as to how many cars vs. bicycles use Rowena?

      • Who said the goal is for everyone to commute by bicycle? You either don’t understand this discussion, or you’re intentionally fraying the arguments.

  6. Clearly when drivers yell at each other, bicyclists are responsible. This is obvious, because car drivers never yell at each other when bikes are not involved.

    Furthermore, if this kind of road-induced rage were actually common, we would have a term for it by now.

  7. Thanks, Tom Labonge, for your stupid road diet.

  8. keepin’ it classy, Silverlake!

  9. Simple solution get rid of the road diet…how you going to shield residents..better solution put stuff back the way it was…one days it’s ease traffic, the next lets create traffic..

  10. Any change to the roads are going to have people upset and happy. The rowena road diet has made rowena safer for the preschool and elementary school kids crossing. It also provides bike lanes. The traffic has increased, but I do not believe it is a failure. We should be looking at ways to cut down speed on these cut through street and not going back to making Rowena an unsafe street for pedestrians.

    • “The traffic has increased”

      Has it, though? I don’t even buy that premise. I’m on that street during rush hour all the time, no noticeable increase in travel time. I guess some people think that it’s carmaggedon if they can’t get to 50 mph between lights.

      • It’s suspicious that few commuters are daring to quantify the delay in their travel time. They’ll describe it as “chaos”, “armegeddon”, “disaster”, and other melodramatic terms, but few are honest enough to say it adds 1, 7, 46, or however-many minutes to their commute. Perhaps it’s because it would not be a very impressive number, especially as a percentage of their travel time. It would probably be a bit laughable were it not for the rage that commuters exhibit in the face of any delay (of which I have been a victim, as a speed-limit obeying driver).

    • “The traffic has increased”, No, people just have amnesia with regards to how traffic was there before the diet.

  11. Whenever I’m heading back from Silverlake to Highland Park during rush hour, the Waze app tells me to use Angus. I do use it and it’s frightening. I’m always wondering how it’s so lucky that I never run into other drivers because it’s one of those two way streets that should be one-way. After this video, I think I’ll wait it out on Rowena. I must have just been lucky.

  12. Maybe the city just needs to make Angus a one-way if it’s too narrow? And bring back the speed bump program…makes now sense for the city to tout the whole “vision zero” concept, while it cuts relatively cheap and effective traffic calming programs.

    • Now that’s the best suggestion I’ve heard in a while. At the SLNC town hall, David Ryu’s office was looking for ideas to make this better. You might want to email the one way idea to them.

    • Like the speed bumps, but traffic just moves to the next block where there are no speed bumps

    • All these ridiculous ideas to try to do everything possible to to find more and more ways to block traffic in an effort to justify the unjustifiable.

      Restore Rowena and all the problems go away. There was no problem before the very well organized bicycle lobby started making a flood of baseless and knowingly false accusations all in unison that there was a problem. The talk of “calming” traffic is BS — the traffic was always calm, the 35 mph speed limit was perfectly safe.

      The bicycle lobby has the regular citizens out-organized and has manipulated this entire issue, and that is all that is going on here. But clearly the overwhelming number of people do NOT agree with them – that’s all the people who drive anyway, with a bicycle rider a rare sight despite lanes being in this area since the first one about 15 years ago. That’s a long testing time, and it has failed.

      The effort to get lots of people to ride bicycles has now been tried, and it is a huge failure.

      Restore Rowena, and stop dividing this community..

  13. The average carbon footprint in the world is “2”. The average American’s carbon footprint is “20”. That’s ten times the average! Anyone notice the MONTH of record heat that we continue to experience today? The problem is NOT bike lanes. The problem is stubborn, spoiled, bratty single-occupancy drivers who refuse to take public transport or even carpool even for one day a week (which would reduce traffic by 20%!)

  14. you take away people’s convenience and the in turn will be pissed. It’s just the way the world works. No one wants to give up his/her car, no one wants to give up his/her safety. It’s a moot point. I think people should just fist fight out their problems it would end a lot quicker and less beating around the bush.

  15. as much as i hate other drivers- and people on bicycles, can we start by agreeing that drivers should actually STOP at STOP signs?

    I live off of Bellevue and there is a nearby intersection where three streets merge (Bellevue, London and Parkman) and people seem to accelerate through that intersection. police also!

    hopefully someone will get hit, and die so that the city puts the Bellevue intersection on a diet.

    (preferably a bicyclist that ignores all traffic signs, and laws)

  16. I’m sorry but it isn’t the streets of Silver Lake that need calming. It is the upscale, monied, self entitled newcomers who have moved into the neighborhood who need calming.

  17. What a bunch of sniveling , entitled , priveleged, cry baby hipsters Silver Lake and Echo Park have birthed!
    Good lord it used to be so laid back around here!
    Cry babies!

  18. This video was cynically posted today on a day when LADOT has representatives coming to observe the traffic issues on Angus during the evening rush hour. They have already been out on Waverly observing the morning rush hour cut through traffic. Several solutions to the LONGSTANDING (as in pre-road diet) problem on Angus have been put forward. As mentioned above turning Angus into a one way street would greatly improve safety and that is already being discussed by LADOT.

  19. I SOOOOO want to “like” some of these posts. PLEASE add that feature!! You guys are hilarious. Fuck the story, the comments are KING!

    #gotttaloveroadrage #stupidpeople #stupidnarrow LAstreets

  20. I live in the area and totally support the road diet! There’s a bit of traffic diversion through the side streets, but some of the residents are exaggerating. I’ve lived in this area now for approximately 15 years and I’ve seen a minor increase in the traffic on Waverley and other side streets.
    I will continue to fight to keep the road diet. We need more of these in the area!

  21. The city needs to figure out a sensible way to get to Riverside from Hyperion. It used to be Rowena, and even before the change it was not a very good solution. A U-turn on Glendale is a ridiculous way to have to get to Riverside. Fix that problem and you’ll fix the Rowena problem.

    • Yeah, seems like an off-ramp on the viaduct directly to Riverside is the solution. But I don’t see a simple way to engineer that (but I’m not an engineer!).

      • I think the problem is a lack of land. It looks like they would have to buy or eminent domain a half dozen properties on Riverside.

  22. Latent demand people… build more roads and those roads will be filled with cars.

    Give people an option to get out of their cars and create a safer, cleaner and more enjoyable neighborhood that supports people not cars.

    • You can say the same about housing. Build more and you will induce even more demand. More homes == more people == more cars. <-period.

      • Perhaps, but what’s the alternative?

        California’s population is projected to grow by millions in the coming years, and those people will need places to live. It makes a lot more sense to encourage that growth in our cities, than to build new exurbs at the edge of metro areas (on top of wildlife and farmland, increasing vehicle miles travelled at the macro level.)

        Urban infill development reduces vehicle miles travelled, creates far greater economic output per acre, and saves buku tax revenue by utilizing existing infrastructure. The downside is traffic congestion, but in my experience that’s just part and parcel to living in a big city. The only viable way to really manage that is through congestion pricing.

  23. Until the city builds a mass transit system comparable to New York, London, Paris and Tokyo people are going to drive their cars, many times maniacally due to congestion and bicyclists will take their lives into their own hands if they wish to commute amongst motorists.
    It is what it is, our elders through allot of corruption going back 70 years messed up this city big time for the people commuting to and from work today.
    Get used to road rage, obnoxious cyclists and dead pedestrians.

    • Right, because the streets of New York, Paris, and London are not packed with cars. C.c

      • You could fit all 3 of those cities into LA with room to spare, in a city the size of LA you take people off the roads with the luxury of space we have and you have a different conclusion.

        • Nope.

          London and Paris are quite sprawling, and pretty analogous in size to Los Angeles.

          New York City metro area is actually much bigger than ours (and even with the most robust mass transit infrastructure in North America, their rush hour traffic makes ours look quaint by comparison.)

        • Luxury of space? You’re delusional. Los Angeles is the densest city in the US.

          • @Skr

            You might want to reconsider who you call delusional.
            The NYC Metro area is the densest area in the US according to the US Census.


            Here’s a suggestion for everybody;

            Slow down and PAY ATTENTION.

            I’ve seen bicyclists, drivers and motorcyclists all drive like incompetent, reckless raging morons out there. I almost got into an accident at a stop sign today when a motorcyclist passed me on my right, didn’t stop and pulled a left hand turn in front of me just as I was starting to make a left.

            Making a left turn in front of another vehicle making a left turn after cutting them off? Priceless.

            The moron actually didn’t understand why I had several choice words for him at the next light. (I would have spoke to him sooner, but he blew through the next stop sign as well.)

            And when his monkey brain couldn’t process being called out on his own idiocy, his instinct was for violence……I can only hope he will never breed. There’s already enough piss in the shallow end of the gene pool.

            And to the harley super glide white guy that threatened me today, I’ve been riding over 30 years; you’re exactly the kind of pendejo that has no business operating a bike: the incompetent and reckless weekend warrior dress up harley douche.

  24. I ride my bike. On Rowena, At rush hour, Every day. No, there aren’t many cyclists using the bike lane. But, the traffic also really isn’t bad. It gets jammed up down at the Fletcher/Glendale intersection – so it backs up Rowena, but that really has to do with freeway access, not traffic coming down Rowena. The ‘road diet’ runs out at the point that the traffic starts getting thick. I agree with the no-road-diet crowd in so far as the bike lanes are underutilized to date. But they haven’t created more traffic.

  25. Carsmakepeoplestupid

    “McNasty” that’s NYC not the NYC metro area. LA is the densest metro area in the nation and the least sprawling.
    It’s even better to go with Urbanized area which follows contiguous patterns of population instead of including the Mojave Desert and blank spaces that may exist in metro areas. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_urban_areas

  26. Why don’t we add a pocket park?


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