Thursday, October 27, 2016

Silver Lake revisits the Rowena Road Diet

Traffic congestion on Rowena in 2013 after two traffic lanes were removed as part of a road diet

SILVER LAKE – More than two years have passed since a nearly mile-long section of Rowena Avenue was put on a “road diet” that reduced the number of  lanes for motor vehicles while making room for bike lanes. But the road diet remains a controversial issue, leading the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council to schedule a town hall next Monday devoted to traffic and safety conditions on Rowena.

Advocates of the Rowena Road diet say it has helped make the street safer by slowing traffic and reducing collisions. But critics say it has only worsened traffic congestion, with drivers now traveling through narrow side streets.  Earlier this year Public Works Commissioner Matt Szabo called the Rowena road diet “a bit of a disaster.

An L.A. Times story said that road diets might be imposed on other city streets under the recently adopted Mobility Plan 2035, which calls for adding hundreds of miles of bus and bike lanes as part of an effort to increase safety and encourage alteranatives to the automobile.  On Wednesday, a lawsuit was filed against the plan, claiming it would only worsen congestion and air pollution.

It’s not clear what the outcome of the Rowena Avenue Road Diet Town Hall will be. The neighborhood council lacks the authority to reverse or modify the road diet, which was created at the direction of former Councilman Tom LaBonge.  But cycling and pedestrian advocates see the meeting as the most recent evidence of what some have called as a “bikelash” against bike lanes, road diets and other measures to slow traffic and improve safety.

Bike advocate Rick Risemberg, in a posting on the Flying PigeonLA blog,  is urging supporters of the Rowena Road Diet to attend the Silver Lake meeting to defend the concept:

The backlash bozos will be there in force, hoping to reassert their right to speed, crush, and kill. You need to be there to reassert your right to live well and long, without your days being dominated by elitist drivers who value their bombast and impatience over your survival. Be there…or surrender your streets to the killers.

The Rowena Avenue Road Diet Town Hall will be held on Monday, Sept. 14 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at Ivanhoe Elementary School, 2828 Herkimer

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  1. Bike “advocate”? With the verbiage he’s using many other terms come to mind, advocate is not one of them.

  2. Culturally Unwelcoming

    I’ll put the over/under at 130 comments.

  3. I support the road diet even though I don’t bike. I think it has made the street safer especially for the kids at the elementary and the preschool. Safety trumps traffic in this situation for me even as a car driver.

  4. “The backlash bozos will be there in force, hoping to reassert their right to speed, crush, and kill…. Be there…or surrender your streets to the killers.”

    Anti-car fanatics are hilarious.

    • I know, just like the strident biker activist character in Portlandia. Living, breathing stereotype.

    • Pro-safety is not anti-car, and hilarious is not untrue.

    • Seriously. Fanatics like this bozo only impede cause of everyday cyclists. Cyclists would be better off having having a reasoned public figure that understands the city needs to strike a balance rather than demonizing car transport. I’d.love to see this dude say this to the elderly and disabled folks who rely on car transport to do the most basic things like buy food or go to the doctor. Cyclists, get a grip on your leadership.

      • Calling him a bozo, of course, paints you as a potential fanatic on the other side. But here’s the thing; the car side doesn’t really need fanatics. Automobiles have received just about every concession one can reasonably expect and a road diet here and there or the odd bike-path-to-nowhere don’t really represent much of a threat to the automobile way of life in the grand scheme of things.

        Now, the absence of safe bike routes represents a very credible threat to cyclists and pedestrians. And the absence of robust, far-reaching, comfortable, and safe public transit system is burden on those who would rather not drive (you know, like the elderly and disabled who “rely” on their cars because there are no other options). It’s not surprising, therefore, that the advocacy from the “anti-car” side is as strident as it is. It needs to be.

  5. How about putting in speed bumps on the adjacent side streets, to discourage cut-through commuters?

    • How about moving to Portland and leaving Los Angeles for people who have real jobs and real lives?

      • How about you leave urban Los Angeles and move to Orange County or the inland empire so you can live your stupid 1950s car-obsessed dream of every street being a freeway

      • LA is denser and has better weather than Portland. Move to Victorville, or stay here and you can drive in the car lane and I’ll ride in the bike lane and 50 people can be on the bus in the bus lane.

      • Looks like dickwad over here has no idea how much a halfway decent bike costs these days

    • As far as I know, speed humps aren’t being added at all in LA these days (though if they were removed for a project, then they’ll be replaced). According to this weak page on the City website, the program has no funding: http://ladot.lacity.org/WhatWeDo/Operations/NeighborhoodServices/ResidentialStreetSpeeding/index.htm

      So, I agree that speed humps would help! Perhaps the city would install them under private funding?? doubtful…

      • Curbed LA noted in 2013 that the city was considering accepting private funding for speed humps. I’m not sure what they decided, though.

      • That’s a shame… seems like a relatively cheap/easy option the city should have in it’s toolkit.

      • Culturally Unwelcoming

        Where did you get the info that “if they were removed for a project, then they’ll be replaced”? The speed bumps on Micheltorena north of Sunset were removed when part of the street was repaved a few months ago and have not been replaced, even though there’s a school there and it’s a terrible speeding zone in which cars routinely blow through stop signs.

        • I got it from a member of my neighborhood council. And I saw it happen on a recent repaving project near my house.

          But yesterday I tried to find more information about this, and saw the City explicitly stating that removed ones would NOT be replaced. So now I dunno.

    • corner soul, you are advocating corrupting the purpose of speed bumps. They are solely to slow traffic that is going too fast, faster than allowed. That is not the issue on the side streets, the issue is that what you have done on Rowena has now cased traffic to clog the side streets.. The ill-considered “road diet” has had undesirable side effects that were warned about beforehand but denied by its advocates. Now you would have us do ill-considered speed bumps for a non-speed problem.

      A speed bump cannot be so much of a bump as to slow you from the proper speed. All you are advocating is to undermine the legitimate purpose of a speed bump, which is only for extraordinary circumstances that require it. You want to use it to make them so people can’t even do the speed limit — that is, you want to use them for an ulterior purpose! You simply want to make it so undesirable to drive on the side streets that someone would prefer to sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic instead. That is, you want to bludgeon people to submit.

      • As I understand it, neighborhood stakeholders have complained that aggravated rush hour commuters are now speeding through the side streets, and rolling stop signs to try and beat traffic… case in point:

        “Everyone on my street, Waverly Drive, hates it because we have at least 600-1,000 more cars daily on our street, sometimes speeding, sometimes blowing the stop signs,” said Jerome Courshon in an email (source: http://www.theeastsiderla.com/2015/05/is-silver-lakes-rowena-road-diet-a-disaster/)

        Isn’t that what bumps are for? To discourage people from driving faster than 20-25mph on neighborhood streets. As far as the road diet, it’d be nice if we could look at the actual traffic data, instead of relying on hyperbole and anecdotes.

        Have serious injuries been reduced on Rowena? Have rush hour travel times between both ends changed, and if so how? Have top speeds been reduced outside of rush hour? Are more people walking and cycling? Etc. None of this is mentioned in the article… hopefully it will be at the town hall, or it’ll be a waste of time.

      • This is absolute nonsense. People are moving to other streets because they have the perception that it will allow for a faster commute than staying on Rowena. Adding speed bumps will lower the speed making it a less attractive alternative. In engineering, which is clearly not your area of expertise, this is a legitimate and commonly accepted application of speed humps and other traffic calming devices that vary in type, size, context, and form.

        I can understand why you wouldn’t want the on your street, but that’s an entire differently conversation that has nothing to do with their use or intent and entirely to do with the sense of entitlement motorists have to driving anywhere, anytime, at any speed. That is not something you are entitled to. You have a network of streets for cars to travel on, there’s no reason why people who walk, bike, or take transit shouldn’t have a network to travel along too. Get over it.

      • @Sandy: WELL SAID. I don’t know what “corner soul”‘s problem is. She/he doesn’t seem to be too smart.

    • LaBonge wouldn’t permit speed bumps. And the city had a moratorium on them. Respectfully, you might want to brush up on what the city can or cannot do. Or is willing or not willing to do. So many people make suggestions about this, without knowing a frickin’ thing about what has or hasn’t been sought and/or tried. Christ.

    • more to the effect, how about putting bollards in on side streets to stop them being used as rat runs… but remaining permeable to cyclists and pedestrians…

  6. Also, I think a town hall is kinda pointless without some traffic data for people to chew on beforehand… we shouldn’t be basing public policy on anecdotes. That’s just mob mentality.

    • @Corner Soul: AND WE SHOULDN’T BE IMPLEMENTING “POLICIES” WITHOUT FIRST MAKING SURE THEY MIGHT WORK, OR WITHOUT AN EIR! (And if you don’t know what an “EIR” is… you probably don’t,.. go look it up.)

      • You know your argument is intellectually bankrupt when you have to resort to ALL CAPS and cheap shots. I’m sure the DOT will reverse their decision once they see your video of 3 cars rolling a stop sign at rush hour… Shocking!

        • @Corner Soul: LOLOL. “Your argument is emotionally bankrupt if you have to resort to all caps” … hilarious. You are hilarious. No, it’s not, but if that’s what you want to believe in your little misguided mind, go for it. No skin off my back, baby.

          AND, you can’t even F’ing count either, can you? 3 = 12??
          Oh, wait, that’s right… that’s what guys tell you, and you believe them, LOL.

          Not only are you bad at logic, you’re horrible at math.

  7. Going to a single lane on Rowena has unquestionably improved public safety and most probably saved a few lives.

    • Yes, but LA pedestrians are not known for common sense. And seriously, how many cyclists use these lanes? I never see them.

      • Silver Lake Resident

        Your argument is a pedestrian that lacks common sense deserves to die. I hope that next pedestrian isn’t one of your loved ones. People make mistakes. The point of engineering streets with margins of error is so that when a child makes a mistake crossing the street, they don’t die. At 7:02PM last night I saw three cyclists and it took me exactly one minute and twenty-four seconds drive a car through the entire length of the road diet. If it weren’t for the red light at Glendale, I wouldn’t have had any delay at all.

      • LOL, and drivers in this city are?

        The reason you don’t see a lot of cyclists here is these bike lanes don’t connect to the rest of the network. The Rowena road diet was never about cyclists. It was meant to calm traffic speeds after a young women was killed crossing the street here a few years back.

        Adding bike lanes was just an afterthought. Check out the bike lane network on Google Maps, and you’ll see what I mean: http://bit.ly/1EZzLRP

        • What’s pretty amazing is then number of cyclists who do make use of the lanes even though they don’t connect to anything. Despite claims that “no one” is using them, there are indeed folks using them to access the LA River Bike Path for morning commutes and weekend recreaton via Glendale and then Fletcher and there would probably be more if the bike lanes actually made it to Fletcher.

    • Where is the data on this? The city doesn’t track accidents properly. How is this unquestionable without serving any facts?

    • So close all streets and freeways to eliminate all deaths?

  8. I haven’t been hit by a car since the bike lane was installed. Coincidence??? I think not.

    • It’s not always the driver of the car that is at fault in a car-bike collision. Too many bike riders do not follow the rules of the road, because they rarely if ever get ticketed for moving violations!

  9. Silver Lake Resident

    I am 100% in support of the road diet. It’s been a fantastic success. It’s reduced injury collisions by 50%: http://www.latimes.com/local/cityhall/la-me-mobility-traffic-20150816-story.html. At the end of the day, the arguments are: Less people die with a road diet vs people dying is an acceptable cost of doing business as long as I have two traffic lanes in one direction. As a local resident, I’ll be at the meeting supporting safe streets, safe routes for schools, and vision zero.

    • Since when does the city track all accidents. I was in an accident and the city would have never known.

      • I sense a question forming in your mind, “Could I be wrong about traffic crashes on Rowena?”


        The state of California has a database of police reports from traffic crashes called “SWITRS” (State Wide Integrated Traffic Reporting System or something like that). This data can be had for free (though it is tough to dig through and organize) off of a UC Berkeley web-site.

        Cities across the state started analyzing this data when it was made freely available to them online a few years ago. The oft cited York Boulevard road diet study was undertaken by an intern at the LADOT who dutifully downloaded all the crashes on York Blvd going back before the road diet a few years and then forward in time to the road diets installation and afterward. The difference was: ~25% drop in reported crashes.

        This isn’t isolated to York Boulevard. This type of finding has been made again and again and again across the developed world, inside the U.S., and outside the U.S. A proper road diet saves lives like nothing else in the transportation planners tool box.

        Something else about properly done road diets: they have little effect on automobile throughput. Sometimes they modestly slow down average car travel times, sometimes they actually speed up average travel times. Mostly what they do is force motorists to travel their average travel speeds instead of going 45 mph between red lights.

        • That’s not my question. The article that cites city officials says this: “City officials say the reduction led to tangible results: seven crashes during an eight-month period of 2013, compared with 15 in 2008.”

          Umm, last time I checked that’s far from statistically significant. What I’m stating in addition, is that all accidents are not reported, so any figures the city reports does not tell the whole story. We’re only talking police reported accidents. How do we not know that road diets cause more minor accidents because of the added congestion during peak times? Do you know the answer to that question?

          That said, what is the “reported” accident trend on Rowena from 2000-2015? I’m curious. What is the number of auto vs pedestrian accidents 2000-2015? I have yet to see these figures, why? Do they not fit the narrative?

          I was on rowena today around 6.30. It took over 7 minutes to get from Hyperion to Fletcher, much longer than it should. I saw zero bikes either direction during that time. The city should honestly take a look at the cost benefit of congesting traffic at the expense of what? Many say the road diet makes a safer environment for other drivers and pedestrians, but where are the facts?

          No one is saying road diets are all bad, but is it possible this diet on Rowena isn’t helping anyone, but rather costing valuable time for tens of thousands of residents each day?

          • One issue related to analyzing before/after crash data is that the before numbers are frequently low to begin with. So you’ll likely always be able to argue that the change isn’t statistically significant.

            And no, reported crashes (I assume that when you say “accident” you mean “crashes/collisions”) will never tell the whole story. But I think there’s little chance that the rates of reported crashes would stay the same (or go down) while the rates of unreported ones increases. Rather, we would also see an increase in reported ones alongside unreported. There are lots of non-injury crashes reported in SWITRS (which you won’t see if you use TIMS data, as ubrayj02 mentioned above). It’s often in a motorist’s interest to report a crash whenever insurance info is exchanged.

            Also, if we WERE seeing a decrease in injury crashes and an increase in non-injury ones, wouldn’t that point to the road diet’s success?

            Anyway, it’s Friday so I’ll take a cursory look at the data. Anyone know when construction began? I see that it ended around March 12, 2013. I’m thinking that all data from the construction period should be thrown out.

            Also, 2014 data is still being collected by the CHP, and 2015 data is not available.

          • Oh, one major caveat when looking at this data is that I’m not also looking at vehicle volumes, pedestrian volumes, and bicycle volumes. Rates of crashes are worthless without that information.

            But, I have the raw data (for Rowena between Glendale Blvd and Hyperion) if you want to look at it. I ran some pivot tables, but one can’t draw any conclusions from it (without those volumes and without FULL 2014 data – I have no idea how incomplete the 2014 data is… perhaps it is complete!).

            I’m not even going to give any anecdotal info, because that would be irresponsible. Sorry.

          • bogbog,

            The LADOT has a donwloadable Excel file of every single traffic count they’ve done over the past decade or so on their website.


            I just downloaded the historic count data and found all the counts for Rowena Avenue and put them in a Google Sheet here:

          • For current traffic count data (like, from today) if you can figure out how to connect with the city’s used-to-work-forme NavigateLA you can get numbers there from the ATSAC system I believe. Maybe. I haven’t been able to access that content for years.

          • @Buster: You are absolutely right. There HAVE been accidents on the surrounding streets. Perhaps not major, and they won’t make it into any DOT statistic if the police don’t come. So whatever stats show traffic accidents down on Rowena? It’s not the whole picture; it’s missing what is now happening on the surrounding streets.

            People just don’t realize this, or understand it.

            And your statement: “Many say the road diet makes a safer environment for other drivers and pedestrians, but where are the facts?”

            Simply put, it doesn’t, when taking into account the hazards now on the surrounding streets. Where children play.

          • And yes, sler nails it, any true anaylsis must take into account traffic and crash data on surrounding streets affected by the road diet.

          • Thanks ubrayj02. Yeah, I can’t find traffic data on Navigate LA, and their tutorial is out of date.

            Unfortunately, in your spreadsheet none of the vehicle volumes are from after the road diet. But I may have that info somewhere…

            Too bad we don’t have traffic data for surrounding streets, too!

      • The statistics come from the state data base. The law requires drivers to file a report to the state on any accident where there was an injury, even minor, or property damage over $500. That $500 threshold is pretty easy to hit, even in a fender bender. Those forms are a PITA, but if people skip filling them out, we don’t have accurate statistics to work with.

  10. Well… Seems like some truths to every story!

    Should the traffic, be able to move in a faster, less congested fashion???
    Sure it should.. but with 3.88 million LA city population and 10.2 LA County… fast car travel just isn’t going to be a “given” anymore. When I drive, I nearly triple the time, that I should have to give. It’s absurd, but that’s life in LA.

    Most drivers are beyond impatient, wishing to get to their destination at the expense of safety. And yes, the majority of cyclists are guilty of ignoring, most basic laws/rules. Just the other day, on Rowena, near Ivanhoe school, I see a cyclist riding on the sidewalk, just feet away from his “bike lane”. I have also seen drivers, on Rowena, in frustration of the traffic, just make a second lane and drive through the bike lane. I live on Auburn St. I will not walk on Waverly any longer, as it’s just not safe with the increased traffic.

    Drivers and cyclists, both, at some point, think that laws/rules don’t apply to them. Drivers have a false sense of insularity. For the most part, kindness and courtesy have left society. Another law or extra lane– won’t fix the problem.

  11. What’s more important, safety or convenience ?

  12. Road diets can be very successful, but they need to be designed and managed appropriately. And we need to remember what the road was like before this was implemented. Prior to this, there were 2 lanes each direction, with no bike or left turn lanes. Driving thru was a game of roulette: Someone making a left turn backs up traffic, or trying to parallel park–and drivers frantically try to change lanes. No safe crossing for pedestrians, except at the far apart traffic signals. And bikes took their life in their hands, or rode on the sidewalks.

    We are living in rapidly increasing traffic everywhere, as the economy improves and real alternatives to cars lag far behind the need. People are understandably frustrated and looking for easy scapegoats for what is a major regional problem–but fighting the road diet won’t solve the problem.

    To make the pattern work requires careful traffic signal timing. That means that LADOT needs to be proactive with making the signals in the critical cut-thru route of Hyperion/Rowena/Glendale/Fletcher (trying to get to either the 5 or 2 freeways) work right at rush hour.

    DOT has been anything but a responsive, progressive agency. Do they even WANT to make this a success? They’ve fought road diets, bike lanes and pedestrian safety ferociously for decades. Are they trying to sabotage this direction?

    • This comment makes a good point: that before the bike lanes were put in, Rowena was not a well-functioning street. There was a lot of weaving between lanes as people tried to maintain a 35+mph flow while dodging cars turning left and parallel parking.

      • And 35mph is probably the wrong speed for this street. It’s not drivers. It was the friggin’ lack of leadership by blowhard Tom LaBonge, who wouldn’t do anything about this street until someone died. This could have been prevented, if LaBonge ever gave a sh*t. But he didn’t. With a salary of close to $200,000 a year for something like 13 or 14 years, why should he?

    • No, DOT is not trying to sabotage. The fact is, there is too much traffic traveling through here, to expect it to always move. It moved much better with 4 lanes. Now at 2 lanes, it is beyond horrible. No altering of traffic signals is going to make a goddamn bit of difference. Don’t believe that? Just hang out on Rowena and watch the rush hour traffic.

  13. The road diet has been an UNMITIGATED DISASTER. For everyone living around it. Don’t believe it? Here’s just ONE 90 second example of the BS we face all the time now: https://youtu.be/XgO_s3SbSE4

    Please sign the Petition against this road diet, that was NOT studied before implementation, thanks to idiot Tom LaBonge:

    • You present a false choice. We can design our main streets (and our side streets) so they are safe and pleasant places for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. We shouldn’t have to pick and choose whose safety and convenience is more important, should we?

      Your cleverly edited video hardly seems proof of anything. People roll stop signs all the time. Perhaps we should look at the actual traffic data before we rush to judgement. The street conditions on Rowena before the road diet were a lot more dangerous than what you’ve shown in your video. A young woman was killed here… that’s what spurred LaBonge’s interest. And as I understand it, the road diet was implemented by LADOT because a traffic signal would be more expensive and cause more congestion.

      • False choice? Not at all. The road diet should be reversed, and THEN (at same time) we implement REAL traffic calming measures — that also don’t lead to cut-through traffic on surrounding streets.

        Ever read the EIR to the Mobility Plan? This is one of the impacts warned about, which we got.

        People roll though stop signs all the time? LOL. Did you count the number of cars in that video that flat out ran them? Probably not. You’ll see only what you want to see. (Such as cars “rolling,” because in your mind, that isn’t justification to do anything different. Nice.)

        The street conditions were not more unsafe then, than now. People still speed at night. Know that? (Do you even live around here to know that…?)

        Yes, a young woman was killed on Rowena. The first death ever, there. Take a look at this link:

        As you can see, Silver Lake is one of the SAFER parts of this city. This part of our city is actually at “Vision Zero,” fyi. Even before the road diet. What so many are unhappy about, is that the dangerous conditions of the Rowena “highway” have now been transferred to the surrounding residential streets WITH kids out/playing. It is only a matter of time…. unless we don’t something to deal with this now.

        • The mobility plan states that significant congestion from road diets will only happen as a worst case scenario (assuming no one switches to other modes, after redesigning a workable network of urban streets for people instead of just cars… In other words, highly unlikely.)

          If you have actual traffic data that proves end to end travel times on Rowena have been significantly effected let’s see it. Otherwise your wasting the NC’s time.

          We know road diets work, plenty of case studies out there. And just because top speeds are significantly lower at rush hour doesn’t mean average speeds are… Two completely different things.

          LaBonge may have been a flawed council member, but on this one he got it right! How many people need to die for you to be ok with a road diet here? 2? 5? Maybe 10?

          • @Corner Soul: You are a moron. You say “The mobility plan states that significant congestion from road diets will only happen as a worst case scenario.”

            HELLO? McFly?? Anyone home??

            You either don’t understand the issues, or you just refuse to see reality. You’ve shown yourself in comments above to be rather dumb, so I’m guessing it’s the latter..And, you can’t count to 12. And flat out running stop signs is not the same as rolling through stop signs.

            And your hyperbole (I know you don’t know what this word means, so look it up) about how many must die? Jeez, I pity the person that perhaps lives with you.

          • Oh man, I can tell the Town Hall is gonna be a riot… I’ll bring the popcorn if you promise to dress up like Biff Tannen and grab a traffic engineer by the tie while you knock on their forehead.

            Pro tip: no one who matters is going to take you seriously if you act like a bully and call them names. Road diets, Mobility Plan 2035, Vision Zero, AB 1358, moving from LOS metrics to VMT… these policies are years in the making, with plenty of data backing them up and broad political support from key politicians and constituents. Your team may be able to delay progress, but we’ll eventually reclaim our streets for safety and community.

            Maybe you should read the plan, and all the EIR documents behind it? 36,000 Angelenos are injured or killed in car collisions every year… 100 every day. Half of those are pedestrians. The way to bring those numbers down is to slow cars and design streets and neighborhoods that work for all modes of travel.

  14. I live near the east end of the Rowena road diet. I regularly travel this route, both by car and bicycle. I think the road diet is a huge success, and I make a point of reminding our elected officials of this as often as I can.

    On a bike, this route is now (relatively) safe, making a bicycle trip to Trader Joe’s or Gelson’s a feasible option instead of a death wish. And yes, bikes need to stay in the bike lane and obey traffic laws. It’s not hard to do.

    In a car, delays are barely any worse than before the road diet. Having been here 17 years, I very well remember the chaos one would find at all hours on Rowena when there were two traffic lanes in each direction. It was a high-stress, high-danger stretch of road that invited reckless driving and locked up at rush hour anyway. If it takes me 3 or 4 more minutes to drive this stretch than it did before, I consider that an excellent trade for the benefits of a calmer street.

    And Rowena is now vastly safer for pedestrians. It’s a much more inviting and far saner-feeling environment than it was before. I support road diets like this one as the future of our city. They’re another step toward making LA a healthier and more livable place.

  15. Please be aware of this meeting on Monday, Sept 14. 6:30-8:30 at Ivanhoe School

    If you live in this neighborhood, if you walk, if you have kids, if you have pets, if you bike, if you skate, if you drive a car –

    PLEASE go to this meeting. It’s a big one.

    What’s it about?: It’s about the Rowena “Road Diet” and how it’s affecting all of us. I was at the Edendale with friends on the night of March 30, 2011 when a young woman, Ashley Sandau, 24, was killed crossing Rowena to join her visiting dad. Horrible. It’s what got me involved in the community. It got everyone’s attention.

    City Solution then: A “Road Diet” – more street lights, more crosswalks, islands of pedestrian safety (Larchmont), better parking, bike lanes. Cut Rowena to 2 lanes, traffic would move efficiently with turn lanes, slightly higher speeds handling the same volume – and stay on Rowena. .

    Result today:

    – Traffic backed up on Rowena and then Hyperion, frustrated drivers taking our side streets – like Moreno, Kenilworth, Angus, Lakewood, Tesla, Putnam, Bright, Redcliff, Waverly, Herkimer – speeding, running stop signs in neighborhoods now filled with kids.

    – One upside – the Ivanhoe crosswalk is safer. BUT even that was shortchanged. Robert the crossing guard still has close calls and it’s not the full on safe version it could be. Crossing in the afternoon and night is still unsafe. We tried to get the city to put in blinking “Brand Ave.” lights, but the past councilman was personally opposed. A curb bump out, and overhead crosswalk sign. The solution he offered – make eye contact with speeding drivers.

    – Now…4 years later in the midst of nonstop endless Reservoir construction, condos crowding Rowena and Lakewood/Glendale, Waze – We need solutions. The City needs to hear from all of us. A holistic and practical solution for walkers, pet owners, kids, stakeholders, bikers, drivers alike. A walking Rowena, a biking Rowena – those are admirable goals – but at what cost to our streets where we live, walk, play, ride?

    The only time City reps take notice is when we all show up to these meetings.

    You can influence what happens in this community. Anti or Pro Road Diet. Please come to this meeting. Help create solutions –

    DATE: Monday, September 14, 2015
    TIME: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
    ​LOCATION: Ivanhoe Elementary School Auditorium, 2828 Herkimer St., LA 90039
    ​(No need to RSVP, just show up)

    Thanks – C

    Resources that might help you:
    – Ant- Road Diet Silver Lake specific:
    Road Diet impact on Silver Lake: Local site. Includes 90 sec video. http://www.safestreetssl.com
    – Pro Road-Diet Los Angeles City Plans:
    The LA Mobility plan (recently adopted): http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/documents/cs/impl/ca-losangeles-dot-strategicplan2014.pdf
    The LA Modern Street Design Manual: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/place/docs/model_street_design_manual.pdf
    The LA Vision Zero street safety plan: http://visionzero.lacity.org
    – Anti-car, pro-bike, pro-walker Los Angeles assembled by bike coalition:
    Bike centric solutions for major roads with eye to much less car dependent city. http://la-bike.org/sites/default/files/Websitefiles/ActiveStreetsLA_Toolkit.pdf

    And…how a Road Diet works c. 2011 – NOTE: no mention of surge in local traffic on side streets and pre-dates Waze and Google Maps:

    Sounded great at the time. This was handed out at a meeting in May of 2011. Comparing this to our current Road Diet, you can see missing elements – as well as the lack of the promised “Shopping Village” feel on Rowena.

  16. I wish they would turn Alvarado into a bike lane. I don’t ride a bike but I’m sure tired of hearing traffic noise.

    Ridiculous? Not as ridiculous as these comments. The bias of data to support what will suit only themselves is quite evident.

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