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Secretly installed in 2013 by our previous Councilman, Tom LaBonge, this so-called "road diet" has been a disaster for the northern part of Silver Lake.
It was implemented without any traffic analysis, without an EIR, and without public hearings. Bottom line, two State laws were violated, and it was installed without consideration of the potential consequences. Needless to say, we are not fans of our former Councilman, Tom LaBonge, or the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, who participated in this illegal action.
Severe traffic jams daily on this major artery have caused thousands of annoyed/angry drivers to seek faster routes through Silver Lake. And they have found them, using streets like Angus, Armstrong, Kenilworth and Waverly Drive to avoid Rowena.
It is not simply the additional traffic on these residential streets that's at issue. It is the DANGER that has been transferred onto these once-quiet streets, by drivers speeding and running stop signs.
Here's an example of what happens on Angus Street. Angry drivers avoid Rowena (using Angus as a cut-through) and then traffic in both directions of this narrow street often can't pass each other: (Please note there is some profanity yelled)
Streets with many, many families and children—that don't have sidewalks—have hundreds of drivers speeding and running stop signs to make up lost time, putting our children's lives and all of us at risk. (See other Videos of this below.) It is time for our City Government to address this issue, along with our new City Councilmember.
Maybe the solution is the elimination of this "road diet" and going back to 4 lanes of traffic. This is a major artery and classified as a "Secondary Highway" by the City. (Incidentally, the City is changing classifications of streets to make it easier to reduce traffic lanes on major roads and install 900 Miles of bike lanes, per Mobility Plan 2035.) Frankly, we are not against bike lanes. But we do not believe that traffic lanes on major arteries should be sacrificed for bike lanes—when the consequences result in putting ourselves & our children on the surrounding streets at great risk of injury or death.
If you live around Rowena and are tired of this, or if you are a commuter who uses Rowena and are tired of this, it is up to you to make your voice heard. Because we the Community—YOU—are the ones who can decide this issue, and NOW is the time to make your voice heard. Write Councilman David E. Ryu, and write Mayor Eric Garcetti: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you want to write a letter and sent to us, will will forward it on to them.
UPDATE - May 2016:
Because of the pressure from the Community (and the Rowena Town Hall last September), there is a Workgroup that was formed, consisting of both "sides" of the issue—those who love the road diet and those that hate it. Currently, we are working together with City Representatives.
At this moment, outside firms are being vetted, with one to be hired to analyze the Rowena Avenue corridor and provide options/solutions. (Thankfully, LADOT will have no participation in this part of the process.) We hope to complete interviewing these outside companies and hire one, by end of June or early July.
Once that is done, and once the firm hired completes their job, we will then be setting up community meetings to share and decide which options can work. If you want to be a part of this process, be sure to sign our petition below, as this is how we are communicating updates currently. Thank you!
If you would like to write a letter expressing your views, you can send it to us here and it will be submitted both to Council District 4 and the Sliver Lake Neighborhood Council. Send to us at:
info [at] SafeStreetsSL.com OR use the form below.
Please take just a moment to sign our online petition. We now have more than 700 signatures; over 400 at our online petition, plus an additional 300 neighbors signing in-person.
QUESTIONS? MEDIA INQUIRIES?
Here's a very short video showing the danger at just ONE intersection a block from Rowena, from typical cut-through traffic:
Here's an even shorter video showing car after car run one of our stop signs on Angus Street, from typical cut-through traffic:
(This was the removal of 2 traffic lanes from Rowena, 3 years ago)
SPREAD THE WORD
It has been claimed by those who love the Rowena "road diet" that it is now safer for pedestrians around Rowena. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is actually now more dangerous for pedestrians. While this certainly seems counter-intuitive, it does not change this fact.
We studied a 10 year period using the SWITRS database, 2006 - 2015. Pedestrian injuries were 1.14 per year, during the non-road diet years of 2006 - 2012. Once the road diet began in 2013, the pedestrian injury rate jumped to 2.0 annually—a 75% increase. Download our PDF of this analysis here: