Eyes On the Street: Safer Striping At Silver Lake Blvd And Temple St

New striping and bollards makes the Silver Lake Boulevard at Temple Street a bit more livable. All photos: Joe Linton
New striping and bollards make the Silver Lake Boulevard at Temple Street a bit more livable. All photos: Joe Linton

Kudos to L.A. City Transportation Department’s (LADOT) for implementing another small livability and safety improvement. Last weekend, I came across a new striping configuration located at the intersection of Silver Lake Boulevard and Temple Street. These streets cross but do not quite intersect as Temple Street goes above on a 1934 grade-separation bridge, originally intended to reduce congestion on Silver Lake Blvd.

The area is immediately south of the 101 Freeway, so it suffers from the blight that tends to surround L.A. freeways: pollution, noise, speeding, homelessness. Drivers speed on their way on and off the freeway. Homeless people often occupy the neglected spaces.

It is not a heavy pedestrian usage area, but people do walk there, especially with an adjacent charter school, Camino Nuevo High School, recently opened. The Rampart Village Neighborhood Council worked with City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell to spruce up the space, adding the modest Historic Filipinotown Western Gateway project last year.

Drivers going east on Silver Lake tend to accelerate up the on-ramp type connector road, then whip around the corner onto eastbound Temple. This makes me look out when I frequently bicycle east staying on Silver Lake, watching out for cars merging onto Temple across my path. With the recent improvements, drivers must slow down a bit, and make nearly a full-on right turn to get on to Temple. The pedestrian crossing distance is reduced.

LADOT’s bollards there are already bruised, apparently inattentive drivers are still speeding dangerously.

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The view eastbound on Silver Lake Boulevard post-improvements. Drivers slow down to make the right turn onto the ramp street up to Temple Street.

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Google street view showing the configuration before improvements.
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View of Silver Lake improvements west toward Virgil Avenue.
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View east today on Temple Street at the “on-ramp” from Silver Lake Boulevard. Drivers still whip around this no-stop turn, though the pedestrian crossing distance has been shortened.
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View east from Temple Street down to Silver Lake Boulevard

The welcome new configuration is somewhat reminiscent of other recent improvements in Silver Lake and Echo Park. Are readers seeing other similar modest improvements in other L.A. neighborhoods? I suspect that they may be more common in older, less fully-gridded areas of the city. Are there intersections that would benefit from these types of treatments? Use the comments to let us know where – and we will share the list with LADOT.

  • LAifer

    – Hoover St intersections with Myra Ave, Sanborn Ave, Hyperion Ave, Lucile Ave, and S Dillon St
    – Rowena Ave intersections with Avocado St, Lowry Rd, and Ben Lomond Pl
    – Vendome St and Silverlake Blvd
    Those are my suggestions. And can we get some creativity up in here for any of these treatments? Like getting the local school to add some paintings to the ground being recouped from overly-large streets?

  • 1 less driverless car

    An okay improvement but what Silver Lake Blvd really needs is a road diet. It looks like the Garcetti/Reynolds administration does not feel a sense of urgency to act on climate change, vision zero, or any goals to increase levels of walking and biking. We have leaders now that think it is perfectly fine to move at a glacial pace when what we need fast, transformative changes. LA is many times bigger than SF yet our neighbor to the north seems to be enjoying more livability improvements at a faster rate.

  • Ronald

    $100 says those bollards are completely destroyed and forgotten in 1 year.

  • Joe Linton

    I agree. LADOT studied a lower Silver Lake road diet as part of the “Year 1” bikeway projects… but didn’t follow-through. We need a campaign to make it happen!

  • Joe Linton

    They’re designed to be driven over repeatedly, and bounce back!

  • Josef Taylor

    In Chinatown, the intersection of N Alameda St. and N North Main St. They should close the short leg of N North Main and open Alhambra street to two way, to eliminate the skew intersection.

  • Alex Brideau III

    They will only be forgotten if we let them be forgotten. When you see a noticeable number of broken/missing bollards, I advise reporting them on the myladot.lacity.org website. I did so when the bollards began disappearing in the 2nd St Tunnel buffered bike lane and, while it took a bit of follow-up, all the broken bollards were eventually replaced.

    It can work, but vigilance is key. Make MyLADOT your new friend.

  • Slexie

    Whelp, just risked my life biking from Los Feliz to the Costco in Atwater Village. Getting through my neighborhood wasn’t so bad. I wanted to go by way of the bike path on Rowena, but to make the left at Fletcher I would have to stop on the curve, look back and make sure there was no one coming, then cross over 2 lanes of traffic to get into the left turning lane. No thanks. So I rode all the way down Los Feliz Blvd. on the sidewalk. I really didn’t want to do that, and next time I might go on the north side of Los Feliz and ride through the neighborhood. So I get to Riverside and cross it. Had to wait a bit for the cars to thin so I could cross over the entrance to the 5. Yes, if I was riding in the street I could have gone right through. But when crossing Riverside going east on Los Feliz, the 2 lanes become 3 as the far right lane is the entrance to the 5. But that splits into 2 lanes right at the mouth of the turn. So if I go straight on my bike, there could be a car coming into that 2nd lane and turning. Once I passed that on ramp it was fine all the way to Costco.

    Coming back, I decided to go down to Glendale Blvd. and go over the Hyperion bridge to drop down to Rowena. Big mistake. In traffic, there is no way to get to the bridge because the far right lane goes down and the bridge is the 2 left lanes. Had to stop and wait for the traffic so I could get over and bike up the bridge. There is a sidewalk there, but no break in the curb to get up on it with a bike. I wasn’t going to stop, get off my bike and get up on the narrow sidewalk. So on the bridge I went.

  • rickrise

    I went through the Second St. tunnel last week (it’s part of my commute most days), and a good quarter of the bollards were broken off and lying in the lane. Plus, the bike lanes a re full of trash and tile fragments. Time for another cleanup!

  • Alex Brideau III

    For sure! Did you report it?

  • Alex Brideau III

    Is there any plan to “permanentize” those reclaimed spaces for pedestrians and/or other road users? Maybe some planters, a through-bike lane up the ramp, etc?

  • rickrise

    Not yet. May be able to check it out today and see whether the issue has been addressed.

  • Alex Brideau III

    Let me know if you need me to report it. I haven’t been through the tunnel in a while but I could swing by if needed.

  • rickrise

    Yeah, go ahead. I ended up taking a different route today, so couldn’t check.

    Thanks!

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