Eyes on the Street: DIY Painting Between the Cracks in Silver Lake

Undisclosed Silver Lake intersection. Photo by Sahra Sulaiman/Streetsblog L.A.
Public pavement art at an undisclosed Silver Lake intersection. Photo by Sahra Sulaiman/Streetsblog L.A.

L.A.’s Department of Do-It-Yourself has been busy piloting some non-Highway-Design-Manual-approved pavement treatments at an undisclosed intersection somewhere in Silver Lake. We’re not going to name the streets for fear that it would make it marginally easier for official city forces to overlay their gray-heavy official design motifs there.

Streetsblog Communities Editor Sahra Sulaiman reports: “By highlighting the many, many cracks in the intersection’s cement, the paint actually makes it easier to see the uneven sections. I think it also helps alert drivers to the fact that the intersection is in terrible condition and someone walking or on a bike might need to navigate it more slowly… so you could make the argument that it is a safety mechanism.”

Readers: What do you think of this intersection? Can anybody tell us who is responsible for the paint work above? What D.I.Y. work have we missed in your neighborhood? If you want, tip SBLA anonymously here.

  • beepboopbeepboop

    Effeee and Hyperion, I ride over this all the time and I love the paint. It is a sketchy intersection because Griffith park/Hyperion and Effeeeeee pertty much all converge here.

  • ChrisLoos

    Great idea. Beautifies the intersection somewhat, improves safety by making the cracks more visible, and hopefully shames the city into keeping the streets in better repair too.

  • LAifer

    Know this intersection well. Wish that this sort of thing could actually be built into the city’s DNA. Streets are the dominant outdoor space in LA, and it’s only natural that folks would want to find ways to make them more appealing. If only LADOT would consider a set of guidelines to allow for this sort of thing to happen more easily…

  • grrlyrida

    Yea and its hard to keep the cars from running those stop signs.

  • ubrayj02

    I can already imagine the negative comments based on color, pattern, and placement coming from Curbed LA’s readership. I can also see, in advance, the accusations on the LA Times’ web-site comment section that this is a “waste of taxpayer’s money” (even though it was done by private citizens) and somehow the fault of undocumented immigrants and/or Obama.

    When you filter a little bit of happy news in this way, I think it is time to slowly back away from the keyboard and go for a walk (with a bucket of colorful paint).

  • Joe Linton

    It’s not a bad thought, but I am personally more comfortable with benign neglect from the city, compared to doing a multi-year planning process for a set of watered-down least-common-denominator one-size-fits-all guidelines.

  • James

    Hopefully this color fragments or some future florescent yellow might act as traffic calming in an intersection where the stop sign is regularly ignored and drivers refuse to yield to pedestrians and honk at you if you make them slow down. Drivers on Hyperion seem to be in full highway mode and fly through there , without looking for pedestrians and believing they don’t have to right to be there on their little expressway.

  • User_1

    I give this five green stars and splash of blue with some green trimmings.

  • User_1

    +1

  • BJToepper

    I ride across this intersection nearly every day. I rather liked the new paint when it showed up. If the city gets around to removing it, I really wish it would be in context of redoing the entire intersection. The bumps and cracks are not cycling-friendly, and even a bit difficult to navigate through, especially while headed towards the steep, steep hill to the right of this photo.

  • sahra

    Agreed. And they could do the rest of Griffith Park Blvd. while they were at it. With the drought, it seems like some of the chunks of concrete are sinking while a number of the cracks are widening. It definitely has felt more treacherous this year. But someone in planning told me once that people really get up in arms over concrete streets and getting them properly repaired or paved with asphalt can actually be problematic.

  • Kenny Easwaran

    I’ve always wondered about this. I used to live in the neighborhood, and the concrete streets often seem to have cracks running parallel to the direction of travel right down the middle of all the bike lanes. The asphalt streets are generally fine. I assume that the concrete streets must have seemed like a good idea at some point, but after enough decades even they fell apart.

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Last month, I sent a photo illustrating some of the new designs that had popped up at Effie and Hyperion in Silver Lake (above) to Joe and Damien. Joe, without disclosing the location, posted it to Streetsblog with a brief accompanying explanation. As he noted, the intersection has seen various DIY interventions. The painting of […]