Additional safety measures were approved Tuesday by the Los Angeles City Council for a Silver Lake street that had previously been redesigned in an effort to protect bicyclists and pedestrians from vehicle traffic.
Following the 2013 death of a pedestrian on Rowena Avenue, the roadway between Glendale Boulevard and Hyperion Avenue was reduced to one vehicle lane in each direction, with bike lanes added on both sides -- a process known as a "road diet."
"The Rowena road diet has undoubtedly made Silver Lake safer," City Councilman David Ryu said. "But it's critical that we back our decisions with data and with community support. That's the only way to build solutions that last. I'm proud to say we achieved both and that the road diet is here to stay.''
Similar "road diets" have led to fierce opposition in other parts of Los Angeles, most notably in Mar Vista, where residents angry about the loss of vehicle lanes and increased travel times on Venice Boulevard threatened lawsuits and launched an unsuccessful recall effort against Councilman Mike Bonin. In Playa del Rey, road-diet lane reductions were ultimately removed in response to community outrage.
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Ryu said he agreed in 2017 to conduct public outreach and commission a study of the impacts and effectiveness of the Rowena Avenue road diet. He said Tuesday the studies confirmed that the changes had improved safety on the street, so much so that he proposed the additional modifications.
The new changes include extending the eastbound bike lane on Rowena Avenue to the intersection of Glendale Boulevard, adding safety striping at the intersection of Rowena Avenue and Glendale Boulevard and installing barriers to protect the bike lanes on Rowena.