Nearly 40 people walked the path on West Silver Lake Blvd.(WSL) to see first hand the construction plans and to talk with the project managers from both the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) and The Dept. of Water and Power (DWP). CD4 Councilman, Tom LaBonge, served as “tour guide” and facilitator.
Although the department heads did provide detailed information about street configuration and a street closure at Tesla & WSL, they also heard a lot of ideas, suggestions and concerns from the residents who will be intimately and consistently impacted by the street construction/ traffic re-routing plans.
Closing Tesla at WSL for up to a week was a surprise to everyone. Neighbors told the DOT that they need to have signage about the closure at the two streets that flow into Telsa, so that drivers won’t be surprised and have to back out of the one-way street, which could be very problematic should there be traffic behind them. They agreed to this plan.
They also agreed to notify the Bureau of Sanitation re: Thursday trash pick up as well as the MTA re: bus re-routing.
At 7:00 more than 80 neighbors joined the walkers at Ivanhoe School. During the meeting, the DWP gave updates on the project timeline and the steps they’re taking to make sure it finishes on time. They also assured the residents that both Ivanhoe and Silver Lake reservoirs would be refilled once the project was completed. However, many were concerned with how the water was being taken out of the reservoirs and what type of water would be used to refill them. They did not want a repeat of the huge amounts of water recently seen pouring down the streets at the Eagle Rock reservoir. DWP is now looking at a variety of conservation/drought conscious methods to re-use, re-cycle and filter much of the water. And they will investigate, along with other city agencies, various tactics to refill the reservoirs in the most cost-effective and drought-sensitive ways possible.
The most contentious part of the meeting dealt with traffic issues during the 8-10 month street construction project. Residents gave a multitude of ideas and suggestions for reducing traffic jams and dangerous traffic flow through narrow residential streets. Since many drivers will be directed to or choose to use Angus, Armstrong, and Kenilworth as an alternate to going southbound on WSL, neighbors were very concerned with pedestrian and vehicular safety on streets that can’t handle the current level of usage.
The DOT representative agreed to review the suggestions and Tom LaBonge will work with a committee of residents to determine with ways to mitigate or reduce their safety concerns. The DOT’s initial plans will be re-evaluated regularly and they will make adjustments or changes when needed.
Although no idea was without a downside, and all agreed that this was going to be a difficult 8-10 months, there was relief that those who will be the most impacted were heard.
Now we will all have to stay calm and be hopeful that both the City Council and the City agencies will be vigilant in making this, if not a positive experience, at least a more tolerable one.
Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy