Video: This Is How Angry Drivers Are Over Silver Lake's Rowena Road Diet
Silver Lake residents have been up in arms about the "Rowena Road Diet," arguing that it's pushing cut-through traffic into tiny side streets, and creating some bumper to bumper traffic and very angry drivers full of Hulk rage. One guy captured on video what this road rage is apparently like on a daily basis.
YouTube user Jay Jay uploaded the video above today, showing a very narrow Angus Street—a side street near bustling Rowena Avenue—with unmoving cars stuck in traffic. Drivers get out of their cars to wave their arms and scream at each other to back up their vehicles, while others argue that they can't move. One guy tells a woman, "You're a f*cking..." before trailing off.
Jay Jay captioned his video: "This is typical cut-through traffic on Angus Street. And what we get on all the streets surrounding Rowena Ave., since the 'road diet' went into effect."
The Rowena Road Diet started in 2013, and it hasn't been without controversy. Bicycle lanes were added to each side of Rowena, car lanes were cut down from four to two, and a center buffer lane was added. The project was launched as an effort to make the street safer after a 24-year-old woman was struck and killed by a car when she was crossing Rowena Avenue in 2012. Then-City Councilman Tom LaBonge backed this decision.
Residents have been arguing that the Rowena Road Diet is wreaking havoc on their streets because impatient drivers are using side streets when Rowena is backed up. There's even a Change.org petition pleading with Mayor Eric Garcetti to end the road diet. The petition, which has garnered over 300 of its requested 500 signatures, claims that the road diet is log-jamming their "once-quiet streets" with cut-through drivers, and some of those impatient drivers are going way too fast and blowing through stop signs.
Jay Jay uploaded another video in August showing just that:
Not everyone agrees with the folks complaining about the road diet. City officials say the road diet has helped. There were seven crashes in an eight-month period of 2013 compared to 15 in 2008. Earlier this month at a Silver Lake Neighborhood Council meeting, an 11-year-old kid called out the "whiny entitled behavior" coming from the local residents. He explained that he's been biking to school ever since he was 7 and that the Rowena Road Diet did make things safer. He also added that drivers are the problem, not the bicyclists or pedestrians who need the road diet. *drops mic.*