Community Leaders are speaking out in favor of Keeping Rowena Safe
Lynda Rescia, Ivanhoe Elementary School Principal
"I feel I must weigh in that the current ‘road diet’ configuration has provided a safer traffic flow for my students. The very fact that there are parked cars between the traveling vehicles and students is a comfort." Read her full letter here.
Renae Plant, Director Camelot Kids and Little Knights
"We were ecstatic when the “Road Diet” was implemented back in 2013 as we witnessed the
havoc before it with the numerous traffic accidents that used to occur right outside our preschool due to the multiple lanes of speeding cars which visibly became less and less frequent when the “Road Diet” was introduced due to the slower speeds in which cars can travel, a safe turning lane and only one lane of traffic each way. My Assistant director would have to call 911 every time she heard an accident outside and a few of my teachers and I would always run out to assist. We have not had to do that since the “Road Diet” was implemented. I’m surprised no car plowed into our building back then killing/injuring children who are in class directly on the corner of bothRowena and Silver lake Drive, as they have done on the building across the street.
Mark my words, if the “Road Diet” is removed and converted in any way that impacts the safety of the children and families that attend Camelot Kids on a daily basis and an accident occurs, I will not hesitate to take legal action against the city for negligence for making it “unsafe” again. It will not take away the pain and suffering incurred on whoever is hurt, however it will hold you both accountable as council members for making decisions that are not in the best interest for children aged 0 months to 5 years and their older siblings and parents that return to pick them up." Read her full letter here.
The Los Feliz Neighborhood Council
"We also strongly support the general improvement suggestions on Rowena Ave: pedestrian-scale lighting; bulb-outs where feasible; high visibility crosswalks where feasible; bike lane improvements including high-visibility green paint and continued striping.
We are concerned that three of the four options suggested for Rowena Ave. would directly contradict the purpose of the Rowena road diet by increasing car speeds, removing bike lanes and making collisions more likely in an area heavily trafficked by children, thus likely making more pedestrian deaths more likely, despite a failure to justify those options with any empirical data connecting them to the putative objectives of the study." Read their full statement here.
Jonathan Matz, California Senior Policy Advisor, Safe Routes to School National Partnership
"I am writing both as a resident and as the California Senior Policy Manager for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. I want to keep the current lane configuration along Rowena Avenue, as well as implement a number ofadditional safety improvements to this and adjacent streets . . . Undoing those changes as suggested in Councilmember Ryu's recent study would throw away those safety improvements and once again put us at the mercy of cars traveling at unsafe speeds, precisely the cause of the tragedy that prompted those improvements in the first place It seems particularly egregious to undo improvements that slow traffic and facilitate walking and biking right in front of an elementary school, at a time when children across the country suffer from the numerous health conditions associated with inactivity."
The Homeowners Associations from 29Twenty - representing 33 residences along Rowena
"Your traffic study identified that Rowena Avenue is indeed safer now with the current road configuration. Please do not trade on all of our safety and revert back to a road configuration that left one young woman dead and nearly killed another. Respectfully, Councilmember Ryu, we are homeowners, parents, local business patrons, and most certainly voters – please take us all into consideration when you are listening to Silver Lake community members." Read the full letter here.
The number of kids walking to Ivanhoe Elementary increased by 50% after the lane reconfiguration on Rowena
Source: Jennie Chamberlain, former Ivanhoe Mom and Safety Committee member based on National Safe Routes to School Surveys
Rowena before the road diet was known as the "Rowena Raceway"
Below is a description of Rowena pre-road diet by Eric Brightwell who has lived on Rowena since 1999. He is also the former proprietor of Brightwell, a shop that was located directly across the street from Ivanhoe Elementary on Rowena:
"My friends and I used to refer to it as Rowena Raceway because motorists treated it like a racetrack... even after a toy store, children's clothing store, and nursery school all opened in the vicinity of Ivanhoe Elementary.
'Accidents' were common. I awoke not long after moving to Rowena to a loud bang. A speeding motorist had plowed her car into mine, which had been parked on Rowena. It was a total loss. Another morning I passed a business into which a car had crashed. The owner said it was the third such incident, so she installed concrete poles.
Later I operated a shop in the same space and a motorist skillfully avoided the protective poles to instead drive through the side of the building:
A car crashed into Brightwell directly across the street from Ivanhoe Elementary & 20 meters from Camelot Kids Preschool.
"In 2012, 23-year-old Ashley Sandau was hit and killed after having dinner and predictably, if disappointingly, much of the blame was leveled at the deceased.
Not long after I witnessed firsthand a pedestrian run down by a motorist on Rowena. He actually was crossing at the crosswalk. Although bleeding from a gash in his head, he kept telling me that he wanted to retrieve his shoes, which had been flung down the road some distance. I told him to sit tight while we waited for the ambulance and that I'd retrieve them for him..."
- ERIC BRIGHTWELL
"Prior to the road diet's implementation, we would never have felt safe walking our kids to Ivanhoe"
"Our family has lived on Glendale Blvd for 12+ years. Because of our home's location, we’ve witnessed both pre-road diet days as well as the safety benefits after its implementation.
Prior to the road diet's implementation, we would never have felt safe walking our kids to Ivanhoe since we regularly witnessed vehicles traveling down Glendale Blvd at high rates of speed, all hours of the day. Accidents caused by speed were a regular occurrence. Just a few of the pre-road diet collisions that we witnessed included a car that flipped over (Glendale @ Rowena), cars wedged beneath parked vehicles, as well as a car that lost control and landed on the sidewalk. Since the road diet was implemented, we have not witnessed a single incident.
It's clear to our family that the implementation of the road diet made Glendale/Rowena much safer for our community. "
- Kelly Flannagan and Chris Kroll, former Ivanhoe parents