The Shortcut is the new Longcut


Today my favorite shortcut disappeared. I got off the 2 South at Glendale Blvd where I usually proceed through the intersection onto Waterloo then to Duane where I turn left at the dog park onto Silverlake Blvd.

I know, the locals complained about the traffic so I should have seen this coming. The shortcut hasn’t even been there that long, it wasn’t really a viable option until the light at the corner of Duane and Silverlake Blvd. made it possible to do a left onto Silverlake. I’m sure that Eric Garcetti had something to do with this.

But man, they’re serious about you NOT going that way. There was a truck there with orange cones in the street … I don’t know if they were also putting up a barrier on Fargo too. Maybe someone post here if they’ve driven by.

UPDATE: This is from Carla in the comments and I thought it was a good thing to bring out here for everyone to see:

The barrier at Waterloo and Glendale Blvd. was installed by the city following a traffic review requested by the neighborhood’s residents. The review showed that 2765 cars per day were traveling along Waterloo and Duane streets, a whopping 92% of which were coming directly off the 2 Fwy. Tjhese streets were never intended as a freeway extension. Yet they were being used as such.

The closure at Waterloo is just one step the DOT agreed to implement. The others–an extension of the painted median to block use of Fargo (thus making it a moving violation to cross the stripes) and the installation of a new light at the end ot the freeway ramp showing as the only options a right- and left-hand turn–should have happened concurrently. They did not, and we who wanted the Waterloo closure do not know why. We want those other measures to happen immediately to prevent the freeway traffic from hitting other residential-only streets in Silverlake, such as Fargo, Apex and Baxter. And we are talking to Councilman Garcetti’s office to get the DOT to follow through on the plan they originally agreed to. This is not a zero-sum game. We do not want to pit neighbor against neighbor.

Traffic in LA is without a doubt the most vexing municipal problem. It seems to defy solution. But clearly, funneling exiting freeway traffic onto major arterial streets, like Glendale and Silverlake boulevards, and off narrow and steep residential streets is a safe and sane solution worthy of our support.

17 Replies to “The Shortcut is the new Longcut”

  1. As of this morning, there was no barrier on Fargo yet. But without one on Fargo, I am sure all of the traffic diverted from Waterloo will simply go up Fargo, turn left at Apex, and then go right back down Duane. Then, if they put a barrier at Fargo, the traffic to go to Baxter, and so on and so on…

    While I am sure this was due primarily to commuters from outside the area, it makes getting from the Elysian Hills side of the canyon to the Silver Lake side even more difficult. Which is pretty lame considering that before the 2 Freeway was built, all these streets were contiguous between Silver Lake to Echo Park (Baxter, Duane, Fargo, etc).

  2. I for one am glad to see that the locals are getting relief. I hope I’m not the only person who felt something for the people on Duane street. The situation there was out of control and really was just like an extension of the freeway to Silverlake blvd. I used to live in Silverlake and would love to move back.

  3. As a parent of boys that play baseball at the field on the corner of Duane and Waterloo and a resident of Silver Lake (W. side of the lake) who spends plenty of time with my dogs and the boys at the dog park, I am extremely RELIVED to see that barrier go up. I witnessed on many occassions while at games at the park, agressive 2 Fwy commuters speeding off that freeway ramp right onto Waterloo without any regard to our kids or the residents. There is no doubt about it — it was dangerous. Why in the world commuters were allowed to go onto Waterloo off the Glendale North exit makes no sense. Waterloo and Duane have been abused for uears. Thank you Garcetti, if you’ve had any hand in this, for taking our streets back. There’s a church and school at Fargo and Glendale, so they should prevent the commuters from going up Fargo too. But I for one am happy to exchange the short-cut for the safety of my kids. If you don’t have kids or live on those streets, the sacrifice may not be as obvious to you, but really people — just take Glendale Blvd. (as it was designed for heavy traffic) or exit Fletcher from the 2 fwy. Let’s respect one another and our communities.

  4. I live on Duane street. I can’t tell you how happy I am that something has been done!!!! IF YOU NEED TO ARRIVE AT WORK EARLIER, GET OUT OF BED AND LEAVE YOUR HOUSE AT A RESONABLE TIME!!! STAY OFF MY STREET!!!!!! The DOT did a study and there should only be about 450 cars per day and they counted upwards of 3000 cars per day on our street. We don’t cut though you neighborhood so please give us the respect that we give you!!!

  5. The funny thing about the first user’s blog is that it proves everything that was wrong about the situation.
    Waterloo and Duane Street are zoned and maintained as residential streets.
    There was a huge safety haazard and liability created with the street being treated as the Silverlake Blvd. offramp for Freeway 2. (“I got off the 2 South at Glendale Blvd where I usually proceed through the intersection onto Waterloo then to Duane where I turn left at the dog park onto Silverlake Blvd.”)
    DOT did due dilligence in performing traffic counts and recognized the practicality of correcting the situation.
    Waterloo and Duane street are not secondary highways, freeway offramps, or commercial streets intended for that kind of traffic.
    People live here because they want to live on a residential street. Not your shortcut.
    Please keep your exhaust and noise out of our fine neighborhood. We’d like to think we deserve the same respect that you give your own homes.

  6. All I can say is PHEW !! I’ve lived on Duane Street since 1997. It’s always been used as a cut-through off the Glendale Fwy. But in the beginning (yes, before the street light at Duane and Silverlake) one usually had to wait behind a half-dozen cars during morning commute time. I live on the down side of the hill by the ball field. Now sometimes traffic is backed up to my driveway and I have to wait 5 minutes before someone will let me out. When the traffic is that backed up, it takes about 15 minutes traverse the block and a half of Duane Street onto Silver Lake Blvd. Why on earth would anyone want to use that “short cut”? Sounds like a long cut to me.

    I’m lucky. The folks at the bottom of the hill by the dog park are experiencing breathing problems from inhaling exhaust all day, most days, from the cars idling waiting to turn left onto Silver Lake.

    That said, after shopping in Eagle Rock this weekend, it was annoying to have to find an alternate way into my neighborhood — but given the 3000 per weekday cars traveling westbound on my street, it is a trade-off I can live with.

    I’m sorry for those of you who are used to cutting through our neighborhood and now must find another way. But please try to understand what it was like for us. We live there, and our residental street had become a thorough fare, breaking statutes for that class of street. Residential streets should not be freeways connector roads.

  7. I used to live on Easterly Terrace and could tell when Silverlake Blvd. was blocked up because people would come racing down our teensy little street thinking it was a shortcut only to find out that it’s a three block long dead-end (as if the signs didn’t really mean anything). Then they’d huffily turn around at the end and barrel back up the street to rejoin Silverlake Blvd. ten minutes later than if they’d just stuck it out.

    I think the real issue at hand is that people can’t easily get from the 5 to the 101 and have been using Silverlake Blvd. to cut through – they’re not locals.

    I admit to being guilty of using this short cut though not to commute but just coming home from Whole Foods on the weekends.

    It’s sad that the 2 doesn’t meet up with the 101 because I think it’d make it a far more useful freeway and would ease a great deal of congestion on surface streets in Echo Park and Silverlake.

    Understand, I’m not complaining, I completely understand it and if I lived there, I’d have petitioned for something like this as well. My apologies for being part of the problem.

  8. May I, as a member of the neighborhood committee that fought for it, share a little of the history of the new Waterloo barrier?

    The barrier at Waterloo and Glendale Blvd. was installed by the city following a traffic review requested by the neighborhood’s residents. The review showed that 2765 cars per day were traveling along Waterloo and Duane streets, a whopping 92% of which were coming directly off the 2 Fwy. Tjhese streets were never intended as a freeway extension. Yet they were being used as such.

    The closure at Waterloo is just one step the DOT agreed to implement. The others–an extension of the painted median to block use of Fargo (thus making it a moving violation to cross the stripes) and the installation of a new light at the end ot the freeway ramp showing as the only options a right- and left-hand turn–should have happened concurrently. They did not, and we who wanted the Waterloo closure do not know why. We want those other measures to happen immediately to prevent the freeway traffic from hitting other residential-only streets in Silverlake, such as Fargo, Apex and Baxter. And we are talking to Councilman Garcetti’s office to get the DOT to follow through on the plan they originally agreed to. This is not a zero-sum game. We do not want to pit neighbor against neighbor.

    Traffic in LA is without a doubt the most vexing municipal problem. It seems to defy solution. But clearly, funneling exiting freeway traffic onto major arterial streets, like Glendale and Silverlake boulevards, and off narrow and steep residential streets is a safe and sane solution worthy of our support.

    It seems to me that the next step is to get the DOT to finish the job they agreed to in the first place.

  9. That “Stay off my street” stance just plain blows — and that’s coming from someone who totally empathizes with the residents around the impacted area. I can fully appreciate their joy and relief that part of the problem has been prevented. But until the other aspects that Carla mentions are implemented traffic is just like water, it’ll follow the path of least resistance and flow up Fargo to Apex to either Duane or Baxter.

    What was the DOT thinking in just taking care of a part of the problem?

    And even after those leaks are plugged, what you’ll wind up with is more people loading up onto Silver Lake Boulevard from Glendale Avenue. The problem never goes away, it just gets shoved around the corner.

  10. Not surprised you took offense “JMB.” Even less surprised you were unable to grasp what I was “MUBBLING” in my previous post. You probably didn’t make it past “blows.”

  11. DOT WASN’T thinking – nor were they following their own instructions. I can tell you that the traffic here on Duane west (of Apex) has been a steady stream of commuter traffic all day. They (you?!) have embraced the cut through on Fargo.
    Fortunately Garcetti’s office has responded to the DOT error of incompletion and is seeing to it that Fargo is, as planned, no longer a 2 freeway offramp option. Garcetti’s office has assured that DOT will have the work completed by this afternoon.

    I can’t agree more with the suggestions here that this problem won’t go away. I urge those of you who have time to get involved in the solution by organizing with your neighborhood council, city council and state assemblyperson. Because the big picture involves getting from one freeway to another, this has to happen on a CALTRANS\State level.

    The best thing we have going for us right now is duofold:
    A.) The freeway 2 terminus project – $26mil was given to CA for this project back in ’96(?) to, I believe, one Antonio Villagarosa. It’s 2005. What’s been done? Where’s our $26mil?

    B.) Dodger stadium’s new owner. He’s hell bent on making it something big over there, and one of the options involves a new offramp from the 110 just for a new parking lot entrance into the stadium. We need that area widened so that the ridiculous 5 to 110 to 101 two to one lane interchange that now exists becomes a functional option for commuters to get to the 101 and not continue to ruin Silverlake.

    It blows me away that something that was half-azzed 35 years ago (the entire fwy 2 project) has just sat there unresolved. And that an entire community (SLake) has been paralyzed to do anything. The people I’ve talked to who’ve lived here 30 years absolutely believed that nothing would ever be done about Waterloo\Duane. This kind of paralyzing mentality is not reflective of the American ideology I was taught. To be bullied by apathy, fear, stress or ignorance is to betray our ancestors who fled that and came here with hope.

    If we all sit back and let tv drama hypnotize us, America could fall like Rome. But we do have the rules and the processes in operation to correct the big and the little pictures. Like giving a neighborhood their justice.

  12. While I did commiserate with the Duane Street residents, I do hope there is a more complete solution to this problem. As a resident of Apex, I was not happy to hear the increased traffic last night, rattling down my street every five seconds when it used to be once in a while. Before the barrier went in, the westbound cars on Duane were at least slowed by the steep uphill. Apex slopes DOWNHILL, toward Duane, so the cars now speed even faster to the intersection of Duane and Apex, before making the right turn onto Duane. Apex is even narrower than Duane and has tons of potholes, so with every car comes an earth-shaking rattle of their suspensions nearly falling out. Last night, I saw one car blow through the stop sign at Apex and cross over the double yellow lines into the oncoming (uphill) lane of Duane as it made the right turn from Apex to Duane. This morning, no fewer than three cars nearly rammed mine and honked at me while I was trying to pull out of my driveway to go to work. Does it really have to be this hostile people?

    My purpose to writing this is to give an update (as of Sun night) to the situation, not to complain. I am hoping that the more complete solution is going to be installed soon, as I can’t see how the current situation is any real solution.

    For those commuters trying to get from Glendale to the Hollywood area, can I suggest getting off at Fletcher and using Silverlake Blvd? Pssst! Spread the word!

  13. Rosemary,

    Your description is eerily familiar as that is exactly what I’ve been living with in growing proportions for years! Let’s hope the extension to prevent crossing onto Fargo happens soon. And might I add the suggestion: turn right on Glendale and left on Silver Lake Blvd at the BofA.

    “…As a resident of Apex, I was not happy to hear the increased traffic last night, rattling down my street every five seconds when it used to be once in a while… This morning, no fewer than three cars nearly rammed mine and honked at me while I was trying to pull out of my driveway to go to work… I am hoping that the more complete solution is going to be installed soon, as I can’t see how the current situation is any real solution…For those commuters trying to get from Glendale to the Hollywood area, can I suggest getting off at Fletcher and using Silverlake Blvd?”

    And Will, you’re right. Traffic will flow like water — and if you don’t want to be innundated ya’ gotta put up a damn. I DON’T LIKE NOT BEING ABLE TO GET INTO MY NEIGHBORHOOD THE OLD WAY. No, I don’t like it. It’s inconvenient and what am I going to tell my friends about alternate ways to get it.

    But we WERE being innundated! It had turned into an impossible situation. I never dreamed that DOT would put up a barrier. And they never would have it the situation had not been extreme.

    Sorry, you think it blows — but we’d been living with a ****** situation for years. It’s more like blow back.

  14. I also live on Apex and was not happy with the extra noise and exhaust. This thing is only half finished. They must complete the job!

    I’m glad for the people on Duane that they will get some relief from the traffic. Now with less congestion on Duane, let’s see how understanding they are when we ask them to please please park on their own street for a change, instead of taking up two parking spaces per car on Apex. I hope I hear enthusiastic cooperation instead of crickets. This is about consideration for everyone.

  15. TJO, I think you’ve misinterpreted me. I don’t think the new traffic mitigation effort (though incomplete at present) blows, and I recognize all that the surrounding residents had to suffer with all that extra traffic. Personally I wouldn’t mind if they turned the summit of Duane into a replica of closed-off Cove a couple blocks over. What I took issue with was the half-cocked narrow-mindedness of “JMB” ranting about:

    “IF YOU NEED TO ARRIVE AT WORK EARLIER, GET OUT OF BED AND LEAVE YOUR HOUSE AT A RESONABLE TIME!!! STAY OFF MY STREET!!!!!!”

    People will always look at a problem such as this from a “my street” or “my backyard” perspective and consider it a solution just to move the cars a few blocks over and make it their neighbors’ problem. That’s a band-aid, not a cure.

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