GLASSELL PARK — Supporters and opponents of “road diets” are making their voices heard after work began on reducing the number of traffic lanes on Fletcher Drive in an effort to improve safety, according to NBC 4.
The road diet will cut the number of traffic lanes for motor vehicles from four to two (one in each direction) for much of Fletcher north of San Fernando Road. The extra space will be used to create bike lanes and a landscaped median as part of a several safety and “traffic calming” measures (see the list below).
Officials say the main purpose of the project is to improve safety for pedestrians, especially for the students walking to and from Irving Middle School and Fletcher Drive Elementary, in part by slowing speeding traffic.
But even those who want a safer environment for students said the project has already caused more congestion after restriping reduced the number of traffic lanes. “It’s worse than before,” one Fletcher Drive Elementary parent told NBC 4.
Kelly Hargraves said what’s happening on Fletcher reminds her of what happened to Rowena Avenue in Silver Lake, where a road diet is credited with improving safety but also blamed for worsening traffic congestion. NBC 4 said she moved out of Silver Lake because of the Rowena road diet. She told NBC 4:
“I think I had a little bit of road-diet refuge post-traumatic stress syndrome because I lived through the Silver Lake one.”
A newsletter from Council District 13 said the project will include:
- Two lanes of traffic (one in each direction)
- Two bike lanes (one in each direction)
- Two landscaped medians
- The majority of parking on both sides of Fletcher will be kept
- Sidewalk rehabilitation and curb repair
- Installation of 19 access ramps
- Left turn lane at Estara Avenue leading into the schools and surrounding community.
The project is expected to be completed this fall.
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