Spotlight on the Transportation and Neighborhood Safety Committee

Doug Loewy and Tony Michaelis, co-chairs of the SLNC Transportation and Neighborhood Safety Committee

 

The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council’s (SLNC) Transportation and Neighborhood Safety Committee (TNSC) works to resolve some of the most significant issues faced by residents and stakeholders. Committee Co-chair Tony Michaelis explains the goals of this important committee – and how people can become involved.

Please explain the mission and purpose of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council’s Transportation and Neighborhood Safety Committee.

The Transportation and Neighborhood Safety Committee develops recommendations and proposes actions to the SLNC Board on policy, plans, programs, projects and budgets related to mobility, mobility-related issues and public works, and neighborhood safety concerns, such as crime.  TNSC also coordinates responses to questions about transportation and safety issues and works with the appropriate city services and officials to resolve issues.

What are the most common transportation and public safety issues in Silver Lake?

Based on observations and discussions with constituents, the most common issues related to this committee are traffic, road conditions, pedestrian safety, crime, and power outages.

In my immediate neighborhood, there is significant traffic congestion on Hyperion, Rowena and Virgil Avenues, along with the resulting increased traffic on small, neighborhood streets (WAZE impact). The condition of streets and poor road surface conditions in many areas are also concerns, as well as the difficulty in getting quality services from many city departments. There have also been significant issues with power outages. When individual efforts are made to address these concerns with city departments (e.g., LADWP) often times there is little or no effective response.  TNSC is committed to serving as an advocate for stakeholders looking for answers and solutions.

Please explain how you learn about a problem or concern and how the TNSC works to resolve the issue.

We learn about problems or concerns based on our own observations and discussions with neighbors and residents. We also receive emails and calls from constituents. The committee can elevate these issues to a community level and has the opportunity to constructively address a given situation.

What departments and which elected officials do you work with most often? Please explain how the process works.

We work with our L.A. city councilmembers, their staff and city department managers, and other related organizations or individuals to review concerns and ask them to attend our meetings to discuss the issues. We then bring our findings to the SLNC Board for review and further action, as needed.

Does the committee recommend that the SLNC Governing Board look at certain issues in Silver Lake? Please give an example.

As mentioned above and in our mission statement, the committee will bring issues and relevant city staff to meetings and develop motions for the SLNC Board to consider, as needed. We also schedule special community meetings, such as the recent meeting with LADWP to discuss power outage issues and solutions.

Please give an example of a community problem the committee resolved successfully.

Both of the co-chairs have been involved in successfully creating parking permit districts, which have significantly improved the quality of life in the immediate areas.

Every community in L.A. has transportation and safety concerns. Are there any that are unique to Silver Lake?

I think our issues are similar to many other neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The neighborhood councils often work together in addressing problems that cross multiple communities. This process amplifies our voices, and we often can accomplish things that we would not be able to on an individual basis.

What are TNSC’s goals over the next two years?

Our goal is to provide a forum to address problems and create solutions on transportation, neighborhood safety, and public works.

If a person is interested in serving on this committee, are there special requirements?  How can people become involved?

There are no special requirements at this time, just come to our meetings! In order to schedule an issue as an agenda item, all you need to do is email the TNSC about any issue you would like to review and we will reach out to discuss and determine the best way forward.

Doug Loewy

Doug Loewy is a native Angelino and has been a Silver Lake resident for the last 16 years. He is general counsel for a firm specializing in health care centers and is also a representative for Region 1 of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council.

“It has been exciting to watch our neighborhood evolve. At the same time, neighborhood and city issues exist which require immediate attention including parking, homelessness, traffic and public safety. After working for several months on the RV parking situation, I realized that I want to advocate for the neighborhood on the issues facing Silver Lake and make sure our voices are heard.”

Tony Michaelis

Tony Michaelis lives on Shadowlawn Avenue, near West Silver Lake and Rowena, with his husband Frank and their dog, Bailey. (Tony has lived on Shadowlawn for more than 25 years.) He recently retired from a career in healthcare management, spending the last 20 years at the UCLA Medical Center. His interest in the Transportation and Neighborhood Safety Committee stems from his involvement in successfully implementing a parking permit district on Shadowlawn.

“Obtaining a parking permit district significantly improved the quality of life for residents, and the experience made me realize that the city can be a resource. It also showed me that the process to accomplish things could be very difficult.  I believe my experience working for a large organization and finding ways to get things done can help address transportation and safety issues. I am determined to hold our city representatives and departments accountable for providing quality services in a timely and efficient manner. I look forward to working with the community to make that happen.”