Echo Park motorists turn into trouble

Traffic officers seem be spending more time at the junction where Alvarado Street, Berkeley Avenue and Glendale Boulevard meet (some would say collide) in Echo Park. That’s what an Eastsider reader named Monica and her boyfriend discovered on a recent afternoon when he and several other motorists were pulled over at the same time by an officer after turning left from Berkeley Avenue into northbound lanes. Traffic signs say left turns are prohibited on weekdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. but they are too small, Monica said:

“Signage is so inadequate that on any given light change at least 4-5 cars make the ‘illegal’ turn. This afternoon cops stationed …  just north of Berkeley pulled over and cited every one. No warnings. After my boyfriend got ticketed, we passed by the intersection twice while on our errands.  Each time we passed we saw another group of motorists being stopped. the fact that this ‘violation.’  The fact that this ‘violation’ was/is made en masse should indicate that the error lies within the system, not with the motorist.”

Monica wanted to warn other motorists about the tickets.  The Eastsider has contacted the LAPD’s Central Traffic Division to get more details.  Meanwhile, Monica’s boyfriend is waiting to find out how much that citations is going to cost.


  1. This has been going on for at least a week. I walk through there a lot and noticed the same thing. The even sneaker part is that they were on foot standing (or hiding) on the center divider then jumped out in front of cars once they started turning. I think anyone who got one of these tickets should file a complaint regarding signage and contest it. Careful guys!

  2. I got it at that same intersection a couple years ago. The officer stopped me and the car behind me. He WALKED out int the street to flag us down. I thought at first he was some creepy guy in the street and not a cop and almost drove around him until i realized he was indeed an officer (that was screaming at me to pull over) and not a crazy guy in traffic.

    The signs are really hard to see they are off to one side and its a extra wide intersection. I think its a big cash cow for them so they stake the area out. Cuz yanno updating the signs so they are more visible to the public well that would cut into their revenue stream.

    It was a really expensive ticket too. Really expensive.

  3. If the signage in question is the same that’s pictured in the accompanying image, seems to me there’s a possibility that such group violations more than likely result not from any inadequate warning system, but rather from a systemic rationalization by motorists who’ll execute the illegal turn because the car in front of them did it.

  4. I got pulled over at this intersection eight months ago. Didn’t see the signs. Normally I wouldn’t be driving thru this intersection at this time of day but left work early due to feeling ill. I do travel this way many times on the weekends when this restriction does not apply….so really surprised when I got the ticket.

    I turned left into the left lane…had two cars behind me going straight and I had to wait for one car to pass before turning. In no way did I disrupt traffic.

    The traffic cop stepped from the curb and stopped TWO LANES of traffic to pull me over. So who caused the disruption? It’s clear this intersection is a cash cow for the city…and it’s a shame that we working class commuters have to be subjected to this. And I can’t recall but I think the tix was $100…ouch!!!

  5. nobusinesswantedinla

    Yes they also like the light at the dog park off sliverlake heading towards glendale ave. The one with the really steep hill. No left turns between 4pm and 7pm everyday. $300.00 ticket

  6. They have been doing the same thing at Duane and Silver Lake Blvd. every morning.

  7. When that intersection was remodeled a few years back the “no left” signs went up and they’ve been writing those tickets off and on since then. I used to come down Glendale Blvd. on my way home and I’d frequently see cars pulled over there. I wondered why until I figured it out.

    Seems like a bit of a waste, if you ask me – there is lot more far dangerous driving behavior going on everywhere I look – constant speeding, for example.

  8. That’s been going on consistently since the signs went up about four years ago. I got busted there in 2007.

  9. someone should go take those signs down at night. What BS.

  10. How can anyone miss the the signs, you can see them clearly. I say go LAPD Traffic Division go get the violators

  11. Happened to me a couple months after the signs were put up. Same scenario- several cars pulled over at the same time. Fortunately, I only received a warning.

    Turning left at that intersection is the way I have to go to get on the 2 freeway. I now have to backtrack to other streets to just get thrown into the rush hour traffic.

    What is the purpose of the restriction?

  12. @Nicole-

    I believe the purpose of the restriction is to keep traffic flowing south on Glendale Blvd. (i.e. toward downtown). It’s all the traffic entering Glendale after the 2 freeway ends – allowing cars to make left turns during rush hour would impede that south-bound traffic.

  13. Must not allow people who live here to impede commuter traffic.

  14. OOPS HA ! Gee whiz kids you drive like idiots and when you get popped its whine whine whine. Man up and say you fuped

  15. I think it’s to discourage commuters from taking a residential shortcut between the 101 and the 2. North Benton Way, for example, gets an outrageous amount of traffic during commute times, and the way they drive (hurried, fast, and distracted by cell phones) is dangerous on any street, but particularly so on smaller streets with very little room for mistakes.

  16. more ways to rob a citizen!

  17. If the cops want an easy revenue stream they need to start ticketing people who pull into intersections and are still stuck there when the opposing traffic’s light turns green. A major pet peeve! And another: few cops ever follow proper driving guidelines themselves! They seem physically incapable of using turn signals.

  18. There are signs like this all over LA in areas that get a lot of traffic during rush hours. I’d be willing to bet that most people getting “surprised” by these simply ignored the signs like they do all over the city.

  19. I used to live on Allesandro right behind the gas station. Happened to have a day off work and was home during those house and accidently made that left. I never was home normally mon-fri to violate that sign. it was about 3 years ago. Yup $300. The worse part is after that happened, i realized there is very little option to go that way on Glendale that time of day. So the alternatives are way more dangerous than making a left. There are usually only a couple cars coming the opposite way on Berkeley in the other direction so making a left isn’t hard. Not sure why those signs are there.

    Since the other end of my block was right turn only, and going up to the next street makes it immpossible to make a left at a stop sign where no one lets you in, the only option is to go straight on berkley and turn into that tiny strip mall on the corner and turn around which i’m sure they hate, but there is no easy area around there to turn around.

    Believe me I appreciate those signs in some areas like all the way up Alvarado, but it’s easy to just go around the block to get where you are going there. This intersection, its pointless.

  20. This is pure genius. The only people that get cited here are using Benton Way as a through street. Benton Way is a small residential street. If you don’t like the signs, don’t take the street. I think a police officer should be there everyday.

    Stay off of residential streets and you shouldn’t have any problems. There are a million other ways to get to the 2 freeway.

  21. I have lived on the north side of this intersection near Mohawk St. for 18 years. The reason the signs are there (as ap stated above) is to discourage the crazy rush hour traffic flow cutting from Sunset through Benton Way and down Berkeley Ave. Before these signs went up (and sometimes even now because of sporadic enforcement), the cars would back up way past Mohawk every afternoon… Unsafe and way too many cars for this residential neighborhood. There are FOUR SIGNS that say no left turn. I am sure that at least 500 cars a day make that illegal left each day. I would bet that more than 80% are regular commuters that know exactly what they are doing, and also know that it is sporadically enforced. Believe me, I have no love for frivolous tickets, but as a Berkeley Ave. resident, I am happy that this is finally being enforced. I do find it quite interesting, however, to read how many people are pissed about this. There are always two sides to every story;)

  22. Signs too small ? C’mon , really ?

    I drop my moms friend off up on Hathaway Hill sometimes and I’ve seen the sign , and I’ve read it , and I heed it .
    It sucks , yeah , but as a driver you should look around and read all the signs .
    I know the city is hurting bla blah blah , so I tread lightly and not give them any “fuel ”
    So I follow the “rules”

    Simple .

  23. I live in this neighborhood and the no turn restriction is to keep our streets safe. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve nearly been run over by speeding commuters. The signs are obvious. Thank you LAPD for helping make this neighborhood safer.

  24. Is that what that crazy motorcycle cop is doing? I am heading south on Glendale off the 2 to come home and go left on Scott most days. He steps out into Glendale with NO FEAR, in front of oncoming speeding traffic.


  25. Tony Villar needs his money. Stop complaining. Taxes (and this is a tax) are what we pay for civilization.

  26. They are also enforcing the Duane and Silverlake light in the morning. Which is good because they are trying to cut down on people coming off the 2 and driving through residential neighborhoods. If that light gets backed up it can be dangerous because of the steep decline. But it us frustrating for the select few like me who actually live right there on Duane and work west on Silverlake Blvd. My options are risk a ticket or start out of my driveway going uphill with no momentum and then taking an extra 15 minutes to get back onto Silverlake. I wish there was a “local access only” sign which the few residents that actually aren’t just using a shortcut could use.

  27. What Will and Chris said. The signs are plenty big enough, especially since you have probably been sitting there for ages waiting for the light to change. You thought you could sneak through—so, do the crime, pay the fine. There is no way that intersection can handle that much traffic during those hours—the restriction makes perfect sense. It is actually faster, at most times of the day, to use Montana, or even Reservoir, where there are better-timed stoplights, to get onto Alvarado or Glendale northbound. Except, of course, when those a-holes (sorry, but…) block the intersection (Chris’ comment.) I wish a couple of those cops would move south to Montana and bust people for causing gridlock. They’d make a lot more $$$.

  28. I live on Scott Ave and, as others have stated above, Berkley and it’s adjacent side streets are clearly used as a rush hour cut-through. If I were a daily commuter trying to get to the 2, I might be tempted to use it as well, but as I live in the neighborhood, it’s hard to have any sympathy for those who get busted. As for the visibility of the signs, as stated above the intersection is clearly marked and most commuters who get ticketed are simply on rush hour autopilot and not paying attention to signage – probably because they’re focused on making the left.

    Occasional ticketing isn’t going to prevent people from turning left, but if they do it, they’re risking a ticket and should accept the consequences.

  29. I just got a ticket at this intersection yesterday. Have been living here for a year and never noticed The three signs. I was pulled over with 3 other people by police standing in the middle of the road stopping violators. Went to check on the signs to see if they were there and sure enough they were. They look new though. Have they been there since 2011 or were they recently put up again?

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