Man’s death leads to new Echo Park stop signs

New stop signs were installed this morning at the intersection of  Echo Park Avenue and Lucretia avenue more than six months after a 65-year-old man was struck and  killed by a car as he crossed the street near the same intersection.  The death of  Aureliano Polanco, who was struck on April 11 by an Audi traveling northbound on Echo Park Avenue near his home,  prompted Council District 13 to request a study to determine if stop signs or other measures were needed to improve safety.

The study, conducted by Department of Transportation,  concluded stop signs were needed:

The combination of parked vehicles and street trees restrict the visibility of Westbound vehicles to see the southbound vehicles. The removal of on-street parking to improve the visibility is not feasible at this  time due the heavy on­street parking demand. Therefore, the stop signs, as described in the. Determination, are justified and will provide safe and efficient movement of vehicular and pedestrian  traffic.

The motorist  who hit Polanco, Gregory Andrew Fein of Chino Hills, was arrested on arrested and booked on vehicular manslaughter.

Gideon Webster, who lives near the intersection, said he welcomed the the installation of the new stop signs this morning near his home.

“It’s about time!  It’s a terrible intersection,” said Webster via email. “Now if only there were a way to keep people from rolling through it like they do at the other stop signs.”

Here’s a copy of the Traffic Control Report that determined stop signs were needed to at Echo Park and Lurectia Avenues:



  1. so sad that a tragedy has to occur in order for the city to open their eyes on the dangers with intersections in residential areas.

    • Agree – it’s embarrassing that we have a City Council (some Councilmembers worse than others) who so often seem to use a sort of “post-mortem” strategy of governance… “only take the trouble to get something done when a needless death forces action…otherwise too much trouble and much easier to just do photo-ops.”

      • Do you live near this intersection? When you noticed it was dangerous, did you practice civic responsibility and inform your council member’s office? They can’t be everywhere at once. They rely heavily on information they receive from concerned citizens. If you informed them, and they never responded or did anything about it, then you are justified in your comment. Otherwise, stop your whining. How many other people in the neighborhood, drove down this street day in and day out, thought it was dangerous, and never encouraged our council to look into it. Again, people taking action after it is too late.

        • Thanks “what did you do”.

          Thanks for putting Mr. and Mrs. Monday morning quarterback in their place…

        • Yes – I have. Spent many many many hours of my time on these issues…going down to City Hall for meetings, Neighborhood Councils and local community groups.

          There are more people than you think who take the time to work on projects, deal with City Departments, make phone calls, organize neighbors into effectual groups, pass out flyers, etc.

        • Hey now, there are more people than you think who actually do things in their communities instead of just complain (especially on this site).

          Aren’t you doing exactly what you are complaining about? Complaining about people who complain instead of doing things? Why don’t you post some city council phone numbers or email?

          In that spirit, junk mattresses and furniture are problem on my street, here’s info to get rid of yours:

          Bureau of Sanitation (BOS) will pick-up your large or bulky household items, such as mattresses, couches, and other furnitures from all residents serviced by the City of Los Angeles free of charge. To make arrangements to have these items removed from your curbside, please call us at 1-800-773-2489, from Monday through Friday, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m., at least one day before your regular collection day. Bulky items are collected on the day of your regular trash collection day. One can also make request online at: http://san.lacity.org/solid_resources/refuse/services/bulky_items.htm

  2. Not a fan of this. Distracted motorist will still kill, this will just make more noise and congestion in the neighborhood. The gang across from fix is a much bigger problem than a stop sign.

    I unfortunately worry that distracted drivers will still hit people… Stop sign or not. Just put a community lapd substation in the elementary school!

  3. I agree with JR, it’s sad it takes a lost life to get any traffic calming done in LA.

    There’s countless other unmarked crosswalks and non-signalized intersections all over this part of town that are just accidents waiting to happen (that dodgy crosswalk by the Silver Lake basketball courts, Sunset/Mohawk, Temple/Laveta, et al.)

  4. RIP Aurelio Polanco, neighbor who lived on Echo Park Ave. for decades, and raised three children with his wife.

  5. I regularly drive on this street.. Drivers need to slow down! They drive so fast on this residential street..

  6. I think this is a big mistake.

    It is a tragedy that anyone was killed, much less hurt. But a single accident in an eon does not a traffic hazard make! And in fact, as from the original reporting, this accident seemed more due to a negligent driver not paying attention (maybe on a cell phone!) than anything else. I drive that stretch regularly, and there is no visibility issue, you can see plenty far ahead!

    Jamming on the brakes at every other block for unnecessary stop signs is not an intelligent plan. It is just a knee-jerk reaction. There might be places that actually do have circumstances that call for a stop sign to be put in,but this is not one of them.

    • Paul – you don’t think that if you are honestly jamming your bakes for the stop signs on E.P. Ave. you might be going too fast and thus are proving the need for just such stop signs?

    • I live on Lucretia. Every day I stopped at the bottom of the hill, I cursed the gods of road signage for not putting a stop sign there. It’s on a curve, limiting visibility, and cars always drove faster than the posted limit. A minor inconvenience to those going the entire length of Echo Park Blvd. is more than justified when lives are at risk. More stops means you can’t maintain a high speed, and that’s alright with me.

  7. As much as I hate the amount of stop signs on my way home at the top of Echo Park Ave, I can’t help but wonder if this will also address the other issue: People using Echo Park Ave / Landa as a shortcut around Glendale to the 5.

  8. echoparkhasbeengoodtome

    ive lived in echo park for 12 years, currently on lucretia ave. it is a crap shoot everytime i pull out of lucretia onto echo park ave, i look left and right repeatedly and at a certain point have to just hit the gas pedal and hope for the best. and every time, i think of the long time resident who was killed crossing the street right at that intersection and feel sad for all involved. today when i came down lucretia and saw men installing stop signs, i was really happy. not often that there is an action taken to resolve problems.

  9. We emailed them repeatedly years ago when we almost got into a car accident (we still have the emails) and they always shut us down. It took a man dying for them to listen and those are the cold hard facts.

  10. As a resident of Echo Park Avenue and a parent of two small children it is great news to have those stop signs installed. Drivers need to slow down –including DASH!

    • The man behind the wheel of the car that killed Mr. Polanco actually was not speeding, though I agree that often people go way too fast up and down the length of echo park ave.

      He was adjusting his “blue tooth” (whatever that is), and within the posted speed limit. He was not looking out the windshield, and ran a person down. Speeding had nothing to do with it. Drivers need to put their devices away and focus on driving, when they are, indeed, driving. He was utterly at fault and I bet he never again messes with a device and drives simultaneously, but it is too late for him. Not, however, for the rest of us. Pay attention and be safe, and avoid ruining your life and at the same time someone else’s. The poor driver will never recover probably, and Mr. Polanco is dead.

  11. The more stop signs in Echo Park the better! Now if we can get some “slow down” signs on the Baxter Street freeway, maybe we can prevent a child from being hit while walking to school. Does anyone know how to go about this?

    • Does your name imply you’re a part of the gang in the neighborhood? If so, you should be more concerned with your cohorts shooting children than with them getting run over by cars going the speed limit.

  12. This is a HORRIBLE event, but this stop sign is annoying as hell and not the proper answer! There is already a stop sign at Effie, only 315 feet away!! How is this a solution? I have watched people BLOW through that stop sign numerous times!

  13. I live at Ewing and Echo Park Avenue. And you don’t know how many people blow through that stop sign going Southbound on Echo Park Avenue. They are usually the parents and teachers leaving from Elysian ES who are always in a hurry to get to wherever they are headed to. This is very sad that a person was killed due to another driver not paying attention.

  14. It was not the gang that killed this innocent man,but one of these pilgrams! Stop pointing the finger at the gang house,and respect the ones that really keep the rift out of here…I guess you would rather have some other gang up the avenue with no respect at all like,eighteen street or mara salvatrucha! I think the locals that are here keep Echo Park seasoned well! EXP wouldn’t be what it is without them,so if you don’t like it keep pushing and go back to south dakata or montana or something!

  15. Even tho a stop sign is there, people still drive thru like its not there, even bicyclists drive right thru non stop.
    It won’t be long before another person is killed at this intersection. A motor officer needs to be posted there every morning to catch em.

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