LADOT gives a green light to new traffic signal at Echo Park’s Mohawk Bend

Pedestrians jay walking through traffic on the Mohawk Bend

Pedestrians jay walking through traffic on the Mohawk Bend

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Masa of Echo Park


ECHO PARK –– Pedestrians who now sprint through speeding traffic on Sunset Boulevard near Mohawk Street — a risky jaunt dubbed The Mohawk Dash — will be able to more safely cross the busy street with the installation of a traffic signal in the future, or at least, when funding is found.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation recently approved installing a traffic signal at the intersection along a curving stretch of Sunset dubbed the Mohawk Bend. The agency conducted a field investigation in response to the concerns made by dozens of residents, property owners, LAPD and Council District 13 about the intersection’s vehicular and pedestrian safety issues.

The department’s field study and report recommending a traffic signal took into account the 36,000 plus vehicles that pass the stretch of Sunset Boulevard daily, the presence of Los Angeles Fire Station #20 at the corner, recent traffic collisions, pedestrian safety issues and the influx of retail stores and restaurants.

The bend has a reputation for auto collisions, with motorists losing control as they take the curve too fast. In 2009, a 21-year-old driver was killed when her car -traveling at at estimated 70 miles per hour – skidded out of control and slammed into the corner of Lucy’s Laundrymart.

However, the traffic signal will not be installed until funding is identified. In the meantime, pedestrians will continue to participate in the Mohawk Dash, and the risk of traffic accidents will continue at the Mohawk Bend. Perhaps the jaywalking tickets issued by the Los Angeles Police Department could be a source of funding?

Cecilia Padilla Brill is a communications writer and journalist. She writes news, health, education and feature stories. Cecilia is currently working on her first novel. She has lived in Echo Park since 1999


  1. Finally! This will save lives!!!

    • Hello

      How will this save lives?

      Just because people are breaking the laws by crossing the street illegally every time, doesn’t mean that putting a new light in that intersection is going to save anyone’s life…

      You want to save a life?

      cross at the designated marked cross paths, and stop enabling stupid lazy people who just want to cross anywhere because they abuse the pedestrian right away laws just to save a few seconds of their miserable life and purposely endanger themselves and the drivers on the road.

      Putting cost on the tax payer again for a problem that should never be even an issue here is one of the most time wasting things I have ever seen posted so far. Every person crossing this part of Sunset should be cited or even arrested for knowingly endangering themselves and the public abroad driving through that part of town,

      You want to save a life? walk in the marked cross walks you lazy ignorant assholes, we all went to school to know how to read and obey those rules…..OH wait it all comes down to choice and who the fuck cares, if they hit me Ill sue them…

  2. This is great. For now people should just go down the street to the light to cross safely, I’d never think to cross there. Traffic can’t see you and drivers are way too speedy there. It seems like drivers/pedestrians don’t take seriously how easy it is to be injured in a traffic accident.

  3. This will back up traffic all the way to Lucille westbound and to ceasar Chavez eastbound. All because theses peds won’t walk a block to cross the street. Idiot at DOT will stop at nothing grind LA and the Eastside to a halt. Thanks Mitch Auful. And you lazy stupid careless pedestrians.

    • Oh noes homies! Maybe if you and your jackass friends didn’t speed around the corner and plow into Lucy’s and the Fire Department on the regular, they wouldn’t have had to consider putting a crosswalk there.

  4. They should just probably install a pedestrian crossing not another traffic light. Besides it’s just customers from those Restaurants who are trying to do the Mohawk Dash!

  5. Nice… that’s a pretty sketchy stretch of road, for all modes of travel. It’s unfortunate that neighborhood parking meter revenue isn’t dedicated right back into the immediate area, funding these kinds of local improvements (instead of going into the city’s slush fund.)

    Also, I noticed they’re putting in sidewalk bulb outs up by Sunset Junction too. Nice to see the DOT start taking other modes of travel more seriously.

  6. Now we just need a crosswalk in front of Guisado’s

  7. God forbid people walk a couple of blocks west or east and use either of those crosswalks. This is such a bad idea, shows you who has the power in this neighborhood.

    • It’s not even a couple of blocks, its just like 2-300 feet to Rosemont crosswalk. It’s ridiculous to put another light there just to cater to lazy people.

    • Aldo Thee Apache

      God forbid people should slow the f–k down on that curve and not plow into pedestrians or LAFD or the laundromat.
      Shows you what the bad apples have wrought.

    • It looks like the people who live in the neighborhood have the power, not the people who want to use its streets as a highway

  8. It wasn’t always called “jaywalking”. Read this if you’ve got a few minutes:


    • God forbid people drive a few blocks south and use the 101 freeway instead of using Sunset as a cut-through.

      • sorry mr rollers, this comment was meant for seriously?

        • How dumb are you to think that Sunset Blvd is a cut-through? Everyone knows Temple Street is the cut-through, far less lights and traffic. Sunset Blvd is a way for people to get to and from their homes and they shouldn’t have to stop every other block because businesses feel they will lose money if people can’t cross right in front of their business.

          • ” It takes me 30 minutes as it is to drive from Hollywood down Sunset/Cesar Chavez to Boyle Heights (i live right Chavez so its the easiest way to get home). This is going to make that drive a lot less tolerable”

            -Bobby Salsa
            April 28, 2015 at 3:33 pm

            O.M.G! How dumb was I to think that people use Sunset as a cut-through.

  9. This is ridiculous. There are 2 cross walks and lights and nearby intersections. This is just going to slow down and congest traffic even more. It takes me 30 minutes as it is to drive from Hollywood down Sunset/Cesar Chavez to Boyle Heights (i live right Chavez so its the easiest way to get home). This is going to make that drive a lot less tolerable

    • I think you’re in the very small minority here. Not only will this help pedestrians, it’ll help firetrucks coming out and backing into the firestation right there. Might be time to look at different routes — Temple is still very unimpeded.

      • The firetrucks already have their own dedicated signal.

        I’ll reserve my judgment until I see how it looks, but I’m skeptical about putting another signal in when it’s so close to the other two. It’s seriously a 90 second extra walk to go to Rosemont or Alvarado. It seems like it’s rewarding the bad behaviour of the jaywalkers to put this in.

    • Hey dummy, take Temple. Everyone knows Temple Street is the cut-through, far less lights and traffic.

  10. Dumb. Just like the Rowena bike lanes no one uses and that totally ruined the street.

    LAPD should enforce jaywalking laws and folks should take responsibility for their own safety, walk a short distance and use the existing traffic signals/crosswalks.

    • Yeah, we certainly don’t want to ruin streets by encouraging walking and cycling… better to be able to drive through at high speeds, then to encourage local commerce and a sense of community.

      • Walking and cycling are GREAT! Being a pedestrian and/or cyclist does not give one the right to ignore rules, laws or common sense. Corner Soul, are you in favor of a giant nanny state to be commonsense for those who refuse to have any?

        • LOL, Nanny state? Gimme a break… it’s a crosswalk and some bike lanes. These are dirt cheap neighborhood improvements that boost property values and increase local mobility options. That’s about as small government as it gets.

    • friendly tuxedo cat

      Haha, no way!

      Wait for it … ROWENA BIKE LANES.

      Eastsidearts, you are nothing if not reliable.

  11. If it gets your drive all congested, try walking. I have no sympathy for our car culture anymore. All hail the bike riders and walkers. They will inherit the earth.

  12. Maybe a lighted crosswalk would be a good compromise if everyone gets up in arms about traffic. Even though there will be traffic regardless and forever.

  13. Considering that the Mohawk Bend restaurant is really good for this rapidly changing town, I like it. It protects people like you and me having to cross the street to dine there, and helps with sales for the restaurant. Both are positive things. The DOT will time the traffic light appropriately. They always do. They are engineers who take into consideration all factors discussed here. I wouldn’t worry about increased traffic.

    • “The DOT will time the traffic light appropriately. They always do. They are engineers who take into consideration all factors discussed here. I wouldn’t worry about increased traffic.”

      ok, now i know you’re just a troll.

      • Atom, Atom, Atom…..zzzz….

        The DOT indeed does this. In other words, this is what the DOT does. You know, engineers…

        Take medical advice from doctors. Take legal advice from lawyers. Take cooking advice from chefs. But don’t take any such advice from drummers. One takes drumming advice from drummers.

        • thanks, mr. superiority.

          i’m not a drummer, though i do work in music. i would take drumming advice from a good drummer, but not a poor one. i also have a law degree, and would take legal advice from a good lawyer, but not a poor one. i would take medical advice from a good doctor, but not dr. oz.

          can your supposedly sophisticated brain comprehend the idea that people do their jobs at varying levels of competence? i understand what transportation engineers do, but whether they do it well is another matter. you clearly don’t do much driving around town if you think the LADOT “always” gets it right, as you claim.

          • They don’t always get it right. On that, you and I agree. But we can always point to exceptions. But exceptions are just that, and not the rule. I think we can assume that the engineers will get it right, as they usually do.

            Now, let’s all relax and wait.

          • LADOT’s already tried everything under the sun to increase car capacity in LA, and it’s only made traffic worse… that way lies madness.

    • friendly tuxedo cat

      Yup. DOT’s traffic light timing at Fletcher/Riverside is virtually unnoticeable.

  14. Do any of the motor-heads here believe we as a society have any responsibility to reduce our impact on the environment through changing our transportation habits? Seems more like they have the mindset of “F*ck it, we’re screwed so might as well not try to do anything or change my habits.” Anything that makes walking (and biking) safer and more pleasant is a POSITIVE step forward for this city. Stop whining about pedestrians unwilling to walk 300 feet to a crosswalk (which they would then need to walk 300 feet back when returning when you’re not willing to park more than 100 feet from the entrance of your destination. Hypocrites!

    • whoa dude(non-gender specific) calm down, automobiles are a perfectly reasonable mode of transportation.

    • Decaf.

      The only people I’ve seen people darting across this section of the street are running between a restaurant and their car.

  15. Carsmakepeoplestupid

    The walls are closing in.

  16. It should be pointed out that crossing at this point is not “jaywalking”. Jaywalking is crossing a street between two signalized or controlled intersections. Since there is not currently a signal at Mohawk, you can legally cross the street. Here’s the vehicle code: “21955 CVC – Crossing Between Controlled Intersections – Between adjacent intersections controlled by traffic control signal devices or by police officers, pedestrians shall not cross the roadway at any place except in a crosswalk.”

    And, at the risk of stirring up the car trolls, I think a signal is a good idea. I’ve see a lot of racetrack style driving on this stretch of Sunset.

  17. So instead of using the two crosswalks with signals a block away in either direction these pretentious assholes get their way after months and months of endangering their own and motorists lives?

  18. Bet if a cop was at the corner you wouldn’t have Jay walkers.BOTTOM LINE!

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