BY CECILIA PADILLA-BRILL
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