CYPRESS PARK — It’s been about two months since the Riverside Roundabout — the city’s first major traffic circle — was officially dedicated. How are motorists dealing with driving around in circles? It seems to be going well, say traffic engineers. But drivers still need to slow down, and city officials are taking steps to make sure things go smoothly during the upcoming season opener at nearby Dodger Stadium.
“Using a multi -lane roundabout is a learning curve,” said traffic engineer Bearj Sarkis with the L.A. Department of Transportation. He said officials would like to see motorists slow down more as they approach the 100-foot wide circle at the junction of Figueroa Street, Riverside Drive and San Fernando Road. Motorists could also be doing a better job yielding for pedestrians at the marked cross walks and for the vehicles in the circle, which have the right of way.
But, overall, “it seems the roundabout is functioning well and as designed,” Sarkis said in an email. “We also are pleased to see cyclists and pedestrians are using the roundabout and the marked crosswalks with the flashing beacons on the 4 approaches.”
More signs advising motorists to slow down and yield at the crosswalks have been installed, and there have been meetings with the LAPD ” in an attempt to improve traffic behavior through signage and enforcement,” Sarkis said.
A big test will come when heavy traffic is expected for the April 3 season opener at nearby Dodger Stadium. Sarkis said flyers — in English and Spanish — on how to use a multi lane roundabout are expected to be ready for distribution before the game.
The Eastsider also asked its Facebook readers to weigh in on the traffic circle. The response was mixed, with many expressing approval but also concern. One reader posted a photo of a crash. Here’s a sample of the comments:
- “The first time was easy because traffic was light. When traffic is heavy it gets a little tricky” — Jeny N. Yan-Araujo
- “I drove around it fine but the a-hole in the huge pick up truck crossed from the middle lane to exit to the right, right in front of me.. good thing I know how to slam on the brakes!” — Kelly Lopez
- “Love it. Faster and safer than at intersection. People just need to learn how to use them. Like how people should learn to use their turn signal and yield the right a way” — Chi Fan
- “The Entrance to “Mr. Toads Wild Ride.” I have nearly collided twice and there’s always confusion as to what’s going on…hate it. Need a STOP sign or two” — Olivia Polanco
- “Being English quite easy really just use your indicator so people know where [you’re] going” — Marcus Baird
More roundabouts are planned for the Eastside. The city has already finished designing a second, multi-lane roundabout at the intersection of Cesar Chavez, Indiana and Lorena streets in Boyle Heights.
Have you driven through the Cypress Park roundabout? It has been more than a month since the traffic circle opened at the junction of Riverside Drive, San Fernando Road and Avenue 19. The Eastside wants to find out what drivers as well as pedestrians and cyclists think of it. We will also be checking in with city transportation folks to find out how it’s performed.
Posted by The Eastsider LA on Thursday, March 16, 2017
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