Signs of bad traffic loom over Echo Park

Last week saw city work crews install two massive metal posts and signs across Sunset Boulevard. Officially known as “changeable message signs” or CMS, the structures – located near Portia Street in Echo Park and White Knoll Drive at the base of Victor Heights – cost $240,000 each and will flash messages and warnings about traffic conditions,” said Laura Keller with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. The signs – which can also be found near the Coliseum, Staples Center and other heavily congested areas – will be up and running in time for the first Dodger game next month, according to a department employee who was part of the crew installing the sign at Sunset near Portia. “CMS broadcasts information about downstream delays, traffic incidents, estimated travel time, and special events,” according to a Public Works document. “Displaying accurate information on CMS helps commuters assess traffic, alleviates driver stress and allows drivers to make better decisions. ”

But it’s not clear what better decisions Dodger fans will be able to make in game day traffic since both message signs – which will be topped by the words “Echo Park” – stand only about three blocks away from the stadium gate off Sunset Boulevard. At that point, the only option for Dodger fans is to head into residential side streets. So what are these signs going to say? Messages like “Turn Around, ” “Taco Truck at Douglas St.” and “If you lived here, you’d be stuck in traffic, too” are probably not going to fly past the traffic engineers.

Top photo by The Eastsider; bottom image from LADOT

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