Message signs without much to say

The city’s Department of Transportation earlier this year installed a pair of $240,000 “changeable message signs”  on Sunset Boulevard to advise and warn motorists of traffic conditions –  primarily before and after Dodger games – in Echo Park.  But, as many Echo Park residents have noticed, the electronic signs – located near Portia Street in Echo Park and White Knoll Drive at the base of Victor Heights – have remained blank most of the time, with the exception of the words “Echo Park” written in blue neon script. Department spokesman Bruce Gillman said the signs became operational late in the baseball season and have been used sporadically. However, he said residents and motorists will be seeing more messages in time for next year’s baseball season as well as other traffic jamming events, such as the Sunset Junction street festival and the Los Angeles Marathon. Gillman said via email:

“Since the signs became operational late last season, we anticipate next year’s Dodger games traffic info to be posted each day a game is played. For the next Dodgers season, we should be able to post estimated travel times from the sign location to the Dodgers Stadium entrance gates, using a series of specially located detectors that are currently being installed specifically for this purpose.”

Related post:
Signs of bad traffic loom over Echo Park. The Eastsider


  1. what a waste of money! you know what would work? if they spent money fixing up the streets of echo park, like the pot holes on echo park avenue. or maybe picking up the trash. but hey, that would be spending money the right way – and that’s not what these people do for a living.

  2. I’m not sure I understand the purpose. What difference does it make to a Dodger fan if it will be 10 or 20 minutes until they get to the game? What would they change?

  3. The guys who study traffic claim that knowing how long it will take to get somewhere stops people from making unnecessary lane adjustments which add significantly to traffic and congestion. That’s why they have them on the highway. If you know it will take 10 minutes you’ll be patient and not, say, pull across three lanes, cut through Angelino Heights, and then come back on Beaudry only to cause more delays which have a ripple effect.

  4. so stupid, such a waste, it’s almost unbelievable. i get pissed every day when i drive by the damn quarter-million dollar thing. stupid, stupider, stupidest.

  5. The signs being a total waste aside, why is the fact that they weren’t operational until late in the season an excuse for not using them for the remainder of the season? Perhaps the quote should have been “We’re going to try to get around to it next year.”

  6. No one really enjoys driving long stretches throughout the city. Why not just post some affirming or funny messages in the off season just to mix things up? Is creativity dead? Apparently, the price tag wasn’t big enough to get anyone to think outside the very small box of what a programable sign can offer. Posting ECHO PARK in lights below script that already reads ECHO PARK is redundant.

    Why not:


    Or a numeric countdown to opening day at Dodger Stadium?

    Put me on payroll!

  7. Well, I’ll say it: $240k for this useless thing and yet they can’t clean up a “landslide” a mile or so west on Sunset?

  8. Why spent $240K looking up while driving? You’ll cause more accident looking up than talking on the phone while driving.

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *