The lights of Sunset

Sunset Boulevard and Coronado Street

There was a time when slow moving evening traffic on Sunset Boulevard through Echo Park and Silver Lake could frequently be blamed on a Dodger game. That’s no longer the case as tonight’s long lines of cars, trucks and buses showed that Sunset Boulevard evening traffic is often jammed year around. Shortly before 6 p.m, eastbound traffic was virtually bumper to bumper from near Benton Way in Silver Lake to Alvarado Street in Echo Park. Meanwhile, westbound Sunset was a solid line of red tail gate lights beginning  near Portia Street in Echo Park.  Alvarado Street seems to be the epicenter of the Sunset Boulevard Parade of Lights.


  1. something has to be done about the timing of the light at Sunset and Alvarado. There’s traffic all the time… it really sucks

  2. This is my daily left turn…sigh. Indeed it sucks.

  3. I have an idea. Lets make it one lane in each direction and add a bike lane, like some shit head sugested we do on Rowena about a month back. That should fix the problem.

    • Bravo! You hit it on the mark.

      Yes, find the route to all freeways, and narrow them to a single lane. This is such twisted and stretched thinking, even b0lstered by quite dishonest arguments.

  4. I have an idea – how about resolving to leave your car home once in a while and find another way to get where you need to be. Either that or widen Sunset to six lanes in each direction.

    • Speaking of six-laners, if the freeway system’s original plan had been implemented this section of Sunset would be in the vicinity of an elevated neighborhood-destroying freeway connecting the end of the 2 Freeway all the way to Santa Monica that no doubt would be gridlocked with Robin Pattons choking on fumes and hating on any and all who might suggest alternatives that threaten their obsolete way of traveling.

      • There is nothing obsolete about driving a car, especially on long commutes — and these people headed to the freeway by way of Alvarado and Glendale Blvd. are on long commutes.

        Also, as we are in the middle of converting to electric and other non-polluting cars, fumes are less and less a consideration — that is an obsolete argument.

        • Mark, I apologize if I offended you with the term I used and you are right of course. Automobiles and their evolution toward increasing efficiency is not obsolete. It is our dependency upon it as a sacrosanct mode that is anachronistic.

          • No, it is not anachronistic. You are pejorative, and in doing so are twisting reality.

            You merely see “cars,” which in your mind is equated with evil. Actually, all it is is people, whether in a small car or on a bicycle. If you have a million cars on the road and 10 bicycles (actually, there are a lot fewer than 10 bicycles on the road, because hardly anyone wants that), it will seem like if everyone road a bicycle, there would no longer be crowds. Yet in reality, if you had a million bicycles on the street and only 10 cars, bicycles would seem to be the evil ones jammed up in traffic, not cars.

            The issue isn’t cars or bicycles. It is density of population. You fail to see this, instead would compound the problem of density of population by making it as difficult as possible for that population to get around.

          • Mark, counter to your assumption of my inability to see it, I agree that population density is a key aspect of the issue. And as relates specifically to Los Angeles and the Southern California region, population sprawl is another important component, forcing people to remain so reliant on their vehicles. But you go ahead and insist that my motive in embracing alternative modes and/or road design concepts is to make it as difficult as possible for you to get around — that’s neither twisted nor pejorative in the slightest.

          • Actually, if it was a million bicycles on the road and 10 cars, the traffic would be much less bad. You can easily fit five or six people on bicycle in the space that a single car takes up.

            Of course, far better would be a million people in buses and only 10 bicycles or cars.

            The issue isn’t density of population, it’s the mismatch between population density and transportation density. If you take a moderately dense neighborhood like silver lake and put all the people in cars, then it looks as congested as if you take a somewhat more dense neighborhood like downtown and put all the people in buses.

  5. I don’t know where you have been for the past several decades. Rush hour traffic has always been like that in that area, its nothing new.

    And the issue at Alvarado is because that is the route to the freeway. Its been the route to the freeway for many decades, and has had heavy traffic all that time.

    • Agreed. I’ve been here 20+ years, it has always been like that during rush hour.

      Nothing new here (except new residents), nothing to see, move about your business.

  6. @ mr. rollers: good idea. I have no other way to get to work besides my car (correction, I could take I think 5 buses and a 1/2 hour trip would be about 3) but when the weekend comes, my car doesn’t leave my garage. I mostly walk or take a bus to anything local.

  7. Get ready for the traffic to be this bad further west as well once they build those condos at Sunset Junction.

  8. And don’t forget what’s going to happen once they build the stadium downtown.

  9. In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem

  10. It’s a no-brainer to run a streetcar up Sunset from Union Station to at least Sunset/Vermont. The density and ridership are there. Will someone please work on this already?

    • How is it a ‘no-brainer’? A steetcar takes up lanes that are being used by cars or bicycles. Not to mention the YEARS of construction that would close down many lanes.

      Finally, how would a streetcar be faster than the Metro buses that already run that route?

      So we got the costs of building it, the YEARS of construction related traffic/congestion, the years of increased traffic due to the streetcar (lanes sacrificed or cars needing to yield to it), and in the end probably no time saved over using the Metro buses that already run that route?

      • If you give streetcars (or buses) dedicated lanes, along with ticket kiosks to speed up boarding, it adds significant road capacity to move more *people* faster than buses and cars in mixed traffic. However, this would be at the expense of motorists as you mentioned. A “cut and cover” underground light rail line would solve both of these problems, but density along Sunset is still relatively low and Metro’s got about 30+ years of projects ahead of this in the queue.

        Personally, I don’t think traffic moves too slow on Sunset, even compared to major thoroughfares in cities 1/10 our size… it’s just “stop-and-go”, which is irritating. If anything, it could use a bit of signal syncing (assuming that hasn’t been done yet), pedestrian improvements and traffic calming to smooth speeds throughout the day (moving cars steadily at 25-30mph, instead of jerking from 0-40mph between each light — less stressful/same travel time).

        • Even with dedicated lanes streetcars still have to stop at lights like cars. Yes it would still be faster than current buses (assuming same qty of stops), but I don’t think it would be significantly faster. Speedwise i doubt the actual speeds would exceed a buses (assuming they still allow parking on Sunset). Really seems like the law of diminishing returns here, nothing close to a ‘no-brainer’ IMO.

          And yeah, I don’t think traffic on Sunset in the eastside is that bad compared stretches of Sunset through Hollywood/west-hollywood.

          • …but traffic on Sunset in the eastside would be WAY worse than current traffic on Sunset further west, if lanes are sacrificed for streetcars….

    • Make the Trains run on Time …. He He He !

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 *