Echo Park hill gets its own warning sign

Baxter Street west of Vestal Avenue is one of the steepest streets in the neighborhood. In fact,  early automakers would drive new models cars and trucks up the punishing stretch as part of  publicity stunts to show off their vehicles’ endurance and power. But if chugging up Baxter is daunting, reaching the apex of the hill at a steep angle and not being able to see what’s ahead of you (besides the sky and the hood of your car) can also trigger a panic attack or collision.

Maybe that’s why several weeks ago residents noticed the appearance  of new,  yellow signs reading “Hill Blocks View” along several points on the street.  Perhaps a more useful sign would have been “Turn Back Now.”


  1. Man, I remember skating down these hills! What a blast!

  2. That’s great! There needs to be one eastbound on Baxter at Allesandro and westbound on Baxter at Lake Shore as well. Maybe there is now….

  3. I met someone who grew up on Baxter. On weekends her father felt it was his duty to keep an eye out for the panicked. If they stopped, paralyzed with fear, he would approach and offer to drive the car to safety.

  4. It would be nice to have some fish eye mirrors at Alvarado and Baxter. It’s really hard to tell if anyone is coming up the hill when deciding whether to proceed on Alvarado.

  5. I live on the 2100 block of Baxter and have observed individuals driving at dangerous speeds. There is a two-way stop at the intersection of Alvarado and Baxter, some drivers fly through without slowing down, many near misses with other vehicles, and pedestrians crossing on the other side. I have witnessed at least two accidents. When it rains, I can hear wheels spinning as drivers try to make their way up the street. Last year, an individual attempting to drive up the street tried to turn around, the car slid, taking out a corner of my neighbor’s fence. The signs are well intentioned and a good start, the nest step should be speed bumps to address the speeding drivers.

  6. It might also be nice to tell ALL the directional systems that tell drivers how to get from one place to another, that even though, on paper, Baxter might seem to be the shortest distance between most points in the area, you don’t really want to send non-locals up there. Or large vehicles. Or old vehicles. Etc.

  7. Many years ago I witnessed a stretch limo get stuck at the top. Neither the front nor the rear tires were touching the ground, the limo’s underbelly was on the ground! I was walking and I didn’t stick around to see how the driver solved that dilemma.

  8. It would be nice to have speed limit signs that remind motorists that there are speed limits going up and down the hill. As a longtime resident of Baxter Street, I have seen an increase in speeding traffic up and down the hills. Backing out of my drive way in the mornings is like trying to back out on the freeway.

  9. Baxter’s gonna be even more exciting after the 18-unit/2 cars each “Blackbirds” development’s built.

  10. That hill was our launching ramp, for our RM 250’s back when!

  11. Baxter and I go WAY back. In 1980 I had an old Yamaha 50 I would gun up Baxter west of Glendale Boulevard and catch a bit of air coming over the top of Apex. There was always that moment of pure terror and exhilaration when Baxter would drop away and I thought I’d fly all the way out into the Silver Lake Reservoir.

    Then there was the scare around the same time while in my mom’s ’65 Mustang coming west down Baxter toward Lake Shore when the brakes failed about halfway down. I caught air off the first dip and didn’t land until I was half up on the sidewalk across the street.

  12. We used to ride big wheels down from lemoyne to echo park ave. One of the older molina uncles died doing it.

    • I remember that, I was there if it is the guy named Roach a stoner type of dude, we adopted his dog Hasha that day! If its the same guy, I didn’t know he was a Molina? Anyways, the guy I know of went down the hill by the courts by the brown stones on the avenue, he went under the bus of the rear wheel. Wow, we seen him take his last breath. We were doubling up on that big wheel, good thing no one was on the back.

  13. Cheryll Dudley Roberts

    I live a couple blocks from there and drive that intersection and what it needs is not so much a sign as mirrors to be able to reflect cars coming across, including on Alvarado. If I’m at the top of the hill, I can’t seea car coming up the hill on Baxter. It’s impossible to know if another car is going to cross. very dangerous.

  14. I always beep my horn as I approach the Apex so that other cars attempting to drive across will know that I am coming. I will always beep because it makes me feel safer.

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