Friday, October 21, 2016

Will Echo Park drivers pay attention to new warning beacon?

Warning beacon would be placed on Sunset Boulevard as it bends over Glendale Boulevard

Warning beacon would be placed on Sunset Boulevard as it bends over Glendale Boulevard

ECHO PARK — City officials are working to install a flashing beacon and traffic warning sign on Sunset Boulevard in light of recent crashes.

Councilman Mitch O’Farrell has introduced a City Council motion to spend $5,000 on a 24-hour beacon and sign that would be installed on a section of Sunset that curves as it crosses over Glendale Boulevard. The goal is to warn eastbound motorists that they’re approaching a stop light around the curve at Lemoyne Street,  where two crashes have taken place in recent months, said Council District spokesman Tony Arranaga.

The proposal to install the warning beacon was made following a mid-day crash in early August in which an eastbound vehicle on Sunset slammed into a parked pickup truck, which flipped over on its side and landed on the sidewalk in front of a restaurant. In December, a vehicle in a pre-dawn, hit-and-run destroyed parking meters, a couple of bike racks, street sign, and street tree, Arranaga said in an email.

A few blocks west, a new traffic signal and crosswalk is also planned for the “Mohawk Bend,” a stretch of Sunset that bends to the south near Mohawk Street. The bend has a reputation for auto collisions, with motorists losing control as they take the curve too fast. In 2009, a 21-year-old driver was killed when her car -traveling at at estimated 70 miles per hour – skidded out of control and slammed into the corner of Lucy’s Laundrymart.

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  1. Very good idea. Can’t happen fast enough. That bend is too dangerous.

    • The bend itself isn’t dangerous. There aren’t any blind spots and it’s not unusually sharp. The only dangerous element is the simple fact that some drivers aren’t that great behind the wheel. A blinking light is not going to help that but by all means, go ahead and put it up if it makes you feel civic.

      • Speed is the issue. People drive Sunset like it’s a highway… not sure the best answer to that problem, but blinking lights seems kind of ham-fisted. Maybe a short tree-lined median that narrow drivers field of view, signaling them to slow down?

        • No, corner soul, you always make such villianizing and baseless generalizations about all drivers. You’re simply very prejudiced.

          Yes, both of these accidents on their face were people way out of speed limit range — a car going 35 mph (or even 45 mph) is not going to flip over a parked pickup truck if it hits it, and neither is someone going such speed going to lose control and run off the road on that curve.

          But that is simply two over many, many years — maybe two out of a million drivers in the same time. That hardly means all drivers are flying down there at high speed, as you always assert is going on on every single road everywhere. It doesn’t even mean there is any problem at all — other than those two very isolated drivers.

          The state of humanity is such that jerks and idiots exist and will do such things no matter what, whether they are drivers, bikers, pedestrians or anyone else. That does not mean all drivers, bikers, pedestrians or anyone else should be hindered or barred.

          • Clearly you don’t live in the area, or are biased yourself. Speeding and tailgating is quite common in Los Angeles (and the primary cause of collisions.). Check out the traffic data in the city’s Mobility Plan. 36,000 Angelenos injured or killed in traffic collisions every year (100 people every day!) Nearly half of those are pedestrians (Double the national average!)

            To claim that people don’t routinely speed would be about as disingenuous as me suggesting cyclists don’t roll stop signs, or pedestrians don;t cross mid-block. Everyone bends the rules. The problem is our streets are not designed to be very forgiving of human error. The stakes are too high, and daily carnage is the price we pay for engineering our streets for speed over safety.

          • Correction: tailgating is #1 cause of collisions; speeding is #4 (after running lights, and DUI’s respectively.) However, the chance of death when being struck by a vehicle driving 40 or higher is about 80%… at 20 or lower it’s only 5%.

            Speeding kills, traffic engineers have known this for a long time. More progressive cities have calmed traffic flow in areas of the city where pedestrians, cyclists, buses and motorists all share space, and seen traffic fatalities drop dramatically. LA can do the same with minimal investment.

            Or we can just throw our hands in the air, and say it’s A-Ok that our streets are deadly, unpleasant places for anyone not encased in 2000 pounds
            of steel. Which begs the question, will the folks who are so vehemently opposed to traffic calming (largely baby boomers, some Gen-X) still be commuting, or driving even, in 2035?

          • Sandy clearly doesn’t live in our area. First off, the traffic has increased massively over the last 10-15 years. In addition, due to the vast increase in clubs, bars and restaurants, there are far more people driving while intoxicated (folks, just take Uber and drink all you want!). The L.A. penchant for tailgating gets a lot of folks in trouble, for sure, but those of us locals have noticed the HUGE spike in j-walking/running just in the last three years. Because there are no parking facilities, people can’t park safely close to where they plan on eating, socializing and drinking, so they park three blocks up a hill, across Sunset Blvd. I can’t tell you how many of these people dart out in traffic every single night that I’m driving home on Sunset. There *will* be deaths unless and until people either change their habits (that’s never going to happen) or the city helps remind people to *slow down* and be aware of these blind curves. The city is being proactive, due to the behavior I’ve listed. I applaud the installation of these lights. Who the hell would oppose something like this – something so easy and potentially effective?

  2. I ride my bike 4 or more days a week from Hollywood to my home in Echo Park and feel as though I risk my life at least 2 days of commuting or just riding. I was almost killed when hit 2 years ago and do not want to go through anything like that again. The drivers can be pretty awful in certain parts of Sunset. They don’t understand the bike lane and use it for dropping off people or parking half way into the bike lane. I obey all laws just like I would if I was driving my car and people still harass me and I’m always respectful. I hope this “War” will come to an end so we can all be safe.

    • Why risk your life? If it’s that dangerous find another route!

    • Culturally Unwelcoming

      yes, you must be taking a seriously bad route if you feel that endangered. I ride quasi-regularly from Silver Lake to Culver City and back, and while it can occasionally feel like urban combat, I sure don’t feel like my life’s in danger every other day (and if I did, I certainly I wouldn’t do it). for most long commutes across L.A., it’s not necessary to spend the bulk of your time on major car routes.

      • Have you ridden on Sunset Blvd? I do it all the time, day and night – and, no, it’s not an option to ride on any other major thoroughfare. You want cyclists to instead ride on the hilly sidestreets, where no one expects them to be, and there are no street lights? Remember, this is SL/EP, where a streetlight on a residential street is like a unicorn. We’re safer on Sunset. Instead of berating the cyclist, try taking on the drivers. Useless, to be sure, but many of us don’t have any other option but to cycle on Sunset.

  3. “No Crashes Allowed – Next 200 Yards”

    • Probably more helpful than the proposed solution.

      • How about instead of bitching, you come up with a better idea? It’s always easy to sit there and attempt to think up some trolly zinger from your mobile device, but try instead to use your brain cells to think up alternative solutions, if you’re so against the current one? I’m pretty sure your mom – and any boss you’ve ever had – has had this discussion with you and Barry before.

  4. Performers at The Echo stopping in traffic lanes to unload their equipment don’t help the cause here either.

  5. 70 mph on an intersection area that is busy around the clock? Sounds more like foolish driving than a dangerous curve.

  6. “If you need a sign to tell people to slow down, you designed the street wrong.”


  7. What a complete non solution to the speeding problem.

    • There is no speeding problem there. That kind of talk is just hyperbole.

      • Your head is firmly shoved in the sand, Sandy. “Nope, there’s no issue here. I never see anybody speeding down Sunset. It just doesn’t happen. Now get all these stupid pedestrians and bikes out my way so I can haul ass”

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