Motorists will soon be driving around in circles in Cypress Park

Roundabout takes shape | Kevin Break

Roundabout takes shape | Kevin Break

CYPRESS PARK — Engineers say they improve traffic flow and safety. But some drivers find them confusing and unnerving. The roundabout or traffic circle has many fans and foes. Northeast L.A.  drivers will soon be able to decide into which camp they fall into when the city’s first major roundabout, a 100-foot-wide circle, is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year in Cypress Park, according to the Department of Public Works.

Instead of a traditional intersection where streets cross at a single  point, traffic from San Fernando Road, Figueroa Street and the new Riverside Bridge will flow into and out of the circle at different points without stop lights. There will be, however, flashing lights at four pedestrian crossings, and the center of the roundabout will be landscaped and feature a granite artwork, according to information provided by Public Works spokeswoman Tonya E. Durrell.

In addition, triangular median islands will separate traffic in each direction on Figueroa and San Fernando.

The roundabout itself is one of several projects intended to improve an isolated area cut off from the rest of Cypress Park by the 5 Freeway and from Lincoln Heights by the Arroyo Seco Freeway and river channel. The roundabout will be next to a plaza with a computer-controlled fountain and near parkland that is planned for the area around the confluence of the Arroyo Seco and Los Angeles River.

Another large roundabout is in the works for Cesar Chavez Avenue on the border of Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles.

Plan for Cypress Park roundabout

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  1. Oh lord. Do the engineers know how insanely people drive in this area?!

  2. What happened to Avenue 19?

  3. Avoid traffic circles. Most people are too stupid to figure them out.

  4. This should make police chases more interesting.

  5. Fabian o'Phurrel

    This traffic circle has the potential to become the premier location to solicit and pick-up from the supply of available day-laborers.

  6. Are those little white marks arrows, cars or what they’ve got me all over the road. I think the engineers are already confused.

  7. They already tried this in parts of Long Beach and it didn’t work very well. Really dumb idea.

    • if you actually cared to look into the differences between traffic circles and intersections, you’d say otherwise. Traffic circles have been implemented in numerous places from La Jolla up to Santa Maria, to much success.

    • It’s a good idea, they use it in Europe to great effect. It’s just alot of people in LA are too stupid to figure out how they work.

    • We have a large traffic circle in Long Beach at the intersection of PCH, Los Coyotes, and Lakewood. It works great and moves traffic along much more efficiently than a signaled intersection would. Yeah, there’s the occasional idiot going the wrong way but for the most part, it’s good. We also have lots of smaller ones around and they work fine too.

  8. Mythbusters showed that traffic circles move 30% more cars per hour than four-way stop signs.

  9. Traffic circles have been used in most of the world for over a century and are quite effective.. High time for the USA to catch up and start putting them into use more often. That being said…there will be a learning curve which with the way people drive (particularly in LA).. surely will have quite a few accidents in the 1st years.

    • Agreed, especially in Europe. They move the traffic much faster and are easy to understand. Give priority to the cars already on the roundabout!

  10. this is great, they also are much safer, essentially eliminating head on collisions and red light running.

  11. Days until the sculpture is rammed by an errant motorist: ???

    I give it two weeks. I’ll buy the person closest to the number without going over lunch at the nearby McDonalds.

    • Couldn’t get any traction with your first trolling comment under masi gran crit (which is a type of bike y’all) so you decided to switch to your older moniker “ubrayj”? We get it. You run a bike shop, wish that cars didn’t exist, wish that everyone rode bikes instead of driving. We get it. Please move on; your anti-car rhetoric is SO tired.

      • RIAIluvsmasiubrayj02bikeshop

        There aren’t enough real life conspiracies going on to keep you busy so you have to make some up?

      • Wrong. This is not an alternate account for Josef. My name is Mike and I actually own a lime green masi gran criterium if you really need to know. Do you think there’s only one bike advocate in town? Im guessing you think drivers in the area are chill….

        • Oh great, nice to know we have more than one loon in the neighborhood. I was happier when I thought you two were the same loon.

  12. Well…this has been closed for years. Directly impacts me on my way to Mt. Wash to/from work. Looking forward to reopening in whatever form.

  13. Why is no one addressing the criminal amount of time this overpass and adjoining street manipulations has taken? It has to be over 6 years on this single project.
    The bridge that spans over the river is lumpy bumpy and third world quality at best with no consideration for bikes.

    The roundabout is going to be a collassal mess around rush hour or during Dodger games. Once the light at Home Depot gets backed up the entire roundabout is fucked, locked in , frozen. This city’s planning department are either lazy and don’t visit the physical sites or are completely inept in every facit of their job.

  14. I have a roundabout near the entrance of my work and about half the people go the wrong way. Even though there’s a huge yellow sign showing the way of traffic, I’ve just determined LA drivers are way too stupid or impatient to actually use these kind of intersections properly.

  15. @Citizenx ,
    This project pays me monthly and I’m on my 56th month, so 4.5 years, not six.
    Many of the delays are due to the City and various departments trying to coordinate with each other.
    Believe me, the contractor would LOVE to be done with this.

    The bridge is not finished; complaints about quality are premature.
    I’m fairly certain it’s going to be paved with asphalt so complaints about bumpiness are superfluous.
    The viaduct will have (already has) a bike lane.
    Consider the size of the bridge as you drive over it; the actual size is triple.

  16. I, too, have enjoyed the ‘carrefour’ system in France. Yes, it does require paying attention (put down your phones!) but they really are more efficient and I’ve never seen an accident at one (over a 10 year period) while I have and continue to see accidents at
    4-way intersections here in the US.
    I would also like to point people to the roundabouts being used in Pasadena, most specifically the ones on the street you take from the 110 to get to Oak Knoll (and Lake Street). It’s the first right at the end of the 110…
    What I like is the way the roundabout keeps the traffic moving so there are fewer stops and starts.
    And as far as the construction delays, it was the relocation of the sewer and water mains in that area that created the delays.
    They were major pipes, some several feet wide and the services has to be rerouted before the old pipes could be replaced.
    I remember reading information on a blog (streetblog?) and later looked up the City reports on the work.
    Also factor in the problems caused by the breakage of other pipes in other areas of the City which required immediate attention.
    Anyone remember the diversion for the new lines which meant all the construction on North Fig and the York intersection (and the roads leading up to that area)?

    • The roundabouts in Pasadena are more intended as traffic calming measures, to discourage speeding in the neighborhood. Next time you drive through, notice that they’re all 4-way stops.

      This looks to me like a completely different setup, likely intended to encourage speeding (LADOT’s specialty.) Doesn’t really bother me all that much though, since this is in the middle of nowhere. I just hope they don’t try to implement these in densely populated neighborhoods, as I worry it’ll make things even less safe for pedestrians and cyclists than they already are (if that’s even possible.)

  17. Google
    Los Altos Traffic Circle ..Long Beach..or Just Traffic Circle…..
    Created for 1932 Olympics to Route Traffic From US Route 1..ie PCH to
    Long Beach Marine Stadium..venue for Xth Olympiad Rowing Events..so designed by a German Enginer…..

    As circumstances have it…will soon be designated a State Land Mark,,,,or Point of Historical Interest….
    will also have new irrigation system,,to restore green grass….

    Check its history..to US ROUTE 6.,,

  18. David Null, PhD, MScPH

    I went to urban planning school in England so I am well acquainted with roundabouts. The KEY THING to understand is that they do NOT WORK if there is much pedestrian traffic at the rounadbout. I’m not familiar with this location but from the map it looks like that it’s in the middle of a park and that there are pedestrian crossing at all ccorners. Unless provision is made for traffic be stopped when pedestrians need to cross, I can guarantee that it will be a complete failure. If there are large numbers of pedestrians, provision for their safe crossing will slow, frustrate and confuse drivers making the roundabout slower than the regular intersection.

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