El Sereno meets to discuss Alhambra Avenue safety improvements

Pickup truck slammed into a building in the 5300 block of Alhambra Avenue | Jose Siordia

EL SERENO — City officials are exploring additional ways to improve safety along Alhambra Avenue, where a mother carrying her two-year-old child was killed crossing the street last month.

The office of Councilman Jose Huizar has proposed transferring $10,000 in funds to help pay for preliminary survey work of  safety improvements along the avenue, a four-lane road that runs past a mix of  industrial and warehouse buildings as well as some shops and apartments.

A workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, March 15, to discuss potential improvements. The possibilities range from new center turn lanes and high-visibility crosswalks to  bike lanes and street resurfacing.

The street has been scene of at least two deadly crashes and other collisions during the past year:

  • A pickup truck slammed into a building in the 5300 block — across the street from Holy Grounds — in November.

Council office spokesman Rick Coca said the safety study was not prompted by any single crash. Instead, it is part of an ongoing effort to improve safety along the street. That includes the upcoming installation of a new traffic light on an “S” curve along Alhambra at Lowell Avenue.

“We sincerely hope that people come to this meeting and tell our departments what that change should be,” Coca said. “It was not in response to the heart-wrenching death of Alicia Bello, but that tragedy underscores the need for change on Alhambra Avenue.”

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  1. Tragic.

    But these kinds of streets are dangerous by design.

    It’s very simple, slow the cars.

    When traffic moves at highway speeds through urban neighborhoods, motorists just don’t pay much attention to what’s happening on the sidewalk. I can’t tell you how often turning cars make it half way through an intersection before they even notice me with my baby in the stroller. And I’ve had similar close calls behind the wheel, even though I typically drive like a little old lady.

    I get that cut-through commuters from other neighborhoods and cities just want to get where they’re going ASAP. But what baffles me is when residents of these neighborhoods dig in, and defend the status quo… even arguing against modest safety improvements like traffic signals and road diets.

    Have you never walked your kid to school? Or picked up groceries without your car? You really want to live in a neighborhood where doing either of those tasks is humiliating and dangerous, just to shave a minute or two off your commute?

    Let’s hope that’s not the case here, as it sounds like they actually have the ear of their elected representatives (a daunting feat in a city is large and complicated as Los Angeles.)

  2. Bike lanes that no one uses, that’s the ticket!
    Astounded that traffic enforcement by LAPD is NEVER discussed as part of the solution.

    40mph on a major city street is not “highway speed”.

    • When a pedestrian’s struck by a car at 40 mph, there is an 85% chance of death. This percentage drops to 45% at 30 mph and 5% at 20 mph. Engineering complicated urban spaces for high speeds is just a recipe for disaster.

      • Are you suggesting a 20mph surface street speed in LA?

        • Why not enforce existing traffic laws?

        • Sure, enforce the laws. But better design would curb much of the bad behavior at a fraction of the cost to taxpayers. LAPD has bigger fish to fry.

          I think for most neighborhood streets, a 25mph design speed would be sufficient… top speeds are less important than end-to-end travel times (tortoise and hair.)

          And public safety aside, we do a disservice to the local economy (at the block level) when we allow our commercial corridors to be fast, loud, noisy, nasty places for foot traffic.

          To be clear, I’m not anti-car… I just think we can strike a better balance.

  3. we need a 35 mph design. NO BIKE LANE. light up crosswalks with fresh ppaint to mark cross walks

  4. It seems line the “VisionZero” program that LA is working on really addresses the needs for this street’s situation.
    It’s a unique concept that many cities are beginning to adopt.

  5. concerned el sereno

    I been on alhambra ave for over ten years now, cars had always been speeding on this street, my building has been hit once and i cant even count how many parked cars had been hit, we need to enforce the traffic laws, or i am installing speed humps myself.

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