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North Broadway in Lincoln Heights undergoes safety makeover

New plastic bollards or posts were installed near crosswalks as safety improvements

By BARRY LANK

LINCOLN HEIGHTS — A busy and what many consider a dangerous stretch of North Broadway has, according to transportation officials, been made safer but probably also slower at certain times of the day.

The L.A. Department of Transportation  has made and plans more safety improvements  along Broadway between Avenue 18 and Mission Road, a section that includes the neighborhood’s main commercial strip.

All this comes under the heading of Vision Zero, an action plan mandated by Mayor Eric Garcetti to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2025. Between 2009 and 2017,  five people in motor vehicles and eight people who were either walking or biking were killed or seriously injured in this area,  the LADOT notes.

“North Broadway between Ave 18 and Mission is one of the city’s 40 2017 Vision Zero Priority Corridors that have the highest collision rates that result in death and serious injuries for people walking and biking,“ said  Brian Oh, an LADOT planning associate

The changes on North Broadway do not include the removal of motor vehicle lanes — aka “road diet” — that have proven controversial in Atwater Village, Mar Vista, Silver Lake and other neighborhoods.   However, the city eliminated the “No Stopping” restrictions in the parking lanes during peak morning and evening commuting hours. As a result, commuters who once filled three lanes of traffic are now squeezed into two during those times.

Parking is now allowed on both sides of the street all of the time, according to Oh, (parking is still restricted during street sweeping hours).

Other changes include raising the visibility for some crosswalks , adding speed feedback signs, and timing lights so pedestrians can begin crossing the street a few seconds faster before cars get a green light.

Several intersections will also be tightened, said Oh. “Tightening” an intersection means ballooning out the sidewalk or curb area at the corner, forcing cars to slow down in order to make sharper turns. Longer-term tightening can involve building out a full, concrete extension of the curb – and that may come later, Oh said. For now, though, intersections will be tightened with paint and some raised pavement markers and plastic bollards or posts, as LADOT has done in Koreantown.

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13 comments

  1. Just to add a small correction, this DOES include the removal of peak hour parking restrictions. So, yes, a travel lane during peak hours has been removed. This is to the benefit of local businesses – who get “free” parking in front of their places before the meters turn on at 9 a.m.

    Traffic is just as backed up as it has been as long as I can remember from the five-points at Avenue 18, Spring, and North Broadway all the way to the intersection with Griffin. Walking across intersections certainly feels, marginally, safer – but there are are still plenty of motorists trying to speed or do silly, reckless, turns on and off Broadway.

    One thing I’ve personally seen more of: crashes at the entrance to the 5 North on North Broadway. I’ve seen two afternoon crashes at this intersection in the past two weeks. Something isn’t right about the way that particular intersection is set up right now.

    Over all, it is nice to see this modest improvement to what deserves to be a more human-centered commercial district.

  2. Which will come first, the “think of the poor cars!” comments, or the equation of any safety improvements with the dreaded “g” word?

  3. Glad to see this happening, north Broadway has potential to be much safer and enjoyable for all residents and visitors. It’s street facing retail gives it some intimacy and old school American feel that much of the commercial corridors in Los Angeles sorely lack

  4. They do this by putting up barriers or extending the curb out in the right turn lane. This is where a driver in a car could pull to the right stop before before the crosswalk to make a right turn on a red light. This allows the cars behind you to move forward so when the light eventually turns green traffic moves forward at a reasonable rate to prevent a mile long backup down the street and not having to go thru two to three light changes to get thru the intersection. Back when people with intelligence ran the LADOT they might even make a right turn lane with a right turn arrow and make pedestrians wait to allow even more cars to move to free the street of traffic and make it easier for cars to get to their destination. This clearly no longer the mission of the LADOT. Perhaps the correct name of this department should be Los Angeles Department of Pedestrian and Bike traffic. The LADOT doesn’t give a good crap about cars except devising ways to get them to move slower. I guess if cars move at two to three MPH they are les likely to hurt anyone. You can see this in action in every area where their “Road Diet” has been enacted.An example of this? Drive Northbound up Hyperion ave. make a right on Rowena ave. and drive that three mile parking lot between 5 and 6 PM during the week. And they have plans to do this on Fletcher Dr. south of San Fernando Blvd. in Atwater. where they have already screwed up that intersection. The LADOT is dedicated to slow traffic to a crawl to the point where the only solution is to abandon your cars and take the pitiful excuse of public transportation they call Metro. You might as well just walk.

    • I love the city’s use of euphemisms to describe the total F…ing of drivers in this city. Vision Zero is the most honest one. It does describe this action accurately. Of course “road diet” “Traffic calming” and my new favorite “tightening”
      (This was supposed to be at the top of my earlier comment. if anyone cares)

    • Last I checked, the “T” in LADOT stands for transportation, not just cars. It’s not all about your commute. People actually live in these neighborhoods too. Your sense of entitlement is just astounding.

  5. This is the kind of thoughtless crap that somebody at the city decided was important. All they have done is put up “block-aids” for cars. These barriers have doubled the time it takes me to get down Broadway every morning and I seriously doubt this has done anything for safety. If the city was truly concerned about safety they could have put up dedicated left and right turn signals.

  6. This is the most stupidist change. They removed the 3rd no parking during rush hour lane and turned it into a hourly limit meter parking. Parking enforcement never comes by this area to begin with to enforce it. By removing the rush hour lane creates more congestion as many know its a main road heading into downtown la. Traffic is bad enough on this street and now its doubled. Very stupid change. And yes, it looks tacky too.

  7. So to add a few parking spots everyone that uses Broadway has to be subject to the worst traffic I’ve ever seen there, and Ive lived in Lincoln Heights for over 30 years. It has more than doubled the time it takes me to get to work, no other route is nearly as direct as Broadway unfortunately. Just doesn’t make sense to me.

    • OMG. This road change is ridiculous!!! I drive from Alhambra to downtown via N Broadway and now it’s backed up all the way from Lincoln High School addijng about 20 minutes to my commute. What friggin moron decided to do this change should get fired!!! Obviously that person doesn’t drive down this street.

  8. Death to the curb extensions on North Broadway!

  9. I understand the pedestrian concern. It is important to keep our citizens safe. Unfortunately reckless drivers will continue to drive so with or without the changes. The reality for commuters, in the past it would take 7 to 8 minutes to drive from LHS to the 5fwy via Broadway. Now it takes me 26 minutes for less than a mile! That is NOT efficient.

    Also, in the past, I would frequently stop to make purchases at local business. I would see regular commuters do the same. However, given the outrageous traffic, I will NOT patronize the local shops any longer due to the inconvenience. It would be interesting to see how adversley the local businesss have been affected during the morning commute.

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