New Echo Park traffic signal serves as a symbol of safety on a dangerous curve on Sunset

Councilman Mitch O’Farrell tries out the new crosswalk | Courtesy Council District 13

ECHO PARK — A new traffic signal has been activated on Sunset Boulevard at Mohawk Street on a curving section of roadway that has been the scene of frequent collisions, some of them deadly.

The new light and crosswalks means that motorists will now face three traffic signals in a short, four-block stretch between Alvarado Street and Rosemont Avenue. But pedestrians will gain a safer  place to cross Sunset.

It’s been nearly three years since the Department of Transportation approved installing a traffic signal at the intersection along a curving stretch of Sunset dubbed the Mohawk Bend.  An estimated 36,000 vehicles a day pass through this section of Sunset, a traffic study found at the time.

The bend has a reputation for auto collisions, with motorists losing control as they take the curve too fast. The opening of new restaurants, bars and shops has also increased the number of pedestrians crossing the street, with many frequently jaywalking through speeding traffic.

In 2009, a 21-year-old driver was killed when her car -traveling at an estimated 70 miles per hour – skidded out of control and slammed into the corner of the former Lucy’s laundry building. A month later, another person was injured during a crash at the same intersection.

In 2014, a motorcyclist who police said had apparently been in a street race died after crashing his bike at the intersection in front of Fire Station No. 20.

Screenshot 2015-12-10 at 3.10.51 PM

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Jesús Sanchez, Publisher
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  1. Great , now what is Mitch O Farrel doing to stop big developers and the homeless issues overshadowing our neighborhood ? Nothing

  2. Fantastic!

  3. Can we get a traffic signal at Sunset and Portia?

    • Thank you Mitch O’Farrell for the light at Mohawk Bend. It’s a wonderful addition to Echo Park.

      Thank you Natalie for stating the same request we have regarding a light at Portia. There have been numerous accidents and one fatality that I know of at this intersection. There is heavy in-and-out traffic at United Oil, the completely unsafe crosswalk with caution lights drivers regularly ignore plus a new food hall is opening soon at the old A’s Grocery Warehouse. Add Dodger traffic and no one from the neighborhood can get across Sunset Blvd from Portia safely.

      • We also need some kind of crossing at the long stretch of sunset between Stadium Way and marion. People run from one side to the other. The light to cross Sunset at Stadium Way is treacherous because drivers can go 60 mph from Marion and many do not stop before making a right turn, on the red light, onto Stadium Way. I have almost been run over this way, with my child. The flow of traffic there turns that section of Sunset into a highway, but now there are walkable businesses on both sides, with a river of zooming cars in between. It’s not safe.

        • I know exactly what you’re talking about and it’s true. I am a regular pedestrian on this part of Sunset and I fear for my life sometimes.

  4. I’d really like to thank the writer and publisher of this post.
    My cousin Stephanie was the one who crashed into the Lucy’s in 09′. It’s bittersweet knowing that there has been long overdue action taking place about that intersection. My heart is still in pieces till this day and this has brought me some form of justice.

  5. Why do motorists tolerate this deliberate slowing of traffic?

  6. The lights here actually appear to be well synced with each other surprisingly..

  7. This light sucks. It’s already adding to the congestion.

    • So what? It keeps pedestrians safe. I’m OK with the longer commute if we can make the city more convenient for pedestrians.

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