Echo Park — Sections of two of the city’s steepest streets– Baxter and Fargo — will be made into one-way roadways in the wake of increased traffic congestion and accidents blamed on drivers using Waze and other navigation apps.
The Department of Transportation said today that one-way signage and additional stop signs could go up as soon as next week.
While no mention was made of Waze, the changes were announced following recent stories about Baxter Street, where rush hour traffic jams have been reported on the narrow, residential roadway with a 33% grade. Fargo Street, which by some accounts is even more steep than Baxter, is located one block south.
The transportation department as well as Council District 13 have been under pressure from residents who have been seeking relief from traffic for the past two years.
“There have also been many crashes and instances of property damage reported,” said the department’s announcement. “All these factors contributed to a major safety concern for residents, emergency vehicle access, and those using the roadway.”
Here’s a rundown of the upcoming changes:
- Baxter Street between Allesandro Street and North Alvarado Street will be converted to a one-way street in the westbound direction.
- Baxter Street between North Alvarado Street and Lake Shore Avenue will be converted to a one-way street in the eastbound direction.
- Fargo Street between Allesandro Street and North Alvarado Street will also be converted to a one-way street going westbound.
- Cove Avenue between Cerro Gordo Street and Lake Shore Avenue will also be converted to a one-way street going eastbound.
- Two stop signs will be added to Lake Shore Avenue at Baxter Street, making the intersection a four-way stop.
In addition to the one-way conversion, right turns will be restricted from Alvarado Street onto Baxter Street between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday through Friday, said the department.
The transportation department said it will notify the companies that operate navigation systems, like Waze, about the changes.
In addition, Council District 13 said it was working to increase increase patrols in the area to enforce the new restrictions. “I share in the frustration of residents with drivers utilizing narrow, hillside residential streets for cut-through traffic, especially one as steep as Baxter,” said Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell in a statement.
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