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One-Way Starting Today: Echo Park’s Baxter Street takes a new direction

Baxter Street Echo Park

Baxter is now one-way downhill on either side of Alvarado

Echo Park — City workers were busy today installing signs, passing out maps and answering questions from puzzled motorists after a stretch of Baxter Street — one of the steepest in the city — was converted into a one-way roadway.

“How am I going to get home?” was one of the most common questions asked this morning, according to one Department of Transportation employee at the corner of Baxter and Lake Shore. One driver asked if it was a movie shoot. Many more asked if it was permanent. Yes, it is, they were told.

Not everyone was getting message — several motorists were seen driving the wrong way up Baxter early this afternoon

About 140 signs have to be installed

A two-block stretch of Baxter as well as nearby Fargo Street and Cove Avenue went one-way today as part of a city effort to foil  drivers using Waze and other navigation apps from using the steep and narrow streets. The action was taken after numerous complaints from residents in the Elysian Heights section of Echo Park of increased traffic congestion and accidents.

While L.A. has plenty of one-way streets, the configuration on Baxter is unique, said a city transportation engineer today.  One block of Baxter is now eastbound between Lake Shore Avenue and the top of the hill at Alvarado Street. But, on the other side of Alvarado, Baxter is westbound one-way to Allesandro Street.

The change in direction is intended to keep traffic flowing downhill and avoid problems at Baxter and Alvarado, where many motorists cannot see over the hood of their vehicles at the apex of the street. It’s also been a place where residents have seen cars skid backward on rainy days after coming to a stop at the top of the hill.

The traffic engineer on duty said the configuration might be changed depending on what happens over the next few days and weeks.

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.
One Way Baxter Street Echo Park

Baxter and Allesandro streets

Baxter Street Echo Park

Motorist receives instructions and a map about the change in directions

Baxter Street one way

The right way down Baxter

The wrong way up Baxter

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20 comments

  1. I submitted an error to Google maps and linked to this article. That needs to be updated to keep these confused people out. I think users can submit the info to Waze too in the app as they navigate, or maybe it will be fixed when Google fixes Maps.

    I got a street fixed in Maps near me. It kept trying to route me through a street that had been closed due to a landslide – I presume it’s been like that for decades.. Some apps still aren’t updated.

  2. Great, so now the street is useless. Good job coming up with a solution that screws over everyone while also not addressing the issue, which is that people stupidly stop at the top. The problem has never been that cars cross into the other lanes it’s that people are just surprised by the steepness and don’t know just to go right over the hill. This is why we can’t have nice things, thanks for adding 10
    minutes to just about every time I leave my house. What a joke.

  3. Should’ve closed it to automobiles altogether and replaced it with a funicular!

  4. This is typical sadly of local politics. All that’s happened for people who live in the area – like me, a 20+ year resident- is make things worse. Did Mitch O’Farrel or his staff ask anyone who lives nearby what they think? NO! Did DOT ask anyone who lives nearby what they think? NO! It’s an utter disaster. Bad response to a real problem that made it worse. Nice job everyone.

    • A terrible response to some even worse clickbait articles. Yes the eastsider is guilty of really bad clickbait on this matter.
      Waze is not the problem and this is not the solution. The problem is spawl, not enough dense development, and a terrible design of a freeway terminus spilling into a congested residential area.

      • bathing at baxter

        The free way was designed to connect with the 101. The neighborhood was outraged and fought and won the battle to stop the connection to the grid, hence the terminus spilling into a congested residential area. It was considered a great victory at the time but resulted in the Glendale Bl mess. I made my second of what will be daily illegal turns to get home today.

    • mario hernandez

      Great point ! We need to vote him out of office

  5. This is the most short sighted, idiotic “solution” I can think of. The main concern is traffic crossing at the stop on the ridge at Alvarado: cars on hill stupidly stop, cars going across can’t see. The most dangerous part of Baxter, has no been increased as all cars will have to cut across too rather than take the hill increasing traffic collisions. Also, where are the notifications to neighborhood residents?!? Mitch has yet again failed his community. There are literally dozens of solutions that make more sense. Too bad smart people usually have real jobs and don’t sit in city council.

  6. This seems like a good solution to me! I’m glad the city has finally taken action!

    I have to cross the Baxter ridge on Alvarado in order to come and go from my house, a move that was very dangerous for a number of reasons. 1). Drivers couldn’t see DOWN Baxter on either side to tell if cars were coming uphill. 2). When there were cars coming uphill they always stopped at the top of the intersection because they couldn’t see. 3). Drivers forced to wait at that intersection for several minutes in order to cross safely. Even longer when there is an event at Dodger Stadium and navigation apps sent more traffic along that route!

    Great move

  7. This may be one of those “be careful what you ask for” situations. Many of us have been complaining about the traffic on Baxter – guess what, the city did something. Guess what, now we have something new to complain about.

  8. Great job NIMBYs. This is IDIOTIC.

  9. Finally the new one way Baxter ridge is the perfect tabletop every urban MX rider has been dreaming of. Can’t wait for the first x-games Echo park edition.

  10. The traffic is still there, coming down Cerro Gordo and blowing off the no right turn sign at Alvarado and Baxter

  11. (lil Anthony & The Barrel Gang!)

    People couldn’t just let it blow overt, they had to press the issue and make matters worse. Now you are left with a bunch of eye sore signs that look like street junk in our indigenes habitat. Not only that, but I can see matters getting worse off with traffic, maybe even some fatalities. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! I also feel for the Lakeshore residents…

  12. Must be easier and gets a lot more headlines to put up a bunch of signs creating a traffic nightmare than it is to repave the crumbling street which is shown in almost every picture, especially the first one. why not just let the street crumble into a dirt road and no one will be able to use it anyway.

  13. mario hernandez

    Please add speed bumps on Lakeshore Avenue !!!!

  14. Hopefully someone who lives in the area sees this question. I know I’m late to the party here. We’re about one month into this. Is it working? Is Cerro Gordo a traffic jam? Lakeshore? What’s the current traffic situation? I don’t live there anymore but I grew up a block from Baxter and I’m just curious. I saw the problem on Baxter once while on the way to visit someone and I couldn’t believe my eyes.

    • I feel like it’s going great. Crossing Baxter on Alvarado is EASY. No traffic jams on Cerro Gordo. It’s become a much simpler intersection to navigate.

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