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A ‘Go Fund Me’ campaign for a stoplight in Echo Park [updated]

sunset and portia crosswalk echo park

Go Fund Me campaign wants to replace flashing crossing light with a stop light

By BARRY LANK

Echo Park – Stoplights are not usually paid for with a Go Fund Me campaign. But that’s exactly what Marion Loss is trying to do.

Loss has set up a Go Fund Me page to help replace the existing flashing crossing light at Sunset Boulevard and Portia Street with a full fledged stoplight.

It was at this intersection two years ago that Loss said she was struck by an automobile. “It took 5 months of recovery for me to walk without assistance and it changed my life direction immensely,” she said on her fundraising site.

As it happens, the L.A. Department of Transportation says a new stop light is on the way for the three-way intersection. “It is scheduled for construction in the 2019 work plan,” said department spokeswoman Patricia Restrepo.

But until then, there’s just a flashing yellow light indicating that a pedestrian is trying to cross Sunset. That, according to Loss and other residents, falls way short of what is needed at the busy intersection.

Matthew Dubois, who frequently crosses at the intersection,  complains that it’s hard for pedestrians to tell if the lights are flashing after they have pressed a button to activate the signal. That leaves some to walk either down the block or step on to the street to see if the light is working. And even if the light working, many motorists ignore or are oblivious to the yellow flashing light, he said.

“I’ve had to dodge policemen, buses and any number of cars,” he said.

With the city pledging to install a traffic signal at the intersection, Loss states that her fundraiser will pay for raising awareness of the safety concerns at the crossing. By her count, there have been 13 collisions in the intersection since 2010, including several that occurred after her own accident.

“I don’t want anyone else to get hurt or lose their lives, when there is a solution we could all work towards,” she said.

Update: Marion Loss said there have been four additional collisions at the intersection since August. Also, she said an online petition has been set up for those in support of a stop light at Sunset and Portia.

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4 comments

  1. Well, it seems a traffic signal is already planned there, and funded for the coming year. But if it were not, you cannot buy your way into traffic signals anywhere you want them, and you should not be allowed to. A formal determination of need for one, input by the community and other is how these things are done, not by someone just going out and buying their way into one. That was a bad idea.

    • I have a feeling no amount of fund-raising would have made a difference. Obviously I applaud Marion’s intention (it is a horrible intersection and I also petitioned the city/CD13 for a real light a few years back — maybe it helped??) but a GoFundMe is probably misguided.

  2. Hello All, Marion here!
    I would just like to clarify that this GoFundMe may have started out as raising money for getting a traffic light, it quickly transitioned into raising money for volunteer efforts and becoming an awareness campaign. The city needs to be held accountable and since the publish date of the GoFundMe, I am happy to say that the city has allocated the funds. However, I am not aware of a date for the installation.
    I am hoping to expand this campaign to other dangerous intersections throughout the city of LA. I am so thankful to everyone who has helped make this a reality. Please consider donating to the GoFundMe but more importantly sign the petition! Sign the petition

  3. I am so happy the city is listening, this is one of the most dangerous crosswalks I’ve ever encountered in the city. I always cross at Douglas instead.

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