By BARRY LANK
Echo Park – It’s been nearly five months since Baxter Street was turned into a one-way roadway, That was the city’s solution to the traffic-app related congestion and accidents along one of L.A.’s steepest streets. So how is it working out so far for residents nearby?
“It’s been great,” said Cheryl Revkin, who has regularly taken Baxter as her route, and was initially skeptical of the change. “I love being able to turn onto Baxter from Alvarado with no fear of an unseen car coming up Baxter. And the one-way traffic is way less and very easy. I don’t mind detouring to get home a different way.”
Baxter, a slim residential street, had recently become a common alternative route during rush hour, despite tilting at a forbidding 33 percent grade. This seemed to be thanks to traffic routing apps, such as Waze.
The street now runs one-way, only downhill, from the crest at North Alvarado Street – only westbound to Allesandro Street, only eastbound to Lake Shore Avenue. This makes it effectively impossible to use as a direct throughway – unless, of course, you cheat.
Which some people do.
“Occasional I see a car or motorcycle go up Baxter against the one way,” said Jeff Hartman, who lives at the corner of Baxter and Lemoyne. “Just yesterday, from my back deck I saw a car flying down Baxter from Lemoyne to Lakeshore, screeched brakes all the way down, then after a short pause, directly crossed Lakeshore and plowed up Baxter, going the wrong way, over Alvarado and on to Allesandro.”
Still, he said, it’s better than before.
“It was chaotic,” he said. “Lots of honking, occasional accidents, folks headed up and stopping mid-point, turning around, blocking traffic. “
Michael Wickstrom, another neighbor, agreed that the plan seems to have worked.
“I really appreciate the city of L.A.’s traffic management people who devised the one-way, because traffic has dropped noticeably, and I feel that most of the traffic is now local and not as an overflow for Dodger Stadium and the 2 freeway.” Wickstrom said. “I have lived on Baxter for 20 years now, and Baxter Street has gone back to being ‘normal’ again.”
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