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.

Baxter and Allesandro streets

Motorist receives instructions and a map about the change in directions

The right way down Baxter

The wrong way up Baxter

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