New Crosswalk Safety Plan Calls for Combining Some on Santa Monica and Adding Stoplights at Others

Santa Monica Boulevard Crosswalk
A worker installing a flashing light at a pedestrian crosswalk on Santa Monica Boulevard.

City staffers have developed a wide-ranging $1.2 million plan to deal with pedestrian crosswalk safety on Santa Monica Boulevard that will be presented to the West Hollywood City Council on Monday.  The plan was developed at the request of the City Council with advice from the city’s Public Safety and Transportation commissions after several pedestrians were hit by cars.  The death in August of Clinton Bounds, a well-known figure in West Hollywood’s gay nightlife community, while crossing Santa Monica Boulevard on foot sparked a public demonstration and demands at the Council meetings for action.

Between La Cienega and San Vicente boulevards

The plan calls for installing a stoplight at the very busy crosswalk on Santa Monica Boulevard at Westmount, where pedestrians often stroll across inattentive to cars driving through. With the stoplight, pedestrians will not be able to enter that crosswalk until a light turns red to stop automobile traffic.

A stoplight also will be installed at the crosswalk on Santa Monica Boulevard at Hancock, near which Clinton Bounds was hit by a car and killed while apparently jaywalking.

The city plan recommends combining existing crosswalks on Santa Monica Boulevard at Orange Grove and Ogden into one mid-block crosswalk between the two intersecting streets. A pedestrian-activated warning light would be installed there.

Those safety measures will cost an estimated $893,000.

Other proposed changes, endorsed by a joint meeting of the city’s Transportation and Public Safety commissions in September, call for:

  • Installing a pedestrian-activated signal at the crosswalk on Santa Monica Boulevard at West Knoll.
  • Perhaps permitting left turns onto Santa Monica Boulevard from Westmount once the light is installed at that crosswalk. Currently drivers headed south down Westmount can only make a left turn onto Santa Monica Boulevard.
  • Converting an opening in the traffic median on Santa Monica Boulevard between West Knoll and Westmount so that it will allow drivers headed west on Santa Monica to make a left turn and head east. Currently the opening allows eastbound drivers to turn west.
  • Possibly prohibiting left turns onto Santa Monica Boulevard from cars headed north on Westbourne.
  • Relocating the pedestrian crossing at Hancock to the west side of its intersection with Santa Monica Boulevard.
  • Installing a new pedestrian crossing signal on Santa Monica Boulevard at Palm.

Implementing all of the safety measures is estimated to cost $1.2 million.

Between Fairfax Avenue and Ogden Drive

The plan calls for consolidating existing pedestrian crossings and installing a midblock traffic light on Santa Monica Boulevard between Fairfax and Ogden. The estimated cost for that is $110,000.

As short-term solutions, the plan recommends:

  • Purchasing three more lighted mobile signs to warn drivers to be aware of pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • Reprogramming stoplights at Santa Monica Boulevard at San Vicente and at Robertson so that they offer a brief pedestrian crossing period before automobiles are allowed to move through the intersection.
  •  Installing pedestrian crosswalk signs at crosswalks such as those at Palm, Hancock and Orange Grove until permanent fixes are made.
  • Raising the pavement at the Santa Monica crosswalks of Palm Avenue, Hancock Avenue, Westmount Drive, West Knoll Drive, Orange Grove Avenue and Ogden Drive to further alert drivers.

Those short-term solutions are estimated to cost $77,000.

Other efforts planned include a crosswalk surveillance operation by the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station on Thursday during rush hour and a public awareness campaign that will include brochures, advertising, signs and a social media campaign. The city is considering using 3-D street art as part of the campaign. It already has commissioned a video by noted YouTube artist Todrick Hall that is expected to be released the middle of this month.

The City Council is expected to consider the plan at its meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the City Council Chambers at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., south of Santa Monica.

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Flores St.
Flores St.
8 years ago

Wehoan Fed Up with NIMBYs — maybe you are just fed up with everything in life. Streets are for more than just cars.

Wehoan Fed Up with the NIMBYs
Wehoan Fed Up with the NIMBYs
8 years ago

So we’re going to continue this madness of pedestrian-controlled crossings that snarl traffic up and down Santa Monica Blvd? Yup. That’s surely a way to reduce congestion on that horrid street. Just more Mayberry in action!

Professor Shivers
Professor Shivers
8 years ago

AND add left turn arrows at S.M.B. and Crescent Heights where you already have left turn lanes and cars scramble to turn when the lights turn red, putting drivers AND pedestrians in danger. I’m sure some other intersections can benefit from this too–Fairfax and Melrose, for example, which may actually be in L.A., but still . . . . AND why don’t the WALK signs AUTOMATICALLY come on when lights turn green at ALL intersections which have them? I approach Fountain and Crescent Heights a second before the lights turn green and the do NOT walk sign can NOT be… Read more »

mike dunn
mike dunn
8 years ago

They should hire a crossing guard for the crosswalk between Starbucks and 24 Hour Fitness to hold the hand of those who still have not grasped the concept to look both ways before stepping out in front of moving vehicles.

8 years ago

Adding a midblock traffic light between Fairfax and Ogden? Ogden is 2 blocks from Fairfax! Unless they plan to synchronize the lights, I foresee gridlock at all hours.

8 years ago

While I am glad to see staff working on a plan, do any of these ideas take the several large new developments into consideration ? Sprouts and Next to the Ramada or a new proposed development at Hancock on the south side ? Why don’t those developers pay for these improvements ? Why don’t we have the Sheriff out right now ticketing both drivers and jaywalkers for 30-60 days all day every day ? This could also generate the revenue needed for the fix and send a loud message to both. Why not remove the cross walk at Westmount all… Read more »

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x