City to Begin Installation Monday of Four Traffic-Signal Crosswalks on Santa Monica Boulevard

pedestrian crosswalk
The installation of synchronized traffic signals on city pedestrian crosswalks will begin on Monday at four locations on Santa Monica Boulevard.

Sully-Miller, a contractor hired by the City of West Hollywood, will begin work on crosswalks at or near the intersections of Santa Monica Boulevard /Palm Avenue, Santa Monica Boulevard/Hancock Avenue, Santa Monica Boulevard /Westmount Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard /West Knoll Drive.

The three-month project will include the reconfiguration of median islands to accommodate new roadway crossings and turn lanes. The work will require the installation of new curbs, gutters, sidewalks, handicap-accessible curb ramps, asphalt concrete pavement, traffic signs, traffic striping and pavement markings.

Because of the median construction work, one travel lane may be closed on Santa Monica Boulevard in both directions between Palm Ave and West Knoll Drive Alternate routes are recommended and some delays should be expected. Metered street parking may be periodically unavailable during the course of construction.

Three signs with project information will give motorists an advance notice of the upcoming work and letters have been distributed to residents and businesses in the immediate vicinity of the project.

The city installed its first traffic light synchronized crosswalk in December on Santa Monica Boulevard between North Orange Grove Avenue and North Ogden Drive. It replaced two unlighted crosswalks, one near Orange Grove and the other near Ogden.

The stoplight at the crosswalk can be activated by a pedestrian, who must push a button on a pole on the sidewalk. The light is coordinated with the traffic light at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue to the west.

Residents demanded the city increase efforts to prevent pedestrians from being hit by cars after the death in August 2014 of Clinton Bounds. Bounds, who was inebriated, was hit by a car while walking across Santa Monica Boulevard at night. Initially, it was believed he had been in the Hancock crosswalk, although photos later showed he was jaywalking.

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A Concerned Citizen
A Concerned Citizen
5 years ago

It isn’t cut and dry. But I agree that drivers need to drive defensively. At any moment, a person could run into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

“(a) Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway so near as to constitute an immediate hazard.
(b) The provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.”

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=21954.&lawCode=VEH

A Concerned Citizen
A Concerned Citizen
5 years ago

“A Person Who Cares,” you are incorrect. Drivers have a legal responsibility to exercise “due care,” but sometimes a pedestrian runs out in front of a vehicle and an accident is completely unavoidable by the driver of the vehicle. “(b) This section does not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while… Read more »

A Person Who Cares
A Person Who Cares
5 years ago

When I was a kid, they had “Driver’s Education” in high school. From what I hear, they no longer have that. When I was a young lad, I learned that it was illegal to hit a pedestrian, a car, or ANYTHING when you are in control of a motor vehicle. Apparently that has been lost on the youth of today. So I really resent the people that say “Oh they were jaywalking, drunk” or whatever. As the operator of a motor vehicle, it is “your responsibility to be aware of your surroundings at all times, and drive defensively”. That’s another… Read more »

fine7760
5 years ago

Actually you won’t if the pedestrian is at fault.

Randy
Randy
5 years ago

blueeyedboy, my sympathy isn’t on the side of pedestrians *or* drivers. It is both, living in a cohesive environment. Pedestrian-friendly, as well as car-friendly. You just said “I plan my walking so that I can cross at intersections controlled by lights, and cars are stopped whether I cross or not.” … then you should be very pleased with this decision, because that is what they are installing. Maybe not intersections, but crosswalks, controlled by lights. As other people have pointed out (including myself), controlled pedestrian intersections actually will increase the flow of traffic. People won’t be able to stop traffic,… Read more »

blueeyedboy
blueeyedboy
5 years ago

As I see it, Randy, nothing is being done to make it “safer” to cross streets. It’s just providing more “places” to cross. I don’t see why we need all these crosswalks other than to accommodate pedestrians who feel entitled to have them. And this is coming from a guy who doesn’t have a car and who walks all over WeHo. I’ve used those crosswalks only when I could walk with other people who were crossing at the same time. They were stopping traffic anyway, so I joined them. I plan my walking so that I can cross at intersections… Read more »

kab1200
kab1200
5 years ago
Reply to  blueeyedboy

blueeyedboy- you are way off base. These lights will make the commute shorter, due to ending the “at will” crossers. These lights co-ordinate with the current traffic lights, so everyone is stopped at the same time. This will be a god-send, and, they are much safer, because to a car, they look like a traffic light. Please go witness the one just east of Fairfax, and you will understand.

Randy
Randy
5 years ago

blueeyedboy, I can imagine their pain. I’m intimately familiar similar situation. Trust me. But to say “… we are further punishing people in cars because a man who was drunk and on his cell phone stepped into traffic nowhere near a crosswalk and was killed” is still incredibly insensitive, even if those are the facts. The fact is, we live in a distracted society. It doesn’t matter whose “fault” you see it as, in these accidents. What matters is that we can (and should) make our city a safer place for pedestrians and drivers. Reduce distractions. Put up signage. Brightly… Read more »

Deane Kenworthy
Deane Kenworthy
5 years ago

What I don’t see being discussed here because it is imbedded with the cross walk issue is that they are removing the left turn and u turn lane that is in front of the Ramada and putting in a left turn and u-turn lane onto West Knoll Dr. I do not understand the logic of this, so what this does is combine the double left turn lane onto north bound LaCienega Blvd with the left turn lane onto West Knoll. I can just see the cars whipping around the corner onto SMB from south bound LaCienega and cars from the… Read more »

Rick Watts
Rick Watts
5 years ago

EXCELLENT observation, Deane. I presume the move is being done to eliminate the time needed to run a full cycle of the soon-to-be-installed pedestrian-activated signal in order tenable its synchronization with the other lights. (That’s just a guess on my part.). But you do raise a VERY worrying potential safety hazard that may this result. I suggest raising it immediately with the Transportation Commission, which meets on the 19th.

erikjonerik@gmail.com
erikjonerik@gmail.com
5 years ago

cars should be required to be equipped with a blocking device so the driver cannot text and pedestrians who text while crossing the street should be fined. who are all these people texting and what is so important that it cant wait?

kab1200
kab1200
5 years ago

OMG people, one of these lights already exists on Santa Monica Blvd just past Fairfax, going east. Go check that one out, it is great, and really helps with the flow of traffic. You have to wait for the light to change to cross the street, it is not at will, like they are now. It is a million times safer, and a million times better for the flow of traffic. This is a very good thing they are doing.

Rick Watts
Rick Watts
5 years ago

PS to DAVID: Lights embedded in the pavement are a help–when they work. Unfortunately, in higher-speed, heavily-trafficked areas, they don’t hold up well. That’s why they’re okay between the towers of Cedars Sinai; but not on Sunset Boulevard, where they were tried several years back: And when they fail–which in that case was frequently–the city is potentially on the hook for partial liability if an accident occurs during their (foreseeable) non-functioning. Pedestrian-activated full traffic lights synchronized with adjacent signalized intersections makes the most sense. BTW, I AGREE with you re the flashing yellow light bars–and thankfully, so does the city… Read more »

Rick Watts
Rick Watts
5 years ago

This is long overdue–both for flow-of-tragic reasons AND for pedestrian & driver safety, as anyone who drives the area knows, (especially during “rush” hour, when there is a seemingly-endless parade of pedestrians constantly and frequently SUDDENLY stopping traffic–sometimes contributing to rear-end fender-benders or side-swipes.. Likewise, any pedestrian–ESPECIALLY mobility, sight, or hearing-impaired person–who regularly uses these crosswalks knows that despite improved signing a few years back (and even flashing yellow lights which are not synchronized with area traffic lights and are sometimes are out-of order), those heavily-used crossings are STILL often hazardous due to speeding or inattentive drivers. The West Hollywood… Read more »

David
5 years ago

I agree with Johnjx. Where is more information on these improvements? Maybe they are minor physical changes, but a graphic would help.

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