MMRA DEMANDS ADDITIONAL
4-WAY STOPS ON 8TH STREET
Click on images to enlarge.
On July 11, 2016, MMRA President James O’Sullivan sent a letter to Councilmember David Ryu regarding the deteriorating safety conditions on 8th Street due to do the increase in traffic resulting from the Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit lanes on Wilshire Boulevard and the construction of the Purple Line Subway Extension:
A spate of recent accidents (see attached photos in the email that conveyed this letter) and gridlocked intersections during peak hours have raised things to a boiling point on 8th Street. Residents of the Miracle Mile are at their wit’s end. The complaints that have been steadily flowing into the MMRA for the past year have reached a roar.
It is a only a matter of borrowed time before some pedestrian, cyclist, or motorist is severely injured or killed on 8th Street. I don’t think any of us want such a calamity on our conscience, so I believe it is time for all of us to concentrate on safety and not bureaucratic engineering mandates.
We knew years ago with the advent of the Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit lanes that traffic would be increased on 8th Street by 20-to-40 percent – the project’s Environmental Impact Report stated that. And the EIR was right. We were also concerned that subway construction would exacerbate traffic on 8th Street, so we deployed funds to do a Neighborhood Traffic Mitigation Plan that we hoped would help solve the impacts of BRT and subway construction by allowing the installation of additional 4-way stop signs along 8th Street to slow traffic and improve safety at intersections with poor lines of sight that make it difficult to see oncoming cross-traffic.
To our chagrin, we have been stymied by the State’s obtuse Uniform Traffic Code – which LADOT cites as an excuse for why no additional 4-way stop signs can be installed on 8th Street.
LADOT has offered to add lane striping to narrow traffic lanes in a effort to calm traffic and to remove a few parking spaces here and there to improve line of sight issues – and we welcome that. But it doesn’t come close to correcting the real problems: intersections are gridlocked during peak hours traffic, cars on north/south intersecting streets are unable to cross or turn onto 8th Street; cyclists find themselves in an angry chum of frustrated motorists; pedestrians must have nerves of steel to cross 8th; and during non-peak hours motorists thwarted by subway construction along Wilshire are racing across 8th Street to make up for lost time. It is an untenable situation.
What is galling to us is that everyone agrees that having two subway stations constructed at the same time in the Miracle Mile is extremely challenging to our community, yet because such an extraordinarily unusual circumstance is not specifically mentioned in the State’s complex and lengthy traffic codes we find ourselves up the proverbial creek without a paddle.
So, enough is enough. Lives are at risk and safety must be our top concern.
We need 4-way stop signs at every intersection on 8th Street from Fairfax to La Brea for the duration of subway construction in the Miracle Mile.
Once the subway construction is completed, we can then review the situation and apply the standard formulas that LADOT depends on – formulas that are wholly inadequate to cope with our current situation.
This is a completely unique situation; exceptions to the rulebook must be made. Exceptions like this have been made before. A 4-way stop was installed at Masselin and 8th Street during construction of two buildings on 8th Street. Once those projects were completed, the intersection was returned to a 2-way stop.
We also feel very strongly that since Metro created this crisis on 8th Street – whether it be the Wilshire BRT and/or construction for the Purple Line Subway Extension – that they should bear the expense of installing these additional 4-way stop signs, as well as all the other enhancements contained in the Miracle Mile Neighborhood Traffic Mitigation Plan.
We have met many times with LADOT on this matter and our pleas and logic have fallen on deaf ears. Absent your direct involvement – and your commitment to fixing this problem – there can be no effective remedy to this crisis.
I am requesting that you lead a meeting, as soon as your schedule permits, with representatives from the MMRA, LADOT, and Metro, so that we can resolve this problem.
James O’Sullivan, President
Miracle Mile Residential Association
Sarah Dusseault, Councilmember Ryu’s Chief of Staff, promptly replied to O’Sullivan letter. Dusseault stated that Ryu was out of the country on a trade trip and that a meeting would be scheduled upon his return. In the meantime, Ryu’s staff would confer with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) on the matter.
Click on image to view report.
In June 2014, the MMRA initiated the “Miracle Mile Neighborhood Traffic Mitigation Plan” to do an extensive study of traffic conditions. The plan was completed in February 2016 and approved by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. [Click on image above to read the plan.]
Since the completion of the plan – and the commencement of major subway construction on Wilshire Boulevard – gridlock conditions on 8th Street during rush hour traffic periods have worsened. The fact that L.A.P.D. does not take accidents reports on collisions that do not involve personal injuries has made it difficult for the MMRA to build a case in favor on additional 4-way stop signs along 8th Street. The MMRA encourages residents to take photos of accidents and forward them to:
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