LADOT Reveals Plan for Future Improvements
By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
Some good news for community members who raised concerns over the possible removal of a crosswalk at the intersection of Chautauqua Boulevard and Corona del Mar/Vance Street: The Los Angeles Department of Transportation has decided to keep it in service.
“We have been working in identifying ways to improve the crosswalk on Chautauqua,” LADOT’s Rudy Guevara shared in an email that was forwarded to the Palisadian-Post. “We visited the crosswalk recently again and were able to identify enough short-term improvements that would allow us to keep it in service.”
A public notice placed by LADOT stating “this marked crosswalk at this location is proposed to be removed” has been taken down.
“According to CD11 (Lisa Cahill, Palisades-Brentwood Deputy), LADOT received a complaint from a local resident in February regarding safety concerns about this crosswalk,” representatives from Pacific Palisades Community Council shared in a statement after the notices went up. “Once a safety issue of a particular crosswalk is brought to the attention of LADOT, then the agency must investigate and take action, and if no feasible solution is found, LADOT must remove the crosswalk.”
Colin Sweeney, director of public information with LADOT, explained that this posting is part of the standard procedure when studying various alternatives, and that comments will be taken into consideration in determining a course of action.
“We have instructed our Geometric Design Section in downtown to come up with a new re-striping for this crosswalk,” Guevara continued. “The re-striping should include a painted island in the middle that could serve as a pedestrian refuge if needed when pedestrians are crossing this crosswalk.”
Additional changes include trimming near warning signs on the left side of the road that were obscured by branches when drivers are heading southbound approaching a curve before the crosswalk, as well as the installation of new warning signs on the right side.
When the public notices went up, members of the community wrote to LADOT to express concerns over the potential removal of the crosswalk, citing restaurants that are situated on West Channel Road are accessed by Huntington residents on foot by way of the crosswalk and many people walk their dogs, jog or stroll in the area.
“The reality of the neighborhood is that the other place to cross is far too far away,” Vance Street resident Paul Solomon explained in an email sent to Durrah Wagner, constituent advocate with Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office, “and many people want to make their way through the neighborhoods for a variety of reasons.”
“I’ve lived for three decades on Vance Street and the crosswalk has changed little over the years,” resident Alison Bryan Crowell added, acknowledging that minor improvements have been made. “The increased real-time speeds of cars hurtling down lower Chautauqua have made crossing deadly.”
Guevara wrote that LADOT appreciates all the comments from community members, which is why the department placed the signs.
“I do not have a timeline of the improvements, as some steps require work by other sections within our department and they have their own set of priorities,” Guevara concluded, “but we hope that soon over the next few months we can implement them.”