October 24, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Prohibiting Left Turns Onto Wilshire?

Officials approve measures for improving pedestrian safety along Wilshire

By Sam Catanzaro

For pedestrians and cyclists, crossing Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica is a dangerous endeavor: over the past decade, six fatalities and 29 severe injuries have occurred along the street. Now city officials have approved plans to prohibit left turns at many Wilshire intersections, among other measures intended to increase safety along the corridor.

“Vehicles are just not yielding to pedestrians as they are trying to cross the street,” said Joseph SanClemente at the February 11 Santa Monica City Council meeting.

SanClemente, a City Transportation Planner, was presenting on a study that looked at pedestrian safety along Wilshire Boulevard. According to SanClemente, four intersections along Wilshire Boulevard were identified as among the City’s top 10 intersections with the highest occurrence of severe injury and fatal crashes: 16th, 18th, 21st and 25th Streets. Over the past decade, six fatalities and 29 severe injuries have occurred along the 2.4-mile stretch roadway.

“My grandfather was killed in the crosswalk at Wilshire and 10th by a speeding automobile driver. I speak from personal experience when I say that we need to do everything possible to prevent any more traffic tragedies on Wilshire,” said Michael Brodsky, a Santa Monica resident in a letter to the city.

The safety study involved crash data analysis, data collection and a year-long community engagement process, to produce safety countermeasures.

“The main comment that we heard is that it is just difficult for pedestrians to cross Wilshire Boulevard. There are a lot of challenges crossing that street,” SanClemente said. “There is a lot of parking that is happening in red zones that is inhibiting visibility at crosswalks…there are some dark lit conditions out there. If you are standing on the corner it is hard for people to see you as you are driving by.”

Among safety measures approved by city officials Tuesday include right-turn-only from stop-controlled side streets at 13 intersections along Wilshire Boulevard, which the city says will reduce angle crashes, improve pedestrian safety and reduce motorist confusion.

“About one in five crashes [along Wilshire] involves a vehicle making a left turn or through movement originating from the side street. One in five, 20 percent, despite representing less than one percent of overall traffic volume,” said Nat Gale, a consultant brought on by the city to assist in the study, adding that “people walking are disproportionately affected in the traffic crashes.”

Other measures coming include rapid flashing beacons at five locations (10th, 18th, 22nd 25th and Franklin Streets) to alert drivers and to enhance pedestrian visibility and restricting U-turns eastbound and westbound approaches where appropriate. Also, corridor-wide signage and pavement marking enhancements will come to all un-signalized crossings including, white edge lines to delineate the parking lane to provide more cues to drivers to yield.

To enhance cyclist safety, improved north-south bicycle connections are slated at each of the existing north-south bicycle routes crossing Wilshire at 6th, 7th, 11th, 14th, 17 and Yale Streets. According to the City, these markings will help inform bicyclists of parallel routes available and improve driver awareness of people on bicycles.

On Tuesday, Council approved $1-1.5 million in funds for the design and implementation funding for phase one improvements. Phase two and three measures, totaling around $12 million, not yet been approved by officials, would include improvements such as installing stoplights at certain intersections that only have stop signs currently.

“We applaud the phased approach to secure funding – but only with support and direction of full implantation beyond the short term measures and implementation of the medium and longterm designs as soon as is possible,” said Santa Monica Spoke, a pedestrian and cyclist advocacy non-profit. “We know where crashes and injuries happen – intersections. We know why – speeding and distracted driving. Though we know it is not always that simple, we must be thoughtful and forward-thinking yet swift to implement designs that are proven to work along with freedom to incorporate proven emerging design innovations.”

Related Posts

City Council Endorsements: Santa Monica Needs a Change

October 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

Santa Monica City Council endorsements from the Santa Monica Mirror The following are two endorsement articles from Santa Monica Mirror...

Crime in Santa Monica Is Declining: Santa Monica Beat – October, 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Crime in Santa Monica Is Declining * 335 Homeless Residents Housed...

Forma Expanding to Main Street: Westside Food Scene

October 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

Westside Food Scene October 22, 2020 By Kerry Slater Forma Expanding to Main Street Popular Santa Monica Italian restaurant Forma...

California Supreme Court to Hear Santa Monica Voting Rights Case

October 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

Court to rule on future of at-large elections in Santa Monica By Sam Catanzaro The California Supreme Court will determine...

LA County Says Younger Adults and Teenagers Are Driving COVID-19 Cases

October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

68 percent of new cases among people between ages of 12 and 50 By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County health...

Santa Monica Has Issued Over 40 Face Covering Citations

October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

City expanding COVID-19 compliance efforts with the addition of “Health Ambassadors”  By Sam Catanzaro The City of Santa Monica says...

Grand Jury Indicts Former Angel Employee in Tyler Skaggs’ Fatal Overdose

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Fort Wayne grand jury indicts Eric Prescott Kay on drug distribution and drug conspiracy charges By Sam Catanzaro A federal...

YogaWorks Studios Closing Amid Pandemic: Santa Monica Beat – October, 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * YogaWorks Studios Closing Amid Pandemic * Carjacking Suspects in Custody All...

Edify TV: More Bike Lanes for Westside

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

A Westside city is adding more miles of protected bike lanes. Learn more in this video made possible by Santa...

Outgoing Santa Monica Police Chief Set to Receive Nearly $100K of Severance Pay

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Santa Monica City Council approves retirement agreement for outgoing chief Cynthia Renaud By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica’s outgoing police chief...

Intravenous Vitamin Therapy: A Natural, Effective Solution for the Flu

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

By Dr. Mahboubeh Hashemi, ND and Dr. Matthew Cavaiola, ND  As fall and winter are fast approaching, many people, and...

Edify TV: Deal to House Homeless People Near Freeways

October 18, 2020

October 18, 2020

After months of negotiations, the City and County of LA reached a $300 million deal to house thousands of homeless...

Santa Monica’s Police Chief Retiring

October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

SMPD Cynthia Renaud announces retirement, to be replaced by former Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica has announced...

Virtual Staging Changing The Way We Sell Property?

October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

Today on Westside Cribz, Chuck Lorre buys his neighbors home, Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk selling his Santa...