It’s finally happening. The City of West Hollywood is set to install signalized crosswalks on Santa Monica Boulevard after many years of back and forth debates about pedestrian safety.
The construction is set to begin next week, on Monday, July 10. It is expected to last throughout the summer for a whole three months.
The City contracted with Sully-Miller Company to make the traffic signal improvements. The signalized pedestrian crosswalks will go up at the intersections of Santa Monica Blvd./Palm Ave; Santa Monica Blvd./Hancock Ave; Santa Monica Blvd./Westmount Dr.; and Santa Monica Blvd./West Knoll Dr.
In August 2014, Clinton Bounds, 62—a longtime resident of West Hollywood, and fixture at the local WeHo gay bars, died after being hit by a car on Santa Monica Boulevard near the Hancock Ave. crosswalk. His death incited protests and calls for pedestrian safety in West Hollywood. He was killed almost three years ago.
The 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, ADA curb ramps, Asphalt Concrete pavement, traffic signs, traffic striping and pavement markings.
The new project all adds up to delays and traffic jams, so plan accordingly. The construction work will close one travel lane on Santa Monica Blvd. in both directions between Palm Ave & West Knoll Dr.
“It’s a great idea, but it’s not good planning,” says West Hollywood resident Dan Mryglot. “It’s going to be a nightmare. The construction on the corner of Sunset and La Cienega is an example of how poorly the City plans things with no police presence to direct traffic. Now Santa Monica Boulevard is going to be one lane each way, when there is already construction making a mess in Beverly Hills where Santa Monica Boulevard is down to one lane in one direction and they’re using small Santa Monica Boulevard to go in the other direction.”
“However, these crosswalks are long overdue,” he added. “We should have these crosswalks directing traffic for pedestrian safety. The community has outgrown the intersections mentioned. Changes do need to be made because people break traffic laws all the time while trying to get to where they’re going. It can be dangerous.”
Three changeable message signs with project information are expected to go up during the construction to give motorists an advance notice of the upcoming work. Letters have also been distributed to all residents and businesses in the immediate vicinity of the project.
For more information, visit weho.org, or call 323-848-6507