By Aaron Blevins, 8/16/2012
Pedestrian death prompts call for traffic calming measures
Traffic calming measures are likely heading to 6th Street and Hauser Boulevard, though some of the more significant changes could be more than one year out, as the city will need to conduct an environmental impact report before proceeding.
Representatives of Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge, 4th District, said potential parking impacts on 6th Street, where officials may propose a turn lane, will require the environmental study.
“Those will be studies that will help us in the long-term,” Park La Brea’s director of resident services, John Burney, said. “We respect that. That’s due course. …The fact is it’s already in motion. We’re happy and confident.”
Burney testified alongside a handful of concerned parties at the transportation committee meeting last week, when officials discussed their intent to have the Los Angeles Department of Transportation recommend and implement traffic-calming measures. The committee passed the resolution, and the city council followed suit on Aug. 15.
However, in the interim, city officials will begin work to “hold the stop light” at the intersection so that there is a “staggered red,” Burney said.
“It slows everybody’s pace down, so there’s not an immediate action when the light changes,” he said.
Burney said he is confident that the study will lead to positive changes for the area, which is key for the neighborhood. He said many Park La Brea residents come home and then walk to the many destinations along the Miracle Mile.
“We encourage pedestrians, but we want to make sure they’re safe as well,” Burney added.
He said there have been pedestrian accidents in the Park La Brea area, but never have they been the result of a collision. On July 11, 74-year-old Margaret Rosenberger was struck and killed at the intersection after two cars collided, sending one toward Rosenberger, who was standing on the northwest corner of the intersection. Her friend, Betsy Hunter, testified at the transportation committee last week.
“That struck us very deeply,” Burney said.
He said the department of transportation will investigate the kind of accidents that occur in the area, as well as the many variables that could contribute to the collisions. Burney asked motorists to take precautions.
“Ultimately, everybody should drive respectfully,” he said. “We shouldn’t be challenging a traffic light, we should honor a traffic light.”