The West Hollywood City Council tonight pushed City Hall to speed up efforts to address traffic accidents on Fountain Avenue.
Hany Demitri, the city’s principal engineer, told the Council that city staffers already are working on an interim plan to improve safety on Fountain Avenue. Demitri said he already has met with a subcommittee composed of members of the city’s Transportation and Public Safety commissions to present interim and short-term and long-term plans to address safety issues. Demitri said he hopes to have the interim plan ready to present to the City Council in February.
City Councilmembers John D’Amico and Lauren Meister said the city needed to move faster, given that there have been 20 accidents on Fountain, one involving a fatality, since December of last year. They proposed that the city move to Fountain some of the mobile traffic warning signs that were placed on Santa Monica Boulevard before the pedestrian crosswalk synchronized traffic lights were installed there. The city already has put four flashing lights on Fountain to warn drivers to slow down.
Demitri said that 20 accidents on Fountain was not an exceptionally high number, given that the avenue is considered a minor “arterial,” meaning that it is used by drivers to cross through the city. Demitri said that number of accidents isn’t unusual given the average of 35,000 cars a day on Fountain.
Councilmember D’Amico said that while Fountain may be seen as an artery, it is also a residential street, given that most of the avenue is bordered by apartments and houses. Automobile crashes have resulted in cars landing in people’s front yards, he said.
Mayor John Heilman said that it might make sense to prohibit left turns onto Fountain from side streets and find a way to warn drivers not to try to cross Fairfax during rush hours.