WEHOville

Woman Hit by Car This Morning on Fountain and Gardner — a Focus of Residents Traffic Complaints

Thu, Dec 07, 2017   By Staff    17 Comments

A man, thought to be her husband, hovering over the woman hit by a car on Fountain at Gardner this morning. Those on the site identified the woman standing on the right as the driver of the car that hit her.

A woman who apparently was walking with her husband was hit when two cars crashed around 8 a.m. today on Fountain Avenue at Gardner.

According to witnesses on the scene, the woman was taken to the hospital.

A sign at the intersection of Gardner and Fountain Avenue, where the accident occurred that the LAPD identifies as Sunset and Gardner.

The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station responded to a call about the accident, only to find that the woman had been removed and the situation cleared, apparently because the Los Angeles Police Department had arrived first. The north side of Fountain Avenue in that area is within the boundaries of the City of Los Angeles.

No one answered repeated calls by WEHOville to the front desk of the LAPD’s Hollywood Division. The Hollywood Division’s telephone system does not accept voice mail messages either. An officer at LAPD headquarter’s Media Relations office told WEHOville that its officers had reported the accident to have occurred on Gardner at Sunset Boulevard, which is clearly contradicted by the photo posted with this story, taken by someone on the scene, that shows the Fountain street sign. He said the woman was around 25 years old but had no further information.

Vehicle accidents on Fountain Avenue have become a major issue for those living along it and on its side streets. At a recent West Hollywood City Council meeting, Hany Demitri, the city’s principal engineer, said there have been 20 accidents on Fountain since December 2016. One of those accidents, which occurred on Sept. 1 this year, resulted in the death of Enrique Lopez-Nava, a long-time resident of Formosa Avenue, who was hit by a car as he walked across Fountain.

At its meeting on Monday, the City Council pushed City Hall to quickly implement some procedures to slow traffic and improve pedestrian safety.

Demitri told the Council that city staffers already are working on an interim plan to improve safety on Fountain Avenue. He 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.

In the meantime, council members John D’Amico and Lauren Meister asked that the city take steps such as moving 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.

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17 Comments

  1. Keep CalmSun, Dec 10, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    A few months ago I had a conversation with Mr. Demitri about the unsafe intersection at Sunset and La Cienega principally because west bound cars on Sunset were seriously running the left turn arrow and the cars in two lanes heading north on La Cienega preparing to turn were consequently imperiled. Additionally, due to the slope of the street, pedestrians are crossing are unstable. I make sure that I am never in lane #1 to take any impact with light runners cutting the corner and stay well behind the #1 and #2 cars ahead of me should they get hit. It will happen at some point.

    Thursday I witnessed a homeless man with a shopping cart attempting to navigate this crossing west to east on La Cienega. He was off balance, the cart had a mind of its own and he did all he could to keep if from breaking loose and crashing into the cars. Several of us waiting couldn’t believe what we were seeing. Suggestion: NO pedestrians crossing on top of La Cienega but must cross Sunset west or east of La Cienega and do a double cross to be safe. At night with inebriated pedestrians and drivers navigating this intersection there is almost certainly going to be an incident.

    I recall Mr. Demitri was rather nonchalant and wanting to pass this off to a colleague so given the shopping cart situation I’m going to make a date with him to go up there to observe exactly what is happening.

  2. blueeyedboySun, Dec 10, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Again, why is it that when something bad happens it is assumed to be the fault of the driver? It seems to me it is more likely the fault of the pedestrian who used poor judgement and took a risk that didn’t go well. When someone is hurt (or worse) it is assumed to be the fault of the “big guy” (the car) who may have done absolutely nothing wrong. Traffic has to move, and if we did some of the things that are being suggested here we all might as well just stay home.

  3. FranzSat, Dec 09, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    And some of the suggestions here (removing parked cars, make it easier to travel faster) is the exact opposite of what needs to happen. The only solution is traffic calming, and that usually means reducing speeds. Speed is the number one reasons these collisions happen. Making it easier to speed is just gonna make the situation worse.

    Reduce the travel lanes, reduce the speed limit to 25 mph, install bulb outs, widen the sidewalks and install bike lanes. Anything less is just a band aid solution and a waste of time and the problem will continue. This is a residential street, not a pseudo-highway. The stretch of Fountain Ave in Hollywood (east of La Brea) seem to manage just fine.

  4. FranzSat, Dec 09, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    There is space for middle lanes on Fountain. You can turn the travel lanes into one each way, with a middle turning lane. Fountain Ave is a one lane road for much of its length to the East of La Brea Ave. Why cant it be the same way west of La Brea, where most of these deadly collisions are occurring?

  5. DavidSat, Dec 09, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Fountain (although fasta) is also a dangerous thoroughfare. This is true for cars and especially pedestrians. Pedestrians often have to travel several blocks to cross Fountain and unfortunately some don’t want to do that, all along a street where cars are basically racing because they value the speed of the street in the first place relative to Santa Monica or Sunset. No pedestrian will ever be safe along Fountain especially if they jaywalk (not saying that’s what happened here, but it does).

    I agree from a motorist standpoint the parked cars are a problem and should likely be removed. It would be nice to hear from the City of West Hollywood where the boundary along Fountain lies. I suspect it’s the center of the road, which may explain some of the problems with controlling what happens here along this mile stretch of road.

  6. fine7760Fri, Dec 08, 2017 at 3:27 am

    Fountain Ave is within the City of West Hollywood. The dividing line is the north sidewalk. LAPD Hollywood Division does not have officers assigned to accident Investigation, that task is assigned to West L.A. Traffic which is housed in the division on Venice Bl. near La Brea.

    Please don’t put those traffic hazard poles currently installed on Santa Monica Bl. on Fountain. It’s my experience that one must take their eyes off the cross wak and concentrate on not hitting these poles and signs. The city has at least two trucks dedicated to repairing these signs and poles early each morning. Can no one recognize there is a problem with them and in fact when they are hit technically a accident has occurred.

  7. Keep CalmThu, Dec 07, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    That was approximately 70MPH from Spaulding to Fairfax…then Fairfax to Crescent Heights.

  8. Keep CalmThu, Dec 07, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Tonight at 6:40 while driving west on Fountain a white late model Mercedes
    travelled at a high rate of speed weaving around cars, then took off landing at Fairfax. Would estimate at approx 70MPH. Nearly adjacent at Fairfax, he took off again with clear sailing turning left on Crescent Heights. Then seeing that I followed he again turned east on Norton and then south on Laurel. Phoned it in to Sheriff after getting tag number. In that I drive a turbo I’m acquainted with high speed although I follow the speed limits. There is no place for that kind of wreckless driving.

    WHITE MERCEDES WITH ANTLERS ON THE ROOF . TAG: WTH THOS

  9. blueeyedboyThu, Dec 07, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    It appears here that all the blame is being placed on drivers. Maybe the girl is entirely at fault for what has happened to her.

  10. Joshua88Thu, Dec 07, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    For as long as I can remember, there is no parking between 4pm – 7pm.
    Middle lanes then leave one lane of traffic in each direction.

    The only times, as a pedestrian, that I’ve been in danger, is when people are talking on his/her cell phone while driving. Any distraction is dangerous. WeHo reacts to our needs, albeit a little slowly. When trees are overgrown, they wrap stop signs so you cannot miss them.

    We don’t have enough cops to be on every side street corner where too many people do rolling stops. You guys are so quick to have somebody else fix your problems. Get creative.
    Do a citizen’s arrest if you see somebody breaking the law. It’s safe enough to cross the street if, as a pedestrian, you watch the CARS, not your device. Share the road, people; that’s just the way it is.

  11. RandyThu, Dec 07, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Scott, I agree with that notion, but they do restrict parking during rush hour, for the most part, on part of (or maybe all of) of Fountain.

    Not having two lanes 24/7 causes drivers to weave back and forth to that single lane, forcing them to take their eyes of the road, checking blind spots. And a lot of them are speeding, playing “pole position,” trying to get in around cars, avoiding parked cars in the all the while.

    Speeding is a really big problem on this street, during non rush-hour. I suggest they implement those signs with the radars that say “you are going x miles per hour … the speed limit is y.” I’ve read that those can make a real difference.

    Another problem is intoxicated drivers, late at night, early in the morning, and this being a thoroughfare that is surrounded by residential housing. That makes it much different than Sunset or SMB, and creates a situation where cars end up in peoples yards, driveways, walls, etc.. People need to slow down and obey the speed limit. Those traffic signs might help, but so would more police patrol, perhaps, looking for intoxicated and/or speeding drivers, and maybe even a couple more stop lights. Notice how many of these serious accidents happen in the early morning. A lot.

  12. ScottThu, Dec 07, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Yes AVP! No more blocking lanes with parked cars. It forces lane changing, lane splitting, erratic driving and road rage. 35,000 drive Fountain daily and we block HALF of it to let 100 cars park. The math doesn’t make sense. If you went to the doctor and he/she said, your heart has 4 arteries and two are blocked, you’d have emergency surgery.
    The prescription here is no parked cars in driving lanes.

  13. AlisonThu, Dec 07, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    The problem is that the street is not wide enough for the amount of cars travelling that street daily. Also, the cars do not adhere to the speed limits. We cannot take away the parking on the street because it is residential. Parking is already restricted during rush hour. We need more law enforcement personnel ticketing speeders and/or just making their presence known to slow down the traffic.

    We also need law enforcement to ticket people who are distracted They are not doing that now.

  14. SafeWalkingThu, Dec 07, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Please DO NOT JAY WALK! There are 2 parts to the problem – CARS and PEOPLE. Stay in the crosswalks

  15. Keep CalmThu, Dec 07, 2017 at 11:45 am

    There are no available “middle lanes” on Fountain. The city has acquiesced to the cyclists who “insisted” they wanted sharrows on this dangerous street, consequently this has become suicidal madness with no one acting as if they had good sense. So the city in wanting to be everything to everybody is serving no one in this particular traffic situation. Drivers are distracted, impatient and out of control and there is no obvious deterrent like old fashioned law enforcement. We could use an “emergency ordinance” not more study groups.

  16. AVPThu, Dec 07, 2017 at 11:38 am

    because of the damn parking! Take the cars out of the driving lanes!

  17. FranzThu, Dec 07, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Please please please please finally turn the middle lanes into dedicated turn. It’s the only way. Anything else is just a bandaid solution and more people will die. Do your job, planning committee and city leadership.

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