WEHOville

WeHo Installs Speed Warning Signs on Fountain Ave. and San Vicente Blvd.

Wed, Dec 20, 2017   By Staff    21 Comments

After a surge of complaints about traffic accidents, the City of West Hollywood today announced that it has installed solar-powered radar speed indicator signs along Fountain Avenue and on North San Vicente Boulevard to remind drivers to drive within the speed limit.

Six new yellow digital numeral signs provide real-time visual feedback to drivers about how fast their vehicles are moving. The signs have been installed as follows:

— Two Signs on Fountain Avenue near Formosa Avenue;

— Two Signs on Fountain Avenue near La Cienega Boulevard; and

— Two Signs on North San Vicente Boulevard at Rosewood Avenue.

The signs are intended to increase driver awareness of excessive speed and encourage speeders to slow down. Speed citations are regularly issued through enforcement by West Hollywood Sheriff’s Deputies.

fountain avenue, san vicente boulevard

A radar speed indicator sign

“Electronic variable message signs” — trailer-mounted programmable signs that urge drivers to slow down — have also been placed on Fountain Avenue to encourage drivers to recognize and abide by posted speed limits.

There have been more than two dozen vehicle accidents on Fountain Avenue since last December, with one resulting in the death of a pedestrian, Enrique Lopez-Nava, a long-time resident of Formosa Avenue. While Hany Demitri, the city’s principal engineer, said at a recent City Council meeting that that 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, and an average of 35,000 cars a day use it.

Nevertheless, those accidents have become a major issue for those living along Fountain and on its side streets. While Fountain is within West Hollywood’s city limits, the residences on much of its north side are in the City of Los Angeles.

Demitri has said that city staffers 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.

Residents in the West Hollywood West neighborhood also have expressed concerns about accidents involving cars attempting to make left turns onto San Vicente from neighborhood side streets. On several occasions those cars have collided with vehicles headed up or down San Vicente.

In an announcement of the speed indicator signs, the city said “The constant movement of people driving, walking, and bicycling in close proximity is an ongoing challenge in West Hollywood and in cities across the nation. The city is continuously exploring a mix of measures to address pedestrian and bicycle safety and manage traffic congestion. In 2017, the City of West Hollywood installed new signalized pedestrian crosswalks along Santa Monica Boulevard and in 2016 the city added bicycle lanes on Fairfax Avenue.”

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21 Comments

  1. RandyWed, Dec 27, 2017 at 11:37 am

    INSTANT SOLUTIONS, thank you for your respectful response. Yes, the bureaucracy of the city has resulted in us waiting 3 or 4 years for changes to the crosswalks, for example. But I still maintain that these signs will have an immediate impact, and it is embarrassing if they are programmed incorrectly.

    Last thoughts on this subject, regarding ticketing. North of Fountain is LA (most of it), south is City of West Hollywood. Could we be dealing with two bureaucracies here, which might be slowing the efforts to increase patrols for speeding cars?

  2. MannyWed, Dec 27, 2017 at 9:54 am

    @INSTANT SOLUTIONS…..Have you checked to see if that sign is in LA or WEHO? If it is in Weho, you can be more helpful by calling City Hall directly and reporting the error.

  3. INSTANT SOLUTIONSTue, Dec 26, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    Hello!!!!! to any of the city staff reading this site. The flashing sign on Sunset across from the Chateau Marmont still thinks it is in San Diego directing folks to Mission Blvd/PCH and such. Not sure what the purpose of the sign is but also am not sure you know what city you are working in.

  4. INSTANT SOLUTIONSTue, Dec 26, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    @Randy: I respect your point of view and am definitely not “one of those black and white people” however, the city has a bad history of procrastinating on many levels. Highly paid city personnel find all sorts of ingenious ways to study something to death but are not genuinely motivated to solve an issue with any sense of immediacy.

    Rules regarding the operation of motor vehicles are well known to everyone with a license and it is my belief that they should be enforced first with a friendly warning and then with a ticket. The practice works and presumably saves lives and unnecessary insurance issues. Folks have too many hybrid excuses for going left when they should go right….which is the state of affairs we are in. Too many folks have an excuse for being negligent particularly when they think they can slide by.

    I drive on Fountain frequently and am also situated where I am able to hear and see much of the chaos surrounding the Crescent Heights /Fountain intersection. This morning, for instance, a vehicle similar to a Ferrari or another Italian make made a run for it eastbound about 7AM for numerous blocks. Why? because he could…the road was open. Having had experience with high performance cars I would say he easily hit 70 to 80 mph until downshifting at Fairfax. Folks that take these types of chances for a short thrill have no sense about reacting to someone walking their dog and crossing the street. They should save the hp and go out to Willow Springs where it is legal to risk your neck.

  5. J SimmonsTue, Dec 26, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Chill. Of course we all know it is not even close to adequate. BUT IT IS A FIRST STEP. It took this long just to get signage, threats & tickets ….. ALL ARE SOFT ISSUES. … No infrastructure, no permanent installations no permits, no formal meetings …

    AS A FIRST STEP WE (WITH COMMUNITY BEING MORE VOCAL THAN EVER) HAS AT LEAST GOTTEN THIS FIRST STEP THAT WON’T KILL ANYONE …AND MIGHT SAVE A LIFE …. WHILE THE CITY HAS TO ACT – PLANS, MEETINGS, WHICH AFTER 30 YEARS THEY HAVE NEVER DONE A THING ABOUT THE DANGERS OF FOUNTAIN.

    I believe an earlier comment in a previous article declaring the article about the city looking into something WAS TOO LATE and I stated “for God’s sake, there should have been at least cops out there pointing lasers to scare people. WeHo Sheriff is 100% ineffective …
    But I did fight for only the thing that did not take months at minimum.

    Only then did this blog pick up my “shaming” critique with this sudden plan as if it was their idea and in the works. GEEEZE THEY’VE HAD 25 YEARS.

    DON’T HATE ON EVERYONE ELSE WHO ARE ACTUALLY LIKE MINDED, WANT THERE TO BE IMMEDIATE SAFETY CHANGES.

    THIS BLOG IS IRRELEVANT … IT IS ALL THE ELECTED CITY COUNCIL.

  6. RandyTue, Dec 26, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    SLOW DOWN, OK, that is a mess up, but you have not invalidated my point. I’m done arguing with you on this one. I don’t see things as just being black and white. You sound like one of those people who can only see things one way, or the other. God forbid we attempt to solve a problem with more than one solution? Believe what you want to believe, please. I will continue to look at attempting to solve problems with more than one solution, knowing that some are more effective than others, but I also know that those that are less-effective, doesn’t make them not worth our time, and in this case, I firmly believe those signs will prevent accidents, injury, and death. As much as handing out more tickets? Maybe not … but they are worth our time, and the city’s money.

  7. SLOW DOWNSun, Dec 24, 2017 at 10:16 am

    @Randy: Although not on Fountain, please observe a flashing sign on Sunset, 3 blocks away, alerting eastbound drivers before Crescent Heights to “Exit on Mission”………….and other verbiage perhaps referring to the SanDiego area.?????? This particular sign has been giving the same message for days. So much for accuracy.

  8. RandySat, Dec 23, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    SLOW DOWN, I believe In tackling a problem with multiple strategies, to achieve the results you are looking for. Of course, people who get ticketed are going to think twice next time (some). And that is going to be more effective than seeing a sign . But that doesn’t mean these signs are not also going to be effective.

  9. J SimmonsFri, Dec 22, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    You made the point clear. The goal is to stop the fast & dangerous driving on a specific portion through WeHo.

    Just like a DUI check point, the greatest benefit towards reducing Drunk Driving Crashes causing major injury to Death. And with current safety designs and active driver protection such as air bags and active restraint seatbelts that have had an unbelievable increase in driver safety, even in pretty bad crashes. BUT OF COURSE NONE OF THAT HELPS INNOCENT PEDESTRIANS NOR THE IMPACT DAMAGE AND PERSONAL INJURY TO ANOTHER SOBER AND SAFE DRIVER WHO IS THE HEAVY BIG OBJECT STOPPING A DRUNK DRIVER’S CAREENING OUT OF CONTROL UNTIL IT HITS SOMETHING.

    Since Fountain speeders are mostly daily commuters, perhaps a written warning instead of a ticket along with a flyer with the number of accidents and pictures of the people killed (1 I am sure of, but however many, so they get it’s not about tickets or money, but human lives.

  10. SLOW DOWNFri, Dec 22, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    @Randy: Thede is no better reminder than a TICKET, FINE & POINTS. When you drive a vehicle you pay attention.

  11. RandyFri, Dec 22, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    SLOW DOWN, please follow the forum guidelines by not saying things like “please go back to sleep and be driven by a minder.” If you are able to have a civil debate about something, without slinging insults?

    I’m not advocating speeding, in any regard. I’m saying that a lot of drivers, on occasion, don’t pay attention, and end up going 5-10 MPH faster than the posted speed limit. These signs put those people in check.

    And yes, for those willfully speeding, or going way over the speed limit, I believe these will act as a deterrent for *some,* enforcement or no enforcement.

  12. erikFri, Dec 22, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Oh Please! Like that will slow anyone down. Get real. Put a dozen motorcycle cops behind the bushes and write 100 tickets a day. That’s the only way to do it. Signs are a waste of money. Typical West Hollywood response to a problem.

  13. J SimmonsFri, Dec 22, 2017 at 4:07 am

    GIVE IT TIME? The time has come and long gone to wait and see if people will, on their own, slow down.

    25 years living in WeHo, 50 years from the area (Fairfax alumni) and in my youth, I was guilty f excessive speed and passing in the right lane at signals. Thankfully I never injured anyone nor any accident or ticket.

    35 contiguous years of seeing & in my irresponsible youth, a part of the problem (pre city of WeHo being created)

    I see it like a DUI check for speed. DUI checks are not money driven events. They are for holidays when more people are driving, and a large number are not regular drinkers but average people driving drunk. The advertise exactly where they will be. IT IS ABOUT THE SIGHT OF CHECKPOINTS TO CAUSE FEAR IN PEOPLE TO RETHINK AND SLOW DOWN … ALL JUST FOR ONE GOAL … REDUCE THE NUMBER OF DEATHS EACH HOLIDAY WEEKEND.

    WE ARE AT THE SAME POINT WITH FOUNTAIN. REDUCE DEATHS.

  14. SLOW DOWNThu, Dec 21, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    @Randy: I can see you making your case in front of a judge. Lol! It’s a driver’s responsibility to be aware and obey the law. No ifs, ands, buts or conjecture. They have heard it all infinitum. You are operating a potentially lethal weapon! Please go back to sleep and be driven by a minder.

  15. Joshua88Thu, Dec 21, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    SLOW DOWN: People don’t take Fountain because there’s no enforcement. People take Fountain because it’s a quicker drive as it has less traffic and lights as SM.

    Handing out tickets would likely be an excellent deterrent, but you need officers in hiding to catch speeders. Why don’t you give it some time? These signs work for me. One driver at a time.

  16. RandyThu, Dec 21, 2017 at 11:05 am

    “SLOW DOWN,” you might be correct that there isn’t much enforcement, but not everyone knows that. People traveling through West Hollywood don’t all live here, aren’t always from the area, and don’t necessarily know how often people speed down this street. These will work as a deterrent, I believe. Of course, there should be more enforcement, but this is still a good step. Also, sometimes people don’t even realize that they might be going 5-10 MPH over the speed limit, and it puts some of those people in check.

  17. Jim NasiumThu, Dec 21, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Those speed warning signs worked for me.

  18. J SimmonsThu, Dec 21, 2017 at 3:46 am

    It’s not like this is a new problem. As long as I can remember it was always an accident away almost daily at rush hour. DEAD PEOPLE … HOW MANY DEAD BODIES … Of our fellow neighbours have to pile up to take real action. WHAT TO DO?????? HOW ABOUT AGGRESSIVE TICKET WRITING AFTER PASSING A SIGN WITH “TWO DOZEN ACCIDENTS WITH INJURIES AND THE DEATH OF AN OLD MAN”
    >> SPEED LIMITS STRICTLY ENFORCED …. ALL SPEEDERS WILL BE TICKETED AT EACH END”

    Set up a line directing all speeders to wait their turn to get a ticket. A line of cars getting tickets will deter everyone else entering a virtual mini urban ‘FREEWAY” called Fountain.

  19. lizardlevlerWed, Dec 20, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
    Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
    Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?
    Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
    Sign
    Sign, sign
    when will we see real action? the ‘interim plan meeting’ probably occurred an hour before the council meeting so they could say it happened.

  20. tysonWed, Dec 20, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    yeah, the signs do absolutely nothing. no one cares. i walk fountain almost daily and never see someone actually being ticketed.

  21. SLOW DOWNWed, Dec 20, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    With all due respect, Mr. Demitri would be well served to come out from under his stove pipe and get engaged in what is actually happening in real time. The “pacify the neighborhood” signs are lame and when approaching them in the right lane between 25 and 35 mph (the current speed limit), cars in the left lane often happily to speed by at 45 to 50mph. THERE IS NO ENFORCEMENT AND PEOPLE KNOW THAT, THAT’S WHY THEY TAKE FOUNTAIN. There are also no traffic police visible during critical hours and many intersections remain blocked making access to feed in or turn next to impossible. HANDING OUT TICKETS WOULD BE A GREAT DETERRENT.

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