Council Agrees to Station Traffic Control Officers at Busy WeHo Intersections

West Hollywood traffic
West Hollywood traffic

Acknowledging that traffic congestion is out of control in the city, the West Hollywood City Council voted unanimously Monday to station officers to direct traffic at busy intersections throughout the city during the afternoon rush hour.

However, those traffic cops will not begin working for several more months because the council decided more input is needed from city staffers before implementing the plan.

“I’m willing to try just about anything to find relief [from traffic congestion],” said Councilmember Jeffrey Prang.

Councilmembers John D’Amico and John Duran sponsored the idea, contending that traffic congestion affects residents’ quality of life and hampers the city’s economic competitiveness.

Citing a 1,320 percent increase in gridlock tickets issued in a 30 month period – 35 tickets were issued in January 2011, while 464 tickets were issued in June 2013 – D’Amico said traffic officers are needed as gridlock will only worsen with several new construction projects currently underway or soon to start.

The council was especially concerned with how to measure whether the plan is successful, saying it needed more than just anecdotal information to determine if its working.

“If it doesn’t work, we need to understand why,” said Mayor Abbe Land.

Thus the council will seek more information from city staff members, sheriff’s deputies and the Transportation Commission before proceeding. The council will hold a joint study session with the Transportation Commission in early February.

D’Amico and Duran suggested stationing sheriff’s deputies and parking enforcement officers from 4 to 7 p.m. at six intersections along Santa Monica Boulevard – Doheny Drive, San Vicente Boulevard, La Cienega Boulevard, Crescent Heights Boulevard, Fairfax Avenue and La Brea Avenue – and at three intersections along Sunset Boulevard – Doheny, Horn Avenue-Holloway Drive and La Cienega.

Councilmember John Heilman said morning rush hour traffic officers might be needed as well.

The plan could cost $60,000 per month, depending on the number of sheriff’s deputies and traffic enforcement officers used. D’Amico said the sheriff’s deputies would cost $70 per hour per person, while traffic enforcement officers with training in directing traffic would cost $40 per hour per person.

As part of the plan, traffic lights will be synchronized in the city to allow for better traffic flow.

The city of Los Angeles has stationed traffic officers at 38 busy intersections, particularly in West LA near the 405 freeway, since 2005 and has seen rush-hour commute times reduced by as much as 20 percent.


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Larry Block
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Larry Block

We can’t have people slow down at crosswalks, (we do have more lighted crosswalks being installed between Doheny and La Cienega to start the program which will eventually extend to the east side).. and then speed people through town. Traffic cops not only cost money.. people slow down to see whats going on. Any single traffic cop can only face one side of a 4 sided intersection at one time. A light alerts all sides of the intersection at one time with red, green, yellow lights. We can create a no parking zone at certain parts of the city and… Read more »

kab1200
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kab1200

I agree with John. Traffic cops are expensive and a band aid, Synchronized lights and pedestrian crossing being timed or bridged, are to me the two biggest fixes on a permanent basis.

John McCormick
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John McCormick

If they took the money they will pay cops, timed lights and built pedestrian bridges (ala Las Vegas) on Santa Monica Blvd at San Vicente & La Cienega, then took out the two cross walks near the 24 hour fitness (rush hour nightmares) and replaced them with pedestrian bridges too, traffic would flow much better. We’d have a long term fix and pedestrians would be safer!

Lyndia Lowy
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Lyndia Lowy

I wish this could happen sooner. I’ve witnessed LOTS of fender-benders in the last few weeks. People will be coming to and through West Hollywood for holiday events, and patience will be short. Having traffic control officers at key intersections will bring a small measure of sanity our traffic flow. Please get this started BEFORE Oscar season!

Marla
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Marla

Michael is correct. Corruption continues to be in full swing among our wonderful city council and the developers. They are so ass backwards. Let’s see, lets line our pockets and build and build and build, then we can act concerned about all of the traffic problems that we were warned was already a considerable problem in our city. Do you all take the short bus to work?

Jonathan
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Jonathan

Am I the only one that thinks when council has an idea or wants something it gets done regardless? Is this just another way for the city to write more tickets? Where does all the money come from ? Instead of spending money on new ideas why dont we fix whats broken first? LIKE THE CITY CROSSWALKS THAT HAVE NO LIGHTS or when was the last time your building was checked for safety violations. Public safety should come first not how fast people drive through. They clearly cannot manage what they are creating.

Snarkygal
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Snarkygal

Andy, 2010 was 3 years ago. Now, we’ve got these massive new apartment complexes going up. They are not for current WeHo residents. They are for new residents. Most people on the East Side can’t afford the rents these new buildings will be asking. Increased density!

desire
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desire

The last think Weho needs is more police and more tickets. period.

Marc Suitz
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Marc Suitz

Population grows by two factors: Residential and Business. I think West Hollywood needs to address the problem and put a moratorium on new large buildings for a few years to see how all the new construction is going to effect the traffic. WeHO is going to spend $700,000 + a year to accomidate all the bad growth decisions… ass backwards! WeHo has too much money… stop giving out so many tickets to WeHo residents. Find ways to bring taxes down.

Shawn Thompson
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Shawn Thompson

It sounds like they are going to drag this out with a bunch of red tape and over thinking it! I mean come on Abbe you know it would help! To Andy the idea that the population inst growing in weho as a counter to the concerns of over density in the city is kinda a lost cause at this point. What ever bigger that goes into the city creates more traffic in a city that can’t handle what it has.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Density is not increasing. West Hollywood’s population has gone down from 35,800 in 2000 to 34,400 in 2010, according to the US Census Bureau.

Michael Mitford - concerned in WEHO
Guest

Density is increasing because the LA and WEHO city councils are in the hands of the developers. They might as well be taking the cash on the table.