With Crosswalk at Santa Monica Blvd. and Westmount Reopened, Here’s What’s Next

Pedestrian crosswalk on Santa Monica Boulevard between Odgen Drive and Orange Grove Avenue.

The installation of pedestrian crosswalks with traffic lights on Santa Monica Boulevard has reached a major step with the reopening of the crosswalk at Westmount Drive and the northbound u-turn lane in front of the Ramada Inn and the addition of a southbound u-turn lane.

An announcement from the City of West Hollywood’s Public Works Department says work will continue to installing traffic signals at each of the four crosswalk locations on Santa Monica.

This coming week, drivers and pedestrians can expect daily lane closures in the immediate work areas between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Other activities include:

Monday. The contractor will be installing conduit via boring at Hancock Avenue, by Coffee Bean, and at Westmount Drive on the south side. Pedestrian access will be maintained. Also, irrigation work within new median island will be complete.

Tuesday. The contractor will continue working on underground conduits at Westmount Drive on the south side and set controller foundations.

Wednesday. Pull boxes and conduits will be installed at West Knoll Drive within the sidewalk and median. Pedestrian access will be maintained.

Thursday. Conduit will be installed at Hancock Avenue within the sidewalk. Pedestrian access will be maintained.

Friday. Conduit will be installed at Palm Avenue. Pedestrian access will be maintained.

To accommodate the construction, parking meters in the immediate work area may be tagged with Temporary No Parking signs posted 24 hours in advance. The crosswalk at Santa Monica Boulevard and Palm Avenue will remain closed while the new curb ramps are constructed.

The city installed its first traffic light synchronized crosswalk in December on Santa Monica Boulevard between North Orange Grove Avenue and North Ogden Drive. It replaced two unlighted crosswalks, one near Orange Grove and the other near Ogden.

The stoplights at the crosswalks will be able to be activated by a pedestrian, who must push a button on a pole on the sidewalk. The light is coordinated with the traffic light at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and nearby streets.

Residents demanded the city increase efforts to prevent pedestrians from being hit by cars after the death in August 2014 of Clinton Bounds. Bounds, who was inebriated, was hit by a car while walking across Santa Monica Boulevard at night. Initially, it was believed he had been in the Hancock crosswalk, although photos later showed he was jaywalking.

    1. Those cute messages were not painted on the sidewalks in front of Starbucks and 24 Hour Fitness for nothing. The sheriffs should cite those who step out into traffic paying more attention to texting than on coming cars. It’s not reckless being unable to stop in a safe manner.

      1. Coby, you are simply wrong. I see people crossing from start to finish, never looking up from their phones. It’s insane. When I cross, I look right at the cars, all the way, until I reach the other side. Nothing on that damn phone is that important that you can’t look away from it for one minute. So sad.

  1. I am a ‘responsible pedestrian’. I only cross with the light, in marked crosswalks. I look first and don’t just blindly step into the road. And I am almost run down every time I try to cross. Drivers making right-hand turns from San Vicente onto SMB don’t yield to peds even though we have the light; as others have mentioned, drivers routinely abuse peds who are crossing with the light, just because drivers won’t wait 10 seconds for someone to finish crossing; drivers are not even looking at peds – on a side street I walk every evening, I routinely wait up to 10 minutes to cross one intersection since no driver looks to the sidewalk to determine if there is a ped there (and peds have right of way at intersections, so cars should yield.)

    I sometimes have to use a cane for mobility and balance issues. Seeing the cane means nothing to drivers. It’s terrifying for me to cross major streets in this city. I can’t imagine what it’s like for folks who are disabled or older.

    Although Clinton’s sad death was the precipitating factor in making safety changes, the problem isn’t peds, as some have stated. It is definitely drivers. I fear it will take more ped deaths before that’s realised and dealt with (Sheriffs at intersections?)

  2. Clinton Bound’s case was not the only one prompting action on the crosswalks. This issue had been simmering for a long long time. Not everyone on the city council was as concerned about pedestrian safety as they were about keeping traffic moving. I’m glad to see people have come around. I’ve long argued that it shouldn’t slow traffic if crosswalk signals were synchronized with nearby streets.

  3. Regardless of why this was implemented, the point is the street will be safer and more efficient for both pedestrians and vehicles. Pedestrians might have to wait a minute or so, but it’s a lot better than having to pray oncoming cars see you. The timing of the lights should mean Drivers will not have to stop as often as they do now. Most importantly, it induces all to pay more attention with the crossing signals.

  4. A “LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE CROSSING” campaign would really help! Often people just cross like they own the road and make it the drivers fault …

  5. Love how they delicately describe the although unfortunate casualty as inehbriated, rather than just drunk.

    I wish they had been so considerate when they showed the man who committed suicide.

    Where is personal accountability these days? Look both ways before crossing a street, look inside the 7-11 before going in, and don’t drink spoiled milk.

  6. Bob, why would there be more accidents at these lights? They are just like traffic lights, so you cannot miss them when they are red. Your point is moot.

  7. fine7760, West Hollywood allows bikes on the sidewalks, due to the lack of bike lanes, however, they are supposed to watch out for pedestrians. The problem with crossing the street at La Cienega is, if you are crossing north or south, there is barely enough time to get across the street before the light changes, so they might want to make that one a bit longer, for safety reasons.

    1. Where i was almost hit at Sweetzer there are bike lanes but he was not using one. The cars I’m referring to are southbound on La Cienega wanting to turn right on to Santa Monica. I have had the right of way with the traffic light still green but the AH don’t want to wait, they are in a big hurry to get stuck in the grid lock on S.M. bl.

  8. Can we please please please add grass or artificial turf to the medians?? I am tired of the dirt. They used to look so good. A little landscaping help please!

  9. This is ridiculous all because someone was hit and killed ( he was drunk). It’s sad that this country has become so stupid that we have dumbed down everything. I don’t cross the street unless I can see the eyes of the driver. So many people are glued to their Grindr and Facebook when they cross the street. I don’t even ride a motorcycle anymore because of stupid drivers.

    These lights will save pedestrians but I’m curious how many rear ended accidents from thease lights will ouccur.

  10. As a driver I’m glade the street is returning to normal. As a pedestrian we are still plagued with aggressive drivers at intersections such as Santa Monica and La Cienega who are impatient with pedestrians crossing Santa Monica Bl. northbound. I’ve been honked at, almost ran over while crossing the street coming back from 24 Hour fitness. I’m a senior and proud of being able to go to the gym three times a week but have stopped walking due to the unsafe conditions while going and coming from the gym.

    My second problem is bike riders on the sidewalk. I realize riding in the street is very unsafe even with the “false sense of security” bike lanes but something has to be done about bike riders speeding down the sidewalks. On Tuesday of this week I was crossing Sweetzer enroute to City Hall when a bike rider almost hit me from behind wizzing down the sidewalk, thru the crosswalk, back on to the sidewalk on the south side of the street. While I’m aware the sheriffs are very busy sidewalk safety should be one of their priorities. It’s time bike riders who break the law riding on sidewalks or who ride in a unsafe manner be cited. This is not the first time this has happened to me. I have been cursed for not moving out of the way sometimes by bicyclists who are approaching from behind me. I realize biking is now trendy but responsibility should be trendy as well.

  11. So this whole thing was instigated by a jaywalker, and these new crosswalks won’t help stupid people who run into traffic randomly lol

  12. I keep hearing that these crosswalk lights are synchronized with the other lights in the area. I was not aware that WeHo had a synchronization system in place like other cities do. I seem to recall that there was supposed to be money for this as part of the Sunset Millennium approval back in the 1990s, but I never heard anything about implementation. Does anyone have actual detail on this?

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