Where is Peak-Hour Traffic Slowest on WeHo’s Westside?

weho by the numbers
Sunset & La Cienega and Santa Monica & Doheny have the biggest estimated peak-hour traffic delays among intersections on West Hollywood’s Westside. That is according to a report by WeHo by the Numbers based on three recent traffic studies.

Consultants prepared the traffic studies as part of the city’s review of three proposed developments: the Robertson Lane Hotel, the 8555 Santa Monica mixed-use project and the Arts Club on Sunset. One of the primary goals of the studies was to determine whether the projects would have a significant long-term impact on traffic at nearby intersections.

The city gets to define what “significant” means. West Hollywood has chosen specific thresholds based on traffic delays caused by a project. In most cases, it is the extra delay for the average driver in one of the peak hours. It has to be at least 8 to 12 seconds for congested intersections of two commercial corridors and 5 to 8 seconds for other congested intersections.

The studies found significant impacts at only two intersections, based on computer models and the city’s thresholds. The first is Santa Monica and Robertson, because of the Robertson Lane Hotel. Without mitigation, the project is expected to add 12 seconds of delay for the average car going through the intersection in the mid-day peak and 25 seconds in the p.m. peak. With that extra delay, the intersection would be graded F (on an A-to-F scale) for its level of service in the p.m. peak. The consultants believe they have identified a mitigation measure that can more than offset the hotel’s impact.

The second intersection is Holloway and Hancock, due to the 8555 Santa Monica project. The project would add 10 seconds of delay for drivers on Hancock in the evening peak. However, the report suggests this may have more to do with the intersection and the calculations than the specific project. The consultant’s computer model says that, in the future, turning from Hancock onto Holloway will be much more difficult in the evening peak. Under those conditions, even one or two extra vehicles from the project making that turn would be significant according to the city’s criteria. The consultant believes the impact is unavoidable.

As part of their analysis, the three studies estimated current peak-hour delays at many Westside intersections. The report compiles those numbers, using averages for intersections with multiple estimates.

The intersection at Sunset and La Cienega has the highest estimate: close to three minutes (166 seconds) of delay for the average driver in the p.m. peak. Santa Monica and Doheny and Santa Monica and Westbourne come next on the list. The Santa Monica and Doheny intersection has over two minutes of delay in the a.m. peak. Santa Monica and Westbourne has an average delay of one-and-a-half minutes in the p.m. peak.

The delays can be represented as level of service (LOS) grades from A to F. Sunset and La Cienega, Santa Monica and Doheny, and Santa Monica and Westbourne are LOS F based on current estimated delays. Two more intersections – Sunset and Doheny and Sunset and San Vicente – were assumed by the consultants to be LOS F because of in-person observations. LOS F is defined as: “Failure. Backups from nearby locations or on cross streets may restrict or prevent movement of vehicles out of the intersection approaches. Tremendous delays with continuously increasing queue lengths.”

The LOS E intersections are La Cienega at Fountain, at Holloway, at Santa Monica and at Melrose, based on the delay numbers. LOS E is defined as: “Poor. Represents the most vehicles intersection approaches can accommodate; may be long lines of waiting vehicles through several signal cycles.”

For more about current and future traffic delays, read the full report, What do recent traffic studies tell us about West Hollywood?

  1. Parking Ticket Vultures
    WEHO has a reputation for being unfriendly in one specific way to visitors because of the outrageous parking ticket costs and the rapidity that parking ticket officers move.

    A senior handicapped man, living on social security, put his handicapped sticker on his rear-view mirror before he went to physical therapy. He returned to find a parking ticket because rather than park close to the driveway in front of his car, he pulled back a little to be careful not to block the driveway. This was just enough to have his rear bumper in the red zone that is many feet away from something that is not dangerous, a water drain. Was he in error? Yes. But it seems somehow brutal that someone with limited financial means, and an occasionally poor senior memory is a victim of this edict.

    With its great wealth, West Hollywood renders an “unfriendly” petty image to visitors and those of us that pay taxes and live here. As soon as they paved the street where I own my home they painted white markers within which one must park. Even though two cars can park easily in front of my home the white marks don’t allow more than one. I would frequently pull up to my driveway to make sure that there was room for another car behind me.

    I received three tickets over a period of a month because I was using a rental car and because of habit patterns caused by having a parking sticker on my bumper my memory was not taking good enough care of me to remember that I needed to put a hang-tag on my rear-view mirror in the rental car.

    Three tickets for parking in front of my own house (?), and the tickets were given out moments after I parked “incorrectly.”

    WEHO has parking ticket officers that are mandated to be ticket vultures, jumping on violators with discomforting speed. Whoever is boss should be called to consider how this resounds to both visitors and residents.

    And the cost of tickets has increased substantially over the last few years. This is a function of the orders coming from the top. My Dad was a cop so I know how it works.

    When will WEHO actually become more friendly, and less greedy, so that we too enjoy the community warmth of Portland, Austin, Berkeley and numerous other more friendly, less up-tight “small-town” feeling communities? WEHO is diverse. It is progressive, at least on the surface. But what about its heart?

    “Bigger, faster, louder” is represented potently here, as the City keeps pushing harder to be bigger, faster, louder — and greedier.

    We might ask ourselves when will the tin man have a heart?

    We also might ask if all the four-second left turn signals that WEHO has are designed to make people mad at each other – or just raise our blood pressure. Beverly Hills left turn signals give considerably more margin time, which improves driver comfort. I guess it’s all about who is in charge. Beverly Hills residents demand comfort.

  2. WOW! I am in shock. Thank god we have ‘actual’ statistical numbers being researched and informed the residents living in the dark to the true facts. The worst rush hour traffic in LA. How could anyone living in weho possibly have known this. Better, being serious, why on earth does does weho report the OBVIOUS as either news or anything new? We should be conscious, our worst traffic, becomes the source of gridlock on all four sides of the city for everyone to suffer. Yet weho keeps this mad overbuilding? When I moved to weho, friends asked about why – the worst traffic in l.a. I said I know, but if you live in the middle of it, you don’t have to pass through to get home.

  3. Will traffic studies also look at how these proposed developments will affect all the street and neighborhoods off of Santa Monica, Sunset, etc? All the streets that residents already have to pull over and allow one car at a time to pass, pull over for trash, UPS, USPS, limited street parking. Add all the new residents, delivery, trash, services, patrons…..a nightmare.

  4. And yet we encourage MORE HOTELS on Sunset Blvd. Once the several MIXED USE buildings are open for business on Santa Monica Blvd., traffic will be even worse and the minimal parking available will increase frustration as well.

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