West Hollywood’s Santa Monica Boulevard pedestrian crosswalk project, originally intended for completion by the middle of October, now looks as if it may not be done until Thanksgiving.
The project is largely completed. But a memo today from Hany Demitri, West Hollywood’s principal engineer, said that Southern California Edison will need three to four weeks to connect the meters that provide power to the crosswalks.
Each of the crosswalks will feature a stoplight synchronized to stoplights at major intersections along Santa Monica Boulevard. The synchronized lights will turn red and stop cars from moving forward while pedestrians use the crosswalks. And they will turn red and stop pedestrians from crossing while cars move through on the green lights. That is expected to reduce the risk of car collisions with pedestrians and to reduce traffic slowdowns caused by spontaneous pedestrian crossings.
The project began July 10 and has involved a complex process of installing traffic lights and connecting them with power, which has required removal of parts of sidewalks at the intersections and in some cases reshaping them. Another part of the project has involved creating turn lanes that allow drivers headed south on Westmount to turn left onto Santa Monica Boulevard and drivers headed west on Santa Monica Boulevard to turn left into the parking garage adjacent to LASC and Capitol Drugs and to reverse direction and head east on Santa Monica Boulevard.
In addition to the crosswalk on Santa Monica at Westbourne, the city is installing signalized crosswalks on Santa Monica at or near West Knoll, at Palm Avenue and Hancock Avenue.
Next week no work is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, although the contractor will temporarily remove the traffic control devices at Westmount Drive to accommodate the Halloween Carnaval crowd. They will be reinstalled on Wednesday.
On Thursday, tentative plans are for the contractor to begin the process of activating the Westbourne Drive / Santa Monica Boulevard intersection. This will require activating a red flashing light at the intersection between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The crosswalk at Santa Monica and Palm Avenue will continue to remain closed until the new intersection is operational.