Southern California Edison this week has powered up the electric meters at the four pedestrian crosswalks under construction on Santa Monica Boulevard, which means they will be operational next week.
The pedestrian crosswalk project, which launched on July 10, has involved installing traffic lights at each crosswalk that are synchronized with stop lights at major intersections on Santa Monica Boulevard. Going forward, pedestrians will not be able to cross without a green light, at which time cars will stop for a red light. Synchronizing the lights with other traffic lights, and controlling what once were random pedestrian crossings, should increase the flow of traffic and make crossing the busy boulevard safer.
The project 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.
An announcement from Hany Demitri, the city’s principal engineer, says that the contractor working on the project will turn on the traffic signals at the intersection of Westmount Drive with Santa Monica Boulevard on Tuesday. They will be flashing read from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day.
On Wednesday the crosswalks at the intersections of Santa Monica Boulevard with Palm Avenue and with Hancock Avenue will be powered up and put into service and the crosswalk striping will be completed. On Thursday, the project contractor will turn on the electricity at the Westmount Drive crosswalk and put the traffic light into service. On Friday the crosswalk at West Knoll Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard will be activated.