After a surge of complaints about traffic accidents, the City of West Hollywood today announced that it has installed solar-powered radar speed indicator signs along Fountain Avenue and on North San Vicente Boulevard to remind drivers to drive within the speed limit.
Six new yellow digital numeral signs provide real-time visual feedback to drivers about how fast their vehicles are moving. The signs have been installed as follows:
— Two Signs on Fountain Avenue near Formosa Avenue;
— Two Signs on Fountain Avenue near La Cienega Boulevard; and
— Two Signs on North San Vicente Boulevard at Rosewood Avenue.
The signs are intended to increase driver awareness of excessive speed and encourage speeders to slow down. Speed citations are regularly issued through enforcement by West Hollywood Sheriff’s Deputies.
“Electronic variable message signs” — trailer-mounted programmable signs that urge drivers to slow down — have also been placed on Fountain Avenue to encourage drivers to recognize and abide by posted speed limits.
There have been more than two dozen vehicle accidents on Fountain Avenue since last December, with one resulting in the death of a pedestrian, Enrique Lopez-Nava, a long-time resident of Formosa Avenue. While Hany Demitri, the city’s principal engineer, said at a recent City Council meeting that that was not an exceptionally high number, given that the avenue is considered a minor “arterial,” meaning that it is used by drivers to cross through the city, and an average of 35,000 cars a day use it.
Nevertheless, those accidents have become a major issue for those living along Fountain and on its side streets. While Fountain is within West Hollywood’s city limits, the residences on much of its north side are in the City of Los Angeles.
Demitri has said that city staffers are working on an interim plan to improve safety on Fountain Avenue. He said he already has met with a subcommittee composed of members of the city’s Transportation and Public Safety commissions to present interim and short-term and long-term plans to address safety issues. Demitri said he hopes to have the interim plan ready to present to the City Council in February.
Residents in the West Hollywood West neighborhood also have expressed concerns about accidents involving cars attempting to make left turns onto San Vicente from neighborhood side streets. On several occasions those cars have collided with vehicles headed up or down San Vicente.
In an announcement of the speed indicator signs, the city said “The constant movement of people driving, walking, and bicycling in close proximity is an ongoing challenge in West Hollywood and in cities across the nation. The city is continuously exploring a mix of measures to address pedestrian and bicycle safety and manage traffic congestion. In 2017, the City of West Hollywood installed new signalized pedestrian crosswalks along Santa Monica Boulevard and in 2016 the city added bicycle lanes on Fairfax Avenue.”