Another Crash on Fountain Interrupts Rush Hour Traffic

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Two cars crashed on Fountain Avenue at Crescent Heights Boulevard (Photo by Jim Garrecht / ANG News)

Two cars crashed on Fountain Avenue at about 6:30 p.m. today, the latest in a number of accidents that have prompted residents along the avenue to push for more traffic control.

The accident occurred at the intersection of Fountain with Crescent Heights Boulevard when a Mercedes Benz and a Ford Mustang collided with one another during evening rush hour traffic.

The crash sent the Mercedes Benz onto the sidewalk of Crescent Heights Boulevard. West Hollywood Sheriff deputies temporarily shut down northbound traffic on Crescent Heights while the accident was cleared.

The extent of any injuries sustained by the occupants of the cars is unclear at this point.

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. Hany Demitri, the city’s principal engineer, has said that that is 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.

City Hall is developing plan to improve traffic and pedestrian safety along Fountain that it expects to present to the City Council in February. Meanwhile, it announced last month the installation of solar-powered radar speed indicator signs along Fountain Avenue as well as 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.

  1. Correction to my earlier post: Residences on the north side of Fountain Ave. are in the City of Los Angeles between La Brea and Fairfax. Avenues, which constitutes ONE-HALF of the length of Fountain Ave. in West Hollywood. (the same stretch on Santa Monica Blvd. constitutes one third of its length in WeHo).

  2. I live on Sweetzer at Fountain. Lived in the area since 1998, when Fountain wasn’t used as a highway. Since the “upgrading” of Santa Monica Blvd. drivers have used Fountain Ave. as a main street, like Sunset or SMB. It’s not. It’s a side street with, most of the times, only one lane. We, pedestrians, feel threatened by drivers with a complete lack of understanding on what it means to drive on a side street. Solution?: More lights, speed bumps, 24/7 police enforcement and divert traffic to Sunset and SMB. You, whiny drivers, don’t like that? Well, walk, take a bus, ride a bycicle or live closer to where you work. Without action accidents like this one will keep happening. So, WeHo City Hall employees: turn off Grindr (yeah, plenty of you spend the day cruising) and get to work.

  3. After hearing the accident and the damaged car’s horn permanently blowing, I decided to check out the issue. Apparently a southbound Mercedes either tried to cut the corner and make a run for a left turn or did a U-turn just north of the intersection landing on the east side sidewalk after taking out a northbound Mustang that had driven north of the intersection in the number one lane.

    My main objective was to ask the deputies their opinion about the lack of traffic surveillance on Fountain to help moderate or cure speeding. After indicating the perfunctory signs were neither accurate not functioning and that I was following this closely. They had a simple response: We don’t have enough deputies to allocate to traffic, barely have time to get new deputies trained and barely have time to followup on incidents before running to the next issue. There is apparently no budget for additional manpower. Great, mission accomplished… a valuable piece of information.

    Soon the city council will need to approve a new budget. Let’s make sure that safety both traffic and pedestrian comes before budgeted nonsense. I’m sure the public will be happy to forego a parade or two or some other self gratifying ceremony to gain peace of mind walking safely around their neighborhoods and safe travels on roads that cultivate speeders and other dangerous types of distracted drivers. Let’s also take up a collection for a few radar guns to give them an assist.

  4. KB Sorry, meant to say corner of Fountain and Crescent Heights. Which is in the city of West Hollywood and there are no North and southbound left hand turn signals.

    As for Sunset and Crescent Heights, there are no North and southbound left hand turn signals. Because Los Angeles, like West Hollywood, have to be two of the worst run cities in America

  5. For some reason, probably because WEHO was spending it on comfort dog outfits, there is no north or southbound left turn signal at Crescent Heights and Sunset. So you are always chancing it when making a left hand turn. This only proves that West Hollywood has a totally incompetent traffic planner or whatever they call them. After four calls to the City Council rep, nothing has been done. Of course this has been going on for years. I think they even had cameras at one time. The WEHO bosses probably don’t realize that Crescent Heights is as busy as Fountain.

  6. Restrict left turns during rush hour both in the morning and at night would help to avoid many accidents. In addition make eastbound Fountain a two lane roadway from La Cienga to La Brea by forbidding parking from 7AM to 7PM.

  7. The only acceptable ‘rate of accident’ is zero. That the city engineer is saying that ‘its nothing out of the ordinary is already accepting defeat and admitting that these collisions are just a way of life. They are not. They happen because we let them happen either by the design choices of our city streets or at worse, a deliberate design decision to facilitate covvenience at the expense of life and limb.

  8. Residences on the north side of Fountain Ave. are in the City of Los Angeles only between La Brea and Fairfax. Avenues, which constitutes about one-third of the length of Fountain Ave. in West Hollywood.

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