Starting Tonight, WeHo Creates Safer Crosswalk Signaling for Santa Monica Boulevard at Robertson

Southeast corner of Santa Monica Boulevard at Robertson (Photo by Jon Viscott)

Beginning at 10 p.m. tonight, traffic lights on all sides of the intersection of Robertson and Santa Monica boulevards will turn red simultaneously for a brief period in an effort to improve pedestrian safety.

The “all-pedestrian phase interval” will end at 3 a.m.  It will occur between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night going forward.

The intersection of Santa Monica and Robertson is the most trafficked pedestrian intersection in West Hollywood during those evening hours, accommodating up to 2,000 pedestrians per hour.  It is the major intersection in the Boystown nightlife district, one that people cross to access bars like the Abbey, Pump, Mother Lode, Beaches and Tom Tom on the southside and other destinations such as Salt & Straw, the ice cream shop, bars like St. Felix bar and Hi Tops and restaurants such as Café d’Etoile and Guisados.

During the initial period of the rollout, deputies from the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station will be assigned to the intersection to monitor it  and answer questions from pedestrians.

“Developing an interval uniquely for pedestrians for this intersection is a creative solution that responds to the exceptional density in this area of West Hollywood,” said West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico in an announcement of the move.  “During the day the intersection will maximize vehicular green-light timing, which is aimed at helping cars move as rapidly as possible. But, during nighttime after 10 p.m. on the three nights per week that this spot experiences the highest volume of pedestrians, this intersection will offer all-pedestrian crossing with a red light in all directions for vehicles. This is another West Hollywood Smart City approach for enhancing pedestrian safety.”

“I’m excited that our City is embracing new ways of engineering pedestrian safety into this highly trafficked intersection,” said City Councilmember Lindsey Horvath in the city’s press release. “This follows a variety of pedestrian-safety improvements throughout West Hollywood during the past few years. As a city, we’re committed to making sure we do whatever we can to make West Hollywood walkable, safe, and accessible. We will be monitoring the effect of improvements at the intersection and if we see that this is a successful effort, then this can serve as a model for additional major-intersection pedestrian-safety enhancements throughout the city.”

Standard crosswalks are designed to offer vehicles and pedestrians the opportunity to move together in the same direction at the same time. Potential conflict may arise when there is a high volume of vehicular traffic making left or right turns, which means that cars are able to pass through pedestrian crossings during green walk signals (though drivers of cars are always mandated to yield to pedestrians in accordance with state law).

During the day and on lower-volume nights when the intersection has a lower pedestrian count, the intersection will function with standard crosswalks, which will offer longer periods of  green lights for vehicles in order to ensure traffic flow at commute hours while still regarding pedestrian safety.


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Martin Gantman
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Martin Gantman

Good idea, but traffic on S. M. was backed up to Doheny last night. Maybe some fine tuning is in order.

austin bonser
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austin bonser

only 10pm to 3am for safety?!?!?! so F*** safety all other days and hours? it needs to be many more hours and days. its pretty dumb this is JUST NOW HAPPENING.

Josh Kurpies
Guest
Josh Kurpies

I’m all for this, but people need to be aware, this means slightly longer wait times for vehicles or pedestrians during each of the intervals. The pedestrians must wait for signal lights to run their full cycle before allowed to cross, just as vehicles must wait for longer period of time as the time for pedestrian to cross the street is slightly increased to accommodate the additional seconds needed to get across diagonally. I f everyone follows correctly, these intersections create more efficient vehicle passage and safer for pedestrians. Unfortunately, all the benefits begin to diminish as soon as some… Read more »

Be Patient Be Safe
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Be Patient Be Safe

Beverly Hills and other communities have been enjoying this for years. Folks in Weho will just have to wait patiently for the extended lights.

Woody McBreairty
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Woody McBreairty

I’ve been suggesting for years that they do those X crosswalks at that particular intersection, like they do on Rodeo Drive. Crossing diagonally from NW curb to SE curb for example, cuts the crossing pedestrian traffic in half . Capiche? (I also suggested that at the time of the Santa Monica Blvd renovation years ago, that they put underground pedestrian passages (or overhead bridges) at that intersection.) That would have been the time to do it & it would now be particularly advantageous as the new developments & businesses go in & up & both vehicle & foot traffic increase… Read more »

Eric Jon Schmidt
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Eric Jon Schmidt

Hollywood and Highland and Hollywood and Vine have X crosswalks and they work incredibly well. There should also be one at SMB and La Cienega. We should be doing everything we can to make Weho a more walkable town. To reduce car traffic and for visitors to Weho. But we must put safety first and expedite the improvements. There is no reason it should take years.

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

Why not make the three crosswalks on the east side safe too? I realize there are more pedestrians patronizing the businesses in boystown and those businesses are Campaign donors, but the safety of the Residents on the east side is equally important.

mike m
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mike m

Smart move.