LOS FELIZ—The intersection of Avocado Street and Hillhurst Avenue—and the stretch of Avocado between Hillhurst and Commonwealth avenues—is becoming increasingly dangerous for pedestrians. As people continue to be injured there, the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council (LFNC) is beginning to work towards getting the city’s attention to make the area safer.
On Jan. 21st an elderly woman was hit by a speeding car making a right hand turn onto Avocado from Hillhurst and nearly gravely injured. Last December, a bicyclist required the help of paramedics after being struck by a vehicle at Commonwealth and Avocado in a similar fashion.
Many drivers use residential Avocado Street as a cut-through to avoid traffic on heavily congested Los Feliz Boulevard, located a ½ block north
In 2011, the (LFNC) requested Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge for a traffic study of the Avocado Street and Hillhurst Avenue intersection, indicating in a letter, written by then president Ron Ostrow, “that cars have been observed to traverse this narrow, family-with-children populated [Avocado Street] at over 60-miles-per hour. In other words,” the letter said, “these cars are flying.”
“At one of the 2013 mayoral debates, Wendy Greuel got big props from the crowd when she lambasted [the Los Angeles Dept. of Transportation’s] unwritten policy that some sort of vehicular accident has to happen first, before they can do anything. I hope that’s not the case here,” said LFNC board member Mark Mauceri.
In January, Los Feliz Ledger publisher Allison Cohen once again raised the issue to the LFNC after the recent Jan. 21st incident. The Los Feliz Ledger offices are on Hillhurst Avenue at Avocado Street, and according to Cohen, she sees speeding cars daily along the small residential street.
According to current LFNC president Linda Demmers, when the issue was once gain brought before the board after receipt of Cohen’s letter, all boardmembers agreed that the intersection was incredibly unsafe.
“I brought it forward and everybody in the meeting said holy cow that is one of the worst locations in the neighborhood,” she said. It’s totally recognized that it’s completely unsafe.”
Demmers noted that upon hearing about the issue again, she promptly forwarded the matter to the LFNC’s public safety committee, their transportation committee, and to a representative of City Council District 4.
But even so, she says, many members of the neighborhood council aren’t convinced that anything will be done.
“My transportation chair met with DOT, and she was told that ‘unless there’s a safety issue, we don’t do anything,’” she said. “DOT doesn’t care about speeding in the neighborhoods.”
According to Jonathan Hui, a spokesperson for DOT, a request had been made to the city in the past regarding the intersection of Avocado and Commonwealth, but to no avail. In an email, Hui noted that on Nov. 21st of last year, a resident named K. Marie Bowers submitted a request for a traffic signal be installed there.
“The request was denied,” he wrote, “because it doesn’t meet the warrants for a traffic signal. There are no other projects planned on this street.”
The LFNC’s Demmers, for her part, plans to bring the issue up again at the March LFNC board meeting, at which a representative from DOT will likely be present.
“I’m going to say, ‘who works on this?” she said. “What’s happening? Have you looked at this?’”
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